"Fearless" event encouraged Portland to think big

TREC director Jennifer Dill introduces the center's new identity

On Monday, October 27th, sixteen of the brightest minds in Portland, Oregon met at Portland State University to talk about the future of transportation in front of an eager audience.

Professionals, students, faculty and interested citizens gathered in the student union to listen to visions of futuristic infrastructure, connected "smart" cities, and complete overhauls of the current way of doing things.

The event, called "Let's Be Fearless," was organized to foster discussion around innovative ideas. It was also the unveiling of TREC, PSU's brand-new Transportation Research and Education Center.

It was intended as an informal, fun way to get creative minds thinking about transportation.

Each of the 16 participants had three minutes to sell their big idea to the audience about what should be next for Portland.

Participants included engineers from Intel, professors from PSU and transportation professionals from the Portland area.

Portland has often been considered a leader in progressive multi-modal transportation systems, but in recent years, the city seems to be running out of inspiration.

To help Portland maintain its leadership status, TREC wanted to stimulate the kind of thinking that leads to great leaps of progress.

On the stage in the student union, there was no shortage of inspiration.

From Willamette River ferry transport (the audience's top pick) to underground cargo tunnels, equitable bike share, community block parties and car-free street celebrations, the ideas flowed freely in a spirit of creativity and enthusiasm.

In many professional situations, these types of visionary ideas are dismissed as impractical. Yet at some point, inspiration must be allowed into the planning process.

TREC hosted the "Let's Be Fearless" night to remind and encourage citizens to think big.

Monday evening's gathering was part of PSU's "Portland State of Mind" celebration, an annual ten-day series of events that showcase PSU's committment to sustainability and community-building.


For more details on the speakers and their big ideas, check out Bike Portland's coverage of the event.

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