The storyline has its genesis in the mayoral era of Neil Goldschmidt and a legislation act by the State of Oregon known as Senate Bill 100 that changed the fundamental nature of land use planning and regulation in Oregon in the 1970s.
The narrative focuses on how the contributions of individuals--their personal visions and achievements—culminated in the Pearl District. At various points in time, the developers, city officials, bureaucrats, residents thought it was complete. But it isn’t. The district is an urban organism that continues to change from decade to decade. It’s visual theater at its best.
Portland’s downtown core reinvented itself with the Pearl and became a urban design model for successful placemaking. The book traces the planning and development process over forty years addressing basic questions about how and why this urban neighborhood was a successful transformation.