Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2022


City planning -- Social aspects, Regional planning -- Oregon -- Portland, Urban policy -- Oregon -- Portland, Social justice -- Oregon -- Portland


This Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) Workshop project working with our clients, City of Portland’s Bureau of Transportation and Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, advances the pursuit of equity within Portland’s Central City. Six MURP students acted as the consultant, under the name VF Planning, and with the guidance of Portland State University professors.

Portland’s Central City (CC) stretches from the West Hills to SE 12th Avenue and includes ten subdistricts: Lower Albina, Lloyd, and Central Eastside to the east and Pearl, Old Town/Chinatown, Goose Hollow, West End, Downtown, South Downtown/University, and South Waterfront to the west of the Willamette River.

The CC is the foundation of Portland’s affordable, equitable, and sustainable future. It has the city’s highest concentration of affordable housing, residential diversity, jobs, cultural amenities, and higher education opportunities. The CC also serves as a transportation and economic hub for the city and the region. It acts as a small business incubator, and is the civic heart of our city. The CC is a tapestry of rich cultural history and resilience as well as pain and displacement. It represents only 3% of Portland’s land area but holds 11% of our city’s housing units and is intended to accommodate 30% of the city’s projected growth.

Through analysis of existing conditions and stakeholder outreach, the consultant used an equity lens to identify stakeholder interests and needs in the CC. With promising practices in mind, VF Planning developed recommendations to progress toward the vision of an equitable and thriving CC. This work will serve as a new touchstone for Portland’s Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) and Bureau of Planning & Sustainability (BPS) to use as they prioritize equity in the CC.


The client: Portland’s Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) and Bureau of Planning & Sustainability (BPS)


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