Green Infrastructure + Climate Resiliency

OMSI District

The OMSI District, with its bold vision, presents the opportunity to transform current parking lots and brownfields into a neighborhood that adds 4.5+ acres of parks and green spaces to the Central Eastside. Our goal is to showcase and advance climate solutions through transportation, next generation urban systems and technology, while also engaging OMSI learning experiences for the public and advocating informed action. Early concepts include:

  • Floating interactive buoys housing a range of sensors that measure water quality and fish presence in the Willamette
  • Solar roads and bike trails
  • Green roofs that reduce stormwater runoff, introduce habitat to urban landscapes, and reduce urban heat islands
  • District wide heating/cooling system to provide clean, reliable temperature control to buildings, eliminating the need for boiler and chillers saving space and complimentary to a microgrid scenario
  • Solar panels
  • Microgrid electric distribution system composed of various energy sources to provide energy resilience  with low carbon energy generation, including batteries 
  • Trees canopy and landscaping that restores native habitat and creates shade around plazas, walkways, streets, and buildings, mitigating heat island effects and reducing the levels of air pollution and noise

Waterfront Education Park

OMSI is working with the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI), the Columbia River Intertribal Fish Commission (CRITFC), the City of Portland and Metro to plan a new waterfront education park. It will be the first in the city to restore Tribal presence on the Willamette, with a Tribal designed park creating access to the river for all. The park is envisioned to be a free public green space for all communities. It will be centered in Indigeneous culture and offer free learning opportunities related to ecological and cultural knowledge, native plants, invasive species, river health, and cultural place-making opportunities, such as demonstrations of traditional Native fishing practices. It will include viewing platforms, plazas, restored riverfront habitats, hands-on outdoor science programming, and interpretation that affirms, sustains, and shares traditional ecological and cultural knowledge and cultural connection to the river.

Open Space Framework

Open public areas in the OMSI District will include parks, outdoor recreation amenities, plazas, public fountains, and landscaped areas. These provide significant opportunities for habitat restoration, active and passive recreation, education and cultural interpretation, and support for community gatherings. 

Ecological Network

The OMSI District’s holistic approach promotes healthy, active living through landscape and habitat restoration, tree preservation and enhancement, water conservation and river health awareness, and green buildings that create a district of discovery like no other in the region. The ecological network will create water quality basins for collection and treatment of surface runoff with native riparian plants, and de-pave areas to establish native riparian and upland plants for wildlife habitat, erosion control, soil health, and learning opportunities.

Green Transportation

The OMSI District will be located in one of the most public transportation-oriented places in the city, including the Tilikum Crossing, the Springwater Corridor, MAX, Streetcar and rapid bus transit, which will reduce greenhouse gasses by visitors. It will enhance the OMSI Greenway Trail (an extension of the East Esplanade Trail) and connect recreational opportunities with a recreational trail system, including the Springwater Corridor and eventually the Green Loop. The trail will increase public access along the Willamette River and to other significant natural resource areas by way of trail design, viewing areas, and conservation of habit along the river. 

Future OMSI District

The OMSI District Master Plan is to create a one-of-a-kind neighborhood that is an inclusive community destination with innovation, culture, arts, and science learning at its heart.

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