Depave - Volunteer

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Depave

Portland, Oregon

April 25, 2011 marks the fifth anniversary of the death of one of the most influential urbanists of our time: Jane Jacobs.  Best known for her seminal work, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Mrs. Jacobs texts are mainstays of architectural design eduction to this very day.  In addition to her writings, Jane is also credited with a variety of grassroots movements devoted to the preservation of neighborhoods, most notably for her role in the cancellation of the Lower Manhattan expressway in 1962.  For this reason, we at Ballista Magazine thought it would be appropriate to honor the life of Mrs. Jacobs by featuring a design firm with a similar M.O.: Depave of Portland, Oregon!

Depave is, by any and all stretches of the definition, a “grass-roots” organization (both literally and politically).  While they function as an independent political coalition devoted to the betterment of the urban condition, they also function as a grass roots organization in a literal sense by incorporating natural elements into blighted urban hardscapes, specifically paved surfaces.  According to their website, Depave “promotes the removal of unnecessary pavement from urban areas to create community green spaces and mitigate stormwater runoff”. While a primary objective of the coalition is to educate the public about the evils of impervious surfaces (polluted runoff, disconnect from nature, urban heat island effects, and habitat destruction, to name a few), Depave also is involved in the actual restoration of these hardscapes.  Check out some of their work in the gallery below — fantastic stuff!

Depave.org maintains an active website, Facebook, and Twitter page for more information about their mission and how to join in the all-volunteer effort!  Ballista Magazine applauds the pride and initiative of this small but poweful coalition and encourage you to submit other grass roots organization that are doing their part to save their neighborhoods!  For those who observe, we hope you had an excellent holiday weekend and will be back here tomorrow with yet another fantastic Featured Face or Firm!

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