Arif Khan founded Depave in 2007. He has a combined Bachelor of Science degree in psychology and engineering and a masters’ degree in urban and regional planning. His professional experience has included stints as a workplace safety consultant, bicycle and pedestrian transportation planner, and most recently as a project coordinator for disaster relief programs around the world.
He became obsessed with depaving after moving into a home in northeast Portland in 2001 which had a back yard that was completely paved over. Attracted to the opportunity for destruction, he looked at this as a wonderful way to transform a dead space designed for car storage into an urban oasis filled with herbs, vegetables, flowers, fruits, and native plants. Now, he harvests figs, plums, apples, persimmons, blueberries, raspberries, grapes, and various vegetables and herbs from his old driveway.