PSU students win award for ‘Fourth Plain Forward’

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A group of recent graduates of Portland State University’s Master of Urban and Regional Planning received a Student Project Award for “Best Applications of the Planning Process” from the American Institute of Certified Planners for their work on the city of Vancouver’s Fourth Plain Forward Action Plan.

The student team included Mandia Gonzales, Jamin Kimmell, Eddie Montejo, Lauren Patton, Kate Rogers and Anthony Thompson, and the project served as a key component for completing their master’s degrees. The plan lays out strategies and actions for economic development of the East Fourth Plain Corridor, known as the city’s international business district.

Between January and June 2015, the student team conducted extensive research and interviews with neighbors, business owners and community stakeholders in the area to develop the action plan.

The area is surrounded by two of Vancouver’s most culturally diverse neighborhoods, and challenged by a high poverty rate, low home ownership rate, high commercial vacancy rate, significant homeless population and heavy traffic volumes.

The students worked closely with Vancouver city staff, who provided guidance throughout the planning process. Additionally, the plan had multiple community partners including C-Tran, Clark County Public Health, Clark College, Americans Building Community, the Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber, the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, Vancouver Public Schools, the League of United Latin American Citizens.

“We are pleased that this action plan and the talented group of planners who wrote it have received national recognition from the planning community,” Chad Eiken, Vancouver’s community and economic development director, said in a press release about the award. “The plan is an important tool for the City and will guide our future work helping to revitalize the Fourth Plain Corridor.”

The winners will be formally recognized at the American Planning Association’s 2016 National Planning Conference in Phoenix in April.

To learn more about the Fourth Plain Forward Action Plan, visit www.cityofvancouver.us/4thPlainForward