AIA Portland just announced a great design competition “STITCH” calling for creative ideas on how Portland might creatively re-envision and reclaim space over the I-405 highway and “re-stitch” two distinctive neighborhoods together in downtown Portland.   Portland has looked at capping freeways before, in the 1998 Mayor Vera Katz proposed an ambitious multi-million dollar project to cap 28 ‘blocks’ over I-405 and recently the Lloyd District has proposed creating a freeway lid over I-5 adding a new bike and pedestrian bridge.   This is a great way to think about how to add precious real estate in the center of the city, how to create multi-use spaces that better serve the public need, and bury those unsightly (but so very necessary) freeways that have for so long divided neighbors and neighborhoods.  Amateur urban planners, get your grove on,  I can’t wait to see the results:   

Here are more details from AIA Portland's website

This competition calls for ideas on ways to successfully cap I-405, bridging the downtown to Goose Hollow and the Stadium district. We are looking for extraordinary creative proposals that will spark the imagination, open up a dialogue and offer innovative solutions to this urban problem. The program for the competition is open to the entrants, although a mix of public space with other programming is recommended. The program should respond to the neighboring context and needs of the city. We encourage each proposal to address multi-modal transportation within the project.

-Sydney Mead