As we were planning this issue of Metroscape,® we were shocked and saddened by the sudden death of Dr. Nohad Toulan and his wife Dirce Moroni Toulan on October 28, 2013. Dr. Toulan had an immense impact on Portland State University, on the Portland metropolitan region, and on the world. We have dedicated this issue of Metroscape® to his legacy.
Designing the issue was a sad but incredibly rewarding task. Dr. Toulan’s legacy is so rich and varied that we have a treasure trove of material to share with you about our college, our university, and our region. Our aim was to examine Dr. Toulan’s legacy from the different facets of his impact: as the builder of the College of Urban and Public Affairs; as an internationally respected expert on planning and urban policy; as an advisor to students, faculty, community leaders, and friends; and as a human being committed to creating a better society.
We owe Dr. Toulan a great debt of gratitude as the founder of the College of Urban and Public Affairs and the Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies, for having the foresight to build the College and the Institute into what it is today. Carl Abbott explains, in his article, Dr. Toulan’s approach to building the College, designing the University District, and guiding the development of PSU’s reputation as an engaged university. The Landscape features the Urban Center Plaza and describes how Dr. Toulan’s vision became a reality.
During the events celebrating Dr. Toulan’s life, we learned that he and his wife, Dirce, played an important role in encouraging dialogue among people of different faiths. Their interfaith marriage provided an example, and their presence at and commitment to events of interfaith dialogue lent their credibility and authority to the importance of understanding and celebrating our common values. We invited three religious leaders to discuss this aspect of the Toulans’ legacy; Mark Rosenbaum generously offered to moderate the discussion. We recorded the conversation, and share the highlights with you on page 20. A link to the full video of the conversation is available on the IMS web site.
Dr. Toulan believed that our region would benefit from strengthening the connections among its political jurisdictions and embracing our interdependence. He established the Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies in 1991 to serve the region by promoting a shared understanding of those connections. Our Atlas provides a view of several facets of our connectedness: through commuting, migration, and our shared experience of a more diverse region.
Dr. Toulan’s influence on the world may be most strongly and broadly represented by the mark he left on the thousands of students who have graduated from the College of Urban and Public Affairs. Our back anchor features two award-winning planning projects developed by local planners in Newberg and Lake Oswego. The Indicators of the Metroscape show where CUPA graduates now live, illustrating the geographical reach of Dr. Toulan’s influence.
We are proud of Dr. Toulan’s legacy and we are happy to share it with all of you. It is also fitting that with this issue, after two years of electronic-only publishing, we return to print. We learned from many of our readers that you missed the print edition; thank you for your advice and for helping us decide to present this important issue on the printed page.
Director, Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies