Depave empowers disenfranchised communities to overcome social and environmental injustices and adapt to climate change through urban re-greening. Depave transforms over-paved places, creates resilient community greenspaces, promotes workforce development and education, and advocates for policy change to undo manifestations of systemic racism.
Depave envisions an empowered society living within sustainable cities, built on a foundation of justice, equity, diversity, practicing inclusion and actively undoing systemic discrimination and social and environmental injustice of every kind. Depave imagines a sustainable city as a place where people and wildlife coexist and prosper amidst clean air, clean water, robust urban forests, thriving local agriculture, and healthy communities.
The Community — Engagement | Community | Empowerment
We engage and connect diverse groups through the experience of transforming lifeless places into vibrant, livable neighborhood spaces. Our community projects not only integrate the built and natural environments, but also weave a social fabric that inspires civic engagement.
Depave empowers community members to change their surroundings from pavement to thriving landscapes that bring people together, foster stewardship, increase safety, augment play and learning spaces, provide places to grow food, capture stormwater and add to the urban tree canopy.
The Environment — Environment | Stewardship
We implement projects and advocate for urban green spaces that reduce stormwater pollution and improve water quality; foster native habitats; cool our cities and mitigate the impacts of climate change; and create neighborhood spaces that are safe, engaging and beautiful. The changes we catalyze create thriving living spaces that inspire environmental and human connection.
The Way We Work — Teamwork | Fun
We achieve a positive, lasting impact through hands-on teamwork and collaboration. We love using our bodies to accomplish our transformations together – it is energizing, celebratory, and gratifying!
The problem is concrete. Paved surfaces contribute to stormwater pollution, whereby rainwater carries toxic urban pollutants to local streams and rivers, greatly degrading water quality and riparian habitats. Pavement also disconnects us from our natural world.
The solution is clear. The removal of impervious pavements will reduce stormwater pollution and increase the amount of land available for habitat restoration, urban farming, trees, native vegetation, and beauty, thus providing us with greater connections to the natural world.
Objectives of Depave
- Provide information, inspiration, and technical assistance to those wishing to remove concrete and asphalt.
- Educate the public about the benefits of pavement removal.
- Advocate to minimize and/or reduce the amount of impervious pavement in public construction and repair projects.
- Promote responsible and creative reuse and recycling of concrete and asphalt.
- Provide an opportunity for greater connection with the natural world.
Statement on Defunding the Police & Reinvesting in Communities:
Depave believes everyone should have access to the environment and feel safe in their communities. We believe in investing in inclusive, sustainable, and resilient communities that prioritize Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) who have been and continue to be denied equal access to basic human rights including housing, education, food, and access to green spaces.
We know that BIPOC continue to be over-policed, intimidated, and harmed by the police. As of 2018, a Black person is five times more likely to be stopped by a police officer without just cause than a white person (1). As of 2021, the adopted Portland Police Bureau budget is approximately 35% of the total discretionary general fund (2), 44% of which is allocated towards precinct patrol (2). This is not unique to Portland. Police budgets across the country regularly account for 20 – 40% of city general fund budgets. We believe police budgets should be reduced and funding should be reallocated towards social services and reinvestment in Black communities.
We acknowledge the leadership and expertise of partners at Imagine Black (3) and Don’t Shoot Portland (4), and endorse their statements and demands.