Project Overview


A city’s fire department is integral to public safety and health. Not only are fire fighters uniquely equipped to respond and serve when fire breaks out, but they are first-hand witnesses to a range of incidences that negatively affect the health and welfare of residents such as crime, poverty, drug addiction, mental health, and homelessness.

In 2017, Portland Fire & Rescue launched the Blueprint for Success project, setting an ambitious goal to positively impact a broad range of societal issues through micro-planning efforts aligned with each neighborhood fire house. Since then, PF&R has partnered with key stakeholders to draft several “blueprints” that provide in-depth analysis of specific Fire Management Areas (FMAs).

In Spring 2019, Portland Fire & Rescue is partnering with the Social Impact Lab to help bring the information contained in these blueprints to life through a unique co-creative process.

Social Impact Lab PDX participants are invited to research and respond to one of three design challenges inspired by the existing blueprint data:


Formal lab participation by application only. Design experience not required.

Interested in joining the lab? The spring cohort of Social Impact Lab PDX is still accepting late applications for lab participants. Keep reading for details about the PDX:SP19 partnership, lab details, and important next steps to support your application.


A word from our partners


“If you asked fire service leaders 200 years ago what their greatest challenges were, they would have told the story of fire.  Every large urban city in America faced the danger of large conflagrations that uncontrollably burned to the ground large swaths of commercial and residential neighborhoods.  These tragic fires negatively impacted commerce and made refugees of entire communities.  Today, these large urban fire no longer occur.  The fire service, along with city planners, policy makers, building designers, and manufactures all worked together to solve the great fire problem of our past.

However, our cities are still on fire.  Not by the combustion of buildings, rather we face a threat equal to, or greater than this.  Our "fire" today is specifically public health.  It is intertwined through poverty, blight, drug addiction, mental health, and homelessness.  This is the great challenge of the modern fire service today and just as in the past, the solution will involve many key partners.”

Mike Myers, Former Chief
Portland Fire & Rescue

More Details

Sponsor Information
Blueprint for Success website - City of Portland, Portland Fire & Rescue

Partner Information
Portland Fire & Rescue website


For questions about the Social Impact Lab, contact lab organizers directly.