Downtown Portland lies in the Southwest section between the I-405 freeway loop and the Willamette River, centered around Pioneer Courthouse Square ("Portland's living room"). Downtown and many other parts of inner Portland have compact square blocks (200 ft [60 m] on a side) and narrow streets (64 ft [20 m] wide), a pedestrian-friendly combination.
Many of Portland's recreational, cultural, educational, governmental, business, and retail resources are concentrated downtown, including South Park Blocks, Pettygrove and Lovejoy Parks, Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland Art Museum, Oregon Historical Society Museum, and Portland State University.
Beyond downtown, the Southwest section also includes:
- The campuses of Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), Lewis & Clark College, and Portland Community College/Sylvania
- Alpenrose Dairy in the Hayhurst neighborhood, the grounds of which host track cycling and Little League sports
- Washington Park, site of North America's deepest transit station, the Oregon Zoo, Hoyt Arboretum, the International Rose Test Garden, the Portland Japanese Garden, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and many hiking trails.
- The south Willamette riverfront along SW Macadam Ave., over 100 acres (0.4 km²) of former industrial land. This area is undergoing redevelopment as a mixed-use, high-density neighborhood, with an anticipated 2,700 residential units and 5,000 high-tech jobs after build-out.