Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2007


Geographic information systems

Physical Description

This North Portland Asset Mapping Capstone is the third in a series of Capstones that were done as a joint effort between Portland State's senior classes and the partners to provide an opportunity for students to research and identify incentives and barriers to healthy eating and active living in the North Portland area. Specifically, through the use of a visual preference survey an individual will make binary choices or rate a sequence of images that will determine their preferences in regard to the three overarching categories of food, physical activity, and transportation


Making community development as democratic as possible has long been a challenge for urban planners and municipalities alike. A number of obstacles stand in the way of greater community participation in the planning process and consequently communities who are best served by their design. Visual Preference Surveys (VPS) are a tool planners can use to increase participation in the design process within the communities they serve. This can result in community plans that more accurately reflect the wants or needs of its members. Relying heavily on image driven content, VPS offers communities a straightforward methodology that asks participants to rate paired images of development options. This document is a review of some of the literature focused on the uses of VPS. Included is an explanation of VPS, the advantages and challenges it offers, general case studies, and the potential for using VPS to specifically address issues related to Healthy Eating/Active Living.


Meg Merrick, Instructor, Community Geography Project Coordinator, Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies.

Persistent Identifier