Tuesday, November 2, 2010

urban plaza/new friends

Before starting this assignment I knew little about PSU. I know others have found more obscure and appealing areas upon campus, but I chose to write about the PSU Urban Plaza.

My first impression of the quarter draws a parallel to Pioneer Square. Both are constructed of brick and serve as a hub for Trimet. I found myself idling in the urban plaza the other day after departing my bus and managed to work up enough courage to speak with a couple of students; Calvin and Charlie.
Although my questions sounded candid and a bit hesitant, the students seemed willing to engage and gave me their answers genuinely.
I asked about their initial feelings toward the plaza, and we settled upon a few mutual agreements:

- Aside from the Food for Though Cafe, it is difficult to find a good cup of coffee on campus.
- With the tall buildings and the number of chain businesses such as Seattle's Best and Pizzacato, the plaza can feel like less of a park on campus, and more like a center for corporate business offices.
- The square can feel uncomfortably "open" with few trees. If given the choice one would rather spend time in the Park Blocks (especially in autumn.)

After speaking with my new friends, I wanted to research and find a few positive traits of the area. Here is what I found:

-Convenient for transportation, The PSU Urban Plaza is the only location where the Portland Streetcar and Max Lines will intersect.

-Construction for the plaza was completed in 2000, making it fairly new. The PSU Urban Center is built efficiently, and the annual reduction in energy cost is reduced by $23,000 per year. Currently this spot alone has saved the university $230,000 dollars in the past 10 years.

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