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Gentrification and Displacement Studies

Research on the effects of land use planning and gentrification on Portland’s communities of color and other vulnerable populations.

Gentrification and displacement have been long-standing concerns in Portland. In response, the community set a goal for increased equity through the Portland Plan.

The Portland Plan sets an expectation that an equitable city should be proactive about the inequitable impacts that neighborhood change and gentrification can have on vulnerable households. Specifically, it called for approaches to help evaluate and better manage potential gentrification impacts of new policies and programs.

As part of efforts to evaluate potential gentrification impacts, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) contracted with Dr. Lisa Bates to prepare a paper on how to assess vulnerability of different neighborhoods to increased gentrification pressure. Although gentrification can also have impacts on businesses or commercial space, this research focuses on the risks for residential displacement. The 2013 paper also includes a review of national best practices, including policy tools and programs that Portland could use to mitigate gentrification. This paper is the starting point for raising questions and a community discussion about what the City of Portland can do about gentrification.

The subsequent 2018 report presents the most recent findings of the gentrification and displacement neighborhood typology assessment, prepared by Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability staff. It builds off the previous work conducted by Dr. Lisa Bates of Portland State University in 2012, as well as her contributions around the topic for the Powell-Division Bus Rapid Transit project in 2016.

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