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 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.
- 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.
Depave projects are for community, by community. We create deep partnerships through community-centered design and collective action. Our work is participatory and builds long-term engagement.
We achieve big things, together through the celebratory, hands-on process of depaving and regreening. The impact of our projects runs deeper than the asphalt we remove. Our collaborative process decreases isolation, increases solidarity, and strengthens communities.
Care & Stewardship
Our work is about caring for the environment and each other. We invest in future generations of environmental stewards by weaving beautiful greenspaces into our urban fabric. Our projects inspire environmental and human connections, improve public health, and address climate change.
Our work exists at the intersection of social and environmental justice. Our projects focus on building resiliency for frontline communities in the face of climate change. We center the people most impacted by the lack of greenspace in urbanized areas.
We believe in quality over quantity, allowing for flexibility and responsiveness in our work. We live in a dynamic world and understand that we must prioritize our values, move intentionally, find time for celebration and play, and grow relationships.
We have a new 5-year Strategic Plan!
Depave is excited to share our new Strategic Plan, adopted this past June 2023! Our plan represents many hours of work put in from our Board and staff and was grounded in input from our community partners. Depave worked with Capacity Building Partnerships, LLC, who facilitated the process that included a community survey, Board-staff retreat, and bi-weekly meetings of a Strategic Planning Committee. The end result is a plan grounded in newly articulated values, goals, and strategies that will move us closer to our vision. Click below to learn more:
Our 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.
Image from: For Everyone Collective