Strong Argument


A well-designed graphic speaks for itself. And no matter how much ink is spilled or words exchanged on a subject, sometimes it really just comes down to the powerful statement a single image can make. As Portland struggles to manage rapid population growth and a hot housing market, City Council recently voted to phase out regulations that assign minimum parking requirements to new housing developments. It a sign of how much has changed in Portland in a short period of time. Those regulations were enacted only three years ago when neighborhood groups lobbied for them in response to increased demand for parking on residential streets near new multifamily construction. But demand for housing rose so sharply in those three years that Mayor Charlie Hales was moved to declare a "Housing State of Emergency" that underscores the fact that low- and middle-income people can't afford to live here anymore. There are a lot of compelling things that can be said about that, but in the discussion over parking requirements, the above graphic really says it all: do we make space for people or space for cars? We came across this graphic in a post by PICOC—a.k.a., the Portland Interdependent Chamber of Commerce. Fat Pencil Studio is a proud member of this organization, whose aim is to give Portland business owners (regardless of size) a platform to advocate for a more affordable, sustainable and equitable Portland. You can read more here.

Ady Leverette was a designer and a principal at Fat Pencil Studio between 2011 and 2018.