First Advisor

Nohad A. Toulan

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Urban Studies


Urban Studies and Planning




Residential mobility -- Oregon -- Portland, Housing -- Oregon -- Portland, Neighborhoods -- Oregon -- Portland



Physical Description

1 online resource (4, ix, 200 pages)


Evidence of physical decline due in part to the rapid encroachment of commercial and industrial activity into some of Portland's residential areas in the mid-1960s and efforts to combat the forces of time and change through neighborhood revitalization provide the basis for this study. Additionally, some of the characteristics often employed in explaining the phenomenon in cities are manifested in the city of Portland. For example, Portland is endowed with a distinctive and well established downtown area that provides opportunities for the establishment of businesses as well as white-collar job opportunities. By the standards of the U.S. Bureau of the Census, Portland has a relatively large population and several older neighborhoods. The city provides its residents the feel for inner-city living, such as its beautiful waterfront scenery, its high-rise and park block apartments, its cultural facilities and unique transit mall. These criteria underscore the selection of Portland as the geographical area of this research.

The purpose of this research itself is to assess the urban structural changes that occurred in Portland between 1970 and 1980. The research used a sample of inner-city neighborhoods from the city to explain these structural changes over time. Additionally, two samples of neighborhoods (Northeast and Southeast) within the city were selected as the basis for comparing the structural changes.

The data developed from the 1970 and 1980 census of population and housing characteristics comprised the change in the median household income ratio, the change in the home value ratio, and the change in the median rent ratio designated as dependent variables. Nine independent variables representing the pre-existing conditions in the city at the start of the decade were selected from locational, demographic, and housing factors.

The research hypotheses were tested by regresslng the three dependent variables against the nine independent variables resulting in three regression models for each sample. The a priori expectations as reflected by the signs of the coefficients show mixed support for the hypotheses in each sample in predicted direction, and in level of significance.

In the city sample the neighborhood housing quality factor was observed to have a strong positive causal relationship with neighborhood revitalization. The outcome confirmed the contention that a significant and systematic reverse revival trend occurred in Portland at the start of the 1970 decade. This finding contradicts the conventional invasion-succession theory associated with Burgess (1925).

Similar reverse revival trends were observed in the Northeast and Southeast samples. But unlike the city sample the race factor had a strong positive causal relationship with revitalization. The outcome may be a reflection of the rental squeeze in terms of housing affordability faced by black renters in both subareas because their incomes could not keep pace with housing costs. Consequently their demand for rental housing may have grown faster than the supply of the rental housing stock in a segregated rental market.

The chow tests show significant structural differences between the two submodels, but the impact of the race factor as reflected by the measures of relative variability was greater in Northeast Portland than in Southeast Portland.

In light of the research findings, this study concludes that Portland may undoubtedly be the only city in the nation that experienced a significant and systematic revival trend between 1970 and 1980. However, this trend did not extend to the predominantly black areas of the city as reflected by the strong negative outcome of the race factor. In addition, the functional significance of the systematic revival trend in Portland may not be substantial when compared to larger and older cities like St. Louis and New Orleans that received media attention for a similar trend.


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