Dreaming and depaving: enacting change through creative event planning and community-driven design

Katherine Rose
Can unique parties and events present opportunities for enacting social and environmental change? Through tangible, community-driven projects centered around the concept of ripping out asphalt and replacing it with living greenspaces, Depave utilizes a variety of creative, community engagement practices. Learn about how Depave engages communities in design processes for the organization’s transformative work in public space.

Session Description

Since 2008, Depave has transformed public space through tangible, community-driven projects centered around the concept of ripping out asphalt and replacing it with living greenspaces such as rain gardens, bioswales, community gardens, nature playgrounds, and more.

Every Depave project and process looks different as it reflects the needs and voices of the communities it serves. The unique community-centered approach gives decision-making power to students at schools where Depave converts parking lots to outdoor greenspaces and in the organization’s most recent project–a green street project–outreach includes reaching out to the houseless community of Portland, where future site users include folks living on the street.

Learn about how the public engagement and design process for Depave’s first right-of-way (street) project grew into a creative event planning and site-specific design forum. The creation of an annual street fair with a focus on aesthetics touched on themes around climate resiliency, art, community engagement, and even skateboarding.

Learn about how Depave envisions change through playful, beautiful gatherings.



About Your Speaker

Katherine Rose strives to support opportunities for connection between people and the outdoors, while removing barriers to empower communities to make change within their environment. Katherine is passionate about the confluence of nature and urban space. Katherine has worked with Depave for nearly two years as the organization’s Communications and Engagement Coordinator. Bringing with her a passion for dance, music, aesthetics, and community resilience through dismantling systems of oppression, Katherine has a passion for curating events which engage communities and inspire change.

Originally from a rural setting on the Oregon coast, Katherine feels at home spending time outside, observing the landscape around her. Katherine has built backcountry hiking trails in the Adirondack and Green Mountains, implemented farming education in Colorado, and coordinated education for a watershed council in Eastern Oregon.

Since 2018, Katherine has called Portland home, performing natural area restoration, trail work projects, engaging volunteers in stewardship programing, and teens in workforce development and coordinating volunteers. As an environmental and urban studies major with a concentration in anthropology, Katherine focused her studies at Bard College on sustainable outdoor recreation.

During her free time, Katherine can be found gardening, dancing, playing music, canoeing, skateboarding, playing with her dog, skiing, and hiking!

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