Call for Interns or Volunteers for our Placemaking Team!

We are recruiting interns, or volunteer organizers, for our 2018 Placemaking season. This role will support our direct services to communities we're helping to create permaculture gardens, natural buildings, and intersection repair. We have released our Request for Proposals (RFPs), otherwise known as Placmaking Applications, so the work has already begun!

To apply for the position, email a letter of interest and resume to We'll be reviewing applications as they come in and are building a team of 3 to 5. Below are the position details: 

Organization Name, Address, phone number: 
The City Repair Project
1421 SE Division Street

Internship Title:  
Placemaking Intern

Supervisors' Name, position title, phone and email address:
Ridhi D’Cruz

Kirk Rea,

Organization vision statement
The City Repair Project fosters thriving, inclusive and sustainable communities through the creative reclamation of public space.

Organization mission statement: 
City Repair facilitates artistic and ecologically-oriented placemaking through projects that honor the interconnection of human communities and the natural world. The many projects of City Repair have been accomplished by a mostly volunteer staff and thousands of volunteer citizen activists. We provide support, resources, and opportunities to help diverse communities reclaim the culture, power, and joy that we all deserve

Internship is unpaid, but we are exploring grant funding.

Internship Description
The Placemaking Intern assists in the following areas with facilitative leadership and within a larger team that provides direct service to communities implementing placemaking projects using intersection repair, permaculture gardening, and natural building. To read a personal reflection of a past intern, click here.

General Responsibilities

  1. Archival and documentation work including:

    1. Cataloging  past placemaking sites, government departments (eg: ONI), neighborhood coalitions, sister nonprofits/ community-oriented partners

    2. Systematize past, present and future partnership-building opportunities on google spreadsheets

    3. Support with program management for 2017 VBC Placemaking program

  2. Community Engagement

    1. Identify and outreach to potential/ interested new partners, especially marginalized groups

    2. Help host informational, culturally-responsive, and educational community engagement events, presentations, and workshops

    3. Work directly in the field and on-site with the communities City Repair serves

  3. Community Outreach

    1. Publicize events online and in-person

    2. Identify and attend tabling opportunities at fairs, conferences, and community building events hosted by sister organizations etc.

  4. Communications

    1. Support with the creation of the placemaking site component of the Village Builder Event Magazine

    2. Upkeep placemaking-related information on the website including

      1. FAQs

      2. Galleries

      3. Maps

  5. Peer-mentoring and collaborative leadership

    1. Co-create learning goals and areas of growth for the intern to pursue their passions and build their skill set

    2. Take on tasks through guidance and self-direction. We will co-create a work plan to meet learning goals.

    3. Write reflections on experiences.

10-15 per week, commitment expected when started through early-June, with summer 2018 extension an option as well as a smaller time frame (such as one term). Tuesdays are current  meeting and community workshop days. Occasional weekend workparties. A schedule can be made to fit changing schedules, especially due to class and other work.

    Rolling deadline. We are hoping to hire 3 to 5 interns.

Open internship to support houseless communities

Village Coalition Internship

Since the founding of Dignity Village (pictured above) in the early 2000’s, we have been supporting houseless people with design support, community builds, policy advocacy, and giving a spotlight and platform to community members. We recently helped Right 2 Dream Too (R2DToo) design  their new village (shown at the bottom of this document) and are an active member of a Village Coalition which is crafting design and policy to aid the creation and implementation of houseless villages in Portland.

We are looking for an intern to join the City Repair team to support our houseless support initiatives. We have a large need for program support through December as we work with a multi-organizational Village Coalition and there is a probability of extending the program through our June 2017 Village Building Convergence. As this program has started with deadlines quickly approaching, a highly flexible and adaptable nature is required. 

While this is an unpaid internship, it is an amazing opportunity to work in placemaking and with houseless communities to innovate our society’s responsive systems to creating shelter for everyone. Additionally, as an educational non-profit we will train you in any relevant skill you want to learn or hone within this program.

Skills employed in this program include:

  • Houseless and Affordable Housing Advocacy

  • Community Built Facilitation and Designing

  • Program and Event Management

  • Collaboration and Conflict Resolution

  • Sustainable Urban Planning

  • Diversity and Equity

  • Administrative Duties


Specific tasks or outcomes of this internship include:


  • Attending Village Coalition meetings and possibly sub-committees

  • Tracking city council decisions on emergency housing and houseless villages

  • Aid planning community events, such as teach-ins, presentations, and gallery exhibits

  • Write articles and reports for City Repair and Village Coalition

  • Represent City Repair to community partners and citizens


Additional skills that can benefit the program include:


  • Construction and building experience

  • Architectural design training

  • Permaculture design

  • Graphic design

  • Fundraising and grant writing

  • Public Speaking


City Repair holds dear equity, consensus, shared leaderships, and earth care in our service to the community and to our own collective. We encourage applications from candidates with diverse backgrounds, particularly those from historically underrepresented groups, whose professional and personal experiences will help us work toward our vision of a just and healthy world.


Applications for the Village Coalition Intern will be reviewed on a rolling basis with the position open until filled. If you are interested please email a cover letter, resume, and three references (preferably combined as a single document) to Kirk Rea, Volunteer Coordinator and Placemaking Community Organizer at With questions call 307-287-0005 (no text).

Right 2 Dream Too's new location in dreamscape.

Right 2 Dream Too's new location in dreamscape.

Right 2 Dream Too's new location base map.

Right 2 Dream Too's new location base map.

City Repair Project: Portland Gems and Growing Pains

Originally posted on October 21, 2015 by Hundredgivers (Author: Kathryn Thomsen).

Most people in Portland are somewhat familiar with City Repair Project, the grass roots organization born out of a harmless act of transgression that began with painting a neighborhood intersection. Some may also recall an odd-looking truck with wings called the T-Horse that roved neighborhoods serving free tea and cookies. 

As the story goes (told in numerous news articles and talks around the world) Mark Lakeman, City Repair’s co-founder, and a group of neighbors tried to get permission to create a more friendly gathering place in their intersection but the city refused. Determined to take back their public space, the group did it anyway and the rest is history. The city is now onboard, and reclaiming public spaces with colorful intersection paintings, tea carts, mini libraries, and cob benches are fairly common in Portland.

Years ago I lived within a short walk of Share-It Square, one of Portland’s first painted intersections. I found plenty of excuses to wander over with a friend, have a cup of tea, and enjoy the warm neighborly vibes.

Earlier this summer, I reached out to City Repair using a generic email on their website. An organization run by volunteers, I thought it might take a while to get a response so I went ahead and added a link to show off some of their good work on my community webpage.

I heard back later in the summer from a staffer at City Repair with a short thank you note, apologies for letting the email slip by, and suggestion to meet. Ridhi D’Cruz, an organizer, part-time place-making manager, and volunteer everything else let me know that City Repair was winding down after their busiest time of the year.

Ridhi has been with City Repair organizing events and working with volunteers for the past four years while working on a recently completed graduate degree in anthropology at Portland State University. Ridhi is from Bangalore, India, where she finished her undergraduate degree in psychology, sociology, and English literature.

“I was living on the fringe at a time when it wasn’t the norm and my friends and family thought I was crazy,” said Ridhi. Her idea of fun back home was painting murals on public walls when she could convince the property owners that it was in their best interest. She did this in her free time when she wasn’t busy working with local nonprofits training staff about information technology and communication development or helping sex workers find a better life.

“My father taught me how to learn by breaking things down things step by step, and asking a lot of questions. This really annoyed my teachers.” After persistent encouragement from her very wise father, Ridhi came to the conclusion that he was right. He suggested she leave home and go to graduate school in a place that would feed and support her creative, activist spirit.

Listening to her animated descriptions of what she’s accomplished already in her life, I realized that Ridhi is a driving force for local and global change. She’s a true gem of a person working for the common good and like many of us, trying to figure out how to earn a living this way.

Ridhi is also involved in a community she calls “the homestead” (Ujima Center). Founded on the principles of permaculture and natural building, it’s a demonstration that is part of theVillage Building Convergence (VBC).

Like me, many Portlanders may be unaware that VBC – which is a 10-day urban permaculture and place-making festival occurring every summer for the last 15 years – is the City Repair’s largest program. A lot of events happen during VBC: neighborhood intersection paintings, permaculture and sustainability workshops by day, and live music in the evenings.

It takes all year to prepare VBC’s 42 or more events that happen mostly at the beginning of the summer, with about half as many projects also taking place throughout the summer. Volunteers work closely with City Repair’s core team consisting of an executive director, board of directors, and a few part-time staff (including Ridhi) who earn a small stipend to make all this happen.

“I’m not sure that it’s possible to get a total count of volunteers involved with City Repair,” said Ridhi. “We have roughly 40 committed team leads and team member volunteers who get more active towards VBC launch in the summer. Many more show up at the events. If we had to place a monetary value on the work they do, I’m not sure we could.”

City Repair is dependent on committed individuals like Ridhi, a team of evolving volunteers, and a tiny budget. Although they have received some grants in the past, with such a small team, it’s hard to go after consistent funding sources. A lot rides on an annual fundraising event happening on Halloween weekend called Howl. Other funding comes from speaking engagements, book sales, and small private or in-kind donations from local business partners.

One of the biggest challenges facing City Repair these days is keeping up with the requests for help from cities all over the world. Cities want to replicate the Portland place-making model on shoestring budgets. Often they have a hard time making a business case to get this type of activity included in the budget.To enable the organization to keep up with this increasing demand for services, City Repair is moving towards a consulting model that charges for its time and expertise. Ridhi finds this transition challenging. “We don’t want to discourage cities from following through with this important work.” She looks to executive director, Marc Tobin, to forge this new path.

The team leans on their co-founder, Mark Lakeman (who refers to himself as ‘old growth’) with his visioning and speaking talents, to convince cities around the world that they cannot live without a program for community place-making.

Regarding new directions, Ridhi said the team is spread very thin. Partly due to City Repair’s subculture context, most of the events happen in southeast or northeast neighborhoods. With more funding and staff support, the organization would be able to make services more accessible to communities in need and expand to outlying areas. They hope to generate more interest from wealthier neighborhoods such as northwest and southwest, and more direct involvement from Portland’s business community.

The Passing of a Family Member

With a gentle strength, warm humor, and abundant care and love, Eugene Daniel Santos Vibar arrived into the City Repair family over a year ago. In great sadness, we mourn his passing.

Many of City Repair organizers first met Eugene while taking the Urban Permaculture Design Course with Mark Lakeman and Matt Bibeau. As fellow students and teachers, we bonded around sustainable agriculture and social justice. Eugene, thriving on these ideas and work, became a volunteer with us, and quickly took responsibility as a core organizer and coordinator for our main program, the Village Building Convergence.

Eugene would be everywhere and do anything. As nutrition co-coordinator, Eugene was responsible for our meals and was out building relationships with donors and gathering supplies, then back setting up, leading volunteers, cooking up a storm, and finally washing dishes. Committed to his community service Eugene made himself present from beginning to end of the task at hand, never shying away from the dirtiest or difficult parts.

In City Repair, we strive to remove barriers that lead to social isolation, from physical structures like a lack of public places, to the way we interact with one-another socially and culturally. In this endeavor, Eugene touched us deeply with his emotional and experiential transparency by always openly sharing his feelings and philosophical transformations as he developed in his activism. He would share his deepest emotions and feel free to cry (usually from joy!) in front of us while in a large group. Such vulnerability, intimacy and rawness can be tough to show in a society that can be overly sanitary and emotionally narrow.

While he is no longer with us in this physical realm and while we grieve and integrate this different world into our systems, Eugene is still weaved into the fabric of who we are and the work we do. There is no way to concisely describe the depth and positive impact our beloved Eugene has touched this community.  

On Sunday, Nov. 29th we invite the community to a wake and memorial for Eugene from noon to 7 pm at 1815 NE 46th Avenue. This is a come and go and as you need potluck, and there will be time to verbally share your heart, contribute to a scrapbook that will be given to his family, and be present to support one-another.

Facebook event page info here.

Placemaking to Reduce Youth Violence

Installing a free little library. 

Installing a free little library. 

How do we work with youth violence in our communities? With gang activity? How do we engage with positivity and empowerment instead of punishment or putting up social and psychological barriers? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has taken an unconventional approach by viewing and treating violence as a public health issue and is philosophically and financially supporting treatment nationally through the STRYVE (Striving to Reduce Youth Violence Everywhere) program.

In Portland, STRYVE PDX is an initiative of the Multnomah County Health Department and involves a coalition of organizations and community organizers. STRYVE PDX works in gang-affected neighborhoods and works with youth and their communities to nurture safety and grow power through youth involvement in dialogues, public space design (Placemaking), and other projects that bring the community together to build understanding and respect across differences.

Intrigued by the City Repair Placemaking model and especially our use of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), STRYVE youth connected with City Repair by painting an intersection repair in North Portland, an installation called the "Big Bang of Peace" in 2014. Since then, City Repair has continued to support STRYVE in Placemaking activities, consulting on new projects including free little library installations where youth were able to receive wages doing community work as well as hosting workparties for families in a neighborhood to build and install the installations.

On Saturday, October 17th, 2015, a workparty occurred in New Columbia Apartments, an affordable housing community in North Portland. Already activated with community programs, gardens, and art, nine free little libraries were grounded into the thriving place. Ali, an Ethiopian immigrant five months into Portland, expressed joy working outside and getting his step-children learning new skills as they worked with new tools and helped to install the little libraries. "Walking is good. Community is good. Being singular is bad," Ali mentioned, smiling as the youngsters called out wanting to get in line to use the pickaxe to get through the ground's clay to open up a hole to build a foundation for the library's post.

At the end of the workparty and sitting in a circle about to eat pizza for lunch, the youth reflected on the workparty, remembering the new tools they worked with, like a post hole digger, and the benefit of their work for the day which was to provide free access to books so their community can learn, save money, and share.

City Repair will continue to consult with STRYVE on new projects, including installing peace poles in various Portland communities and creating an online map of 100+ free little libraries that the STRYVE youth built and installed across the metro area.

Stay tuned for future City Repair workparties and volunteer opportunities with STRYVE PDX and please see their website here:


A Loving Goodbye to Board Director Olga

Olga Lukomsky is stepping down from the board of directors after over a year of service. Originally a VBC volunteer organizer, Olga focused on contributng her marketing and graphic design skills before stepping up to support the board.

Still in the City Repair family, Olga is looking forward to the birth of her first child and nesting in a new home. 

Our deepest gratitude and love go to Olga in her next journey and we look forward to meeting the next City Repair baby!

Olga, on her trusty banana-phone.

Olga, on her trusty banana-phone.

As VBC graphic designer, Olga put together the 2014 event poster. 

As VBC graphic designer, Olga put together the 2014 event poster. 

2015 Village Inspiration Convergence!

Join us in kicking off City Repair's Fall 2015/Summer 2016 Placemaking Season!

RSVP to the FB Event by Clicking Here


If you’ve ever been curious about those street paintings, or earthen benches with living roofs that you see around Portland, or how to get a community garden going, then this is the event for you!

We’ll have a variety of offerings available for folks new to this work to get a basic introduction as well as experienced placemakers learning to take it to the next level.


  • Learn how to transform ordinary spaces into meaningful and sustainable community-oriented places.

  • Connect and root into the fall with community, new and old, and have fun!

  • Get information and materials to register as a community site and/or volunteer with the Village Building Convergence 16.

  • Practice social permaculture to invite and build teams with your neighbors to design places with you.


12 pm - 2 pm: Bike tour of VBC nearby Placemaking Sites. Start at NECN Building.

2:30 pm - 5:30 pm: Hands demonstrations and workshops! Including seed and plant exchange (bring your extra!), woodworking and upcycling, participatory art, and peace mandala creation.

5:30: Community Dinner.

6:30 pm - 7:20 pm:  The Village Lives with Mark Lakeman, inspiring overview of City Repair's placemaking, always something new in it!

7:30 - 9 pm:   Community Building Interactive Workshops highlighting the main themes of City Repair's Placemaking work, while bringing people together in a fun and educational way.

Themes include: intersection repair, block repair, community art, permaculture, natural building, community building, cultural diversity in community organizing, and social permaculture.

Workshops will be led by Mark Lakeman, Marc Tobin, Ridhi D'Cruz, SaraHope Smith, Ted Swagerty and other experienced placemakers from City Repair.

9 - 10pm: Live Music with our friends from the Blooming Biodiversity Tour!

Suggested donation is just $15 at the door (no one turned away for lack of funds). Donations support our Placemaking Program and participating low-income communities.

Other Great City Repair Supported Events this September!

City Repair’s Fall Activation Series also includes two super amazing workshops in Portland the week leading up to VIC, and a mini-convergence near Mt. Hood the week after:

Sept. 11th:      Toby Hemenway-  The Permaculture City, a Presentation and Book Release

Sept. 17th:       Jon Young-  Village Building as Part of Human Design

Sept. 25-28th:   The Atlan Village Building Convergence (near Hood River)

Spring Volunteers Needed!

Emerge! Transform! Collaborate!

It's officially Spring, and we've sprung into the final phase of VBC 15 planning by launching our Spring Volunteer Program.

Join us for a particularly exciting season of volunteering, discover/hone your gifts, and meet incredible people while you're at it! We have an orientation scheduled for March 27 between 6:30 pm and 9:30 pm at 2003 NE Holman St, Portland, OR.

We'll give you a short introduction to our organization and our working culture, break out into teams, and finish off the night with an interactive and educational herbal work-party.

For more info contact Kirk at 307-287-0005 or

To check out our volunteer opportunities go here:

Sign up: