OAPA Awards: 2022 Student Achievement in Planning
Pictured: Team member Alli Langley accepts the certificate of recognition from OAPA president Aaron Ray and Membership Committee Chair Amanda Ferguson.
The 2022 Student Achievement Award was presented at the OAPA Annual Conference in Pendleton on October 28th. The student team of Ashley Balsom, Thea Chroman, Tram Anh Hoang, Alli Langley, and Jordan Totty, with project manager Aniko Drlik-Muehleck, from the University of Oregon's Institute of Policy Research & Engagement Community Planning Workshop, were recognized for their project "What's Up Downtown? A Playbook for Activating Oregon's Upper Stories."
Many of Oregon’s historic downtowns have unused or underutilized space in their upper stories. Meanwhile, Oregon is experiencing housing shortages that make it difficult for residents to find affordable accommodations and for employers to attract and retain workers. Many communities also need lodging, co-office space, and other facilities. Existing buildings can provide a cost-effective and environmentally sound solution for these needs. Oregon Heritage, the Oregon Main Street program, and a student team from the UO’s Institute for Policy Research & Engagement partnered to investigate barriers to upper story revitalization and reuse. The student team produced a report outlining current conditions, barriers, and a set of recommendations for supporting upper story redevelopment. The team also generated a “How To” guide for communities that focuses on practices local governments and Main Street Organizations can use to encourage reuse of upper stories.