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The Heights District


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The Heights was originally developed during WWII as housing for families who migrated from all over the country to work in Kaiser shipyards and other wartime industries. While Portland and many other cities constrained Black Americans’ opportunities with segregationist policies and real estate practices, Vancouver’s housing and community facilities were racially integrated.


The Heights District aims to become a vibrant, connected neighborhood center, which seeks to promote community in an inclusive, respectful and equitable manner.

Inclusive design aims to remove the barriers that create undue effort and separation across the spectrum of ability, age, culture, and socio-economic status. The center-piece of inclusive design at the scale of the community is the 20-minute neighborhood.


Residents that live in The Heights District can meet their essential daily needs within a 20-minute walk, bike ride, or public transportation ride from their home The Heights District provides inclusive options for residents to live, move, work, thrive, socialize, and play.


The Grand Loop is the embodiment of the overarching vision of The Heights and folds in all the elements of the inclusive design methodology. Comprised of four segments dedicated to a different natural science or ‘-ology’ to help people understand how the natural environment has been shaped around them. This is intended to connect people to the land they inhabit, in hopes of protecting it now and into the future.


The Vocanology segment of the Loop focuses on learning about and interacting with the  Earth's core and plate tectonics within the local area.


The Neighborhood Park, Civic Plaza, and pocket parks provide residents access to natural open spaces and social gathering spots throughout The Heights District. These spaces are vital to the health and well-being of all residents who were consulted various times throughout the design process in an attempt to understand the needs of the community within these spaces.


The design of the Project Area Streets utilized research, analysis and conversations with accessibility groups to identify the challenges and opportunities for promoting walking, biking, and micro-mobility within The Heights District. The design incorporates a suite of intersection, sidewalk, and wayfinding design elements that support safe and accessible streets and public spaces for a full range of abilities.

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