Category Archives: Portland: City or Scene?

Analysis: Scrutinizing Portland’s Arts Economy

Portland may live up to its marketed image as an artisan paradise with funky jobs and a cheap quality of life for post-collegiates who embrace the stereotype of living La Boheme. But it has much more ground to travel for those who aspire to a mature, sustaining way of life.

“There are plenty of hand-to-mouth jobs in Portland for 25 year-old creative types,” says Johnson, who has two degrees from Stanford University. “But what if you want to have children and own a house?” Continue reading

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Portland Creatives Find New Ways to Work Together

Portland, Oregon—the misty evergreen Shangri-La for the young, the creative, and the progressive—has an interesting problem. Its miles of bike lanes, its rock-bottom rents, its deep vats of craft brews are all far too good. Yes, Portland has actually made itself too attractive. According to one study that compared May of 2009 with May of 2008, Oregon’s unemployment has grown faster than any other state in the country, 3 percent. For large metropolitan areas in the country, Portland has one of the highest unemployment rates, which topped out at about 11.8 percent—even higher than Detroit. To blame, some economists believe, are the large numbers of designers and artists who have been moving there without jobs, dubbed the dubious “young creatives.”
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Portland: A Challenging Chart

Portland is supposed to be one of America’s great transit success stories. Is it still? Do we know what it’s achieving? Do we know how to measure it?

A couple of months ago Portland reader Adrian Lawson pointed me to an Oregon Catalyst article ridiculing the Portland Metro goal of tripling non-auto mode share by 2035. The author, John Charles, Jr., is the CEO of the Cascade Policy Institute, a conservative Oregon think tank that opposes Oregon’s land use planning system and generally favors roads over transit, so this is not a surprising view. Continue reading

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Portland: Celebrating America’s Most Livable City

Last Fall, many members of the Portland Office of Transportation and city administration were gracious enough to talk with me and show off some of the amazing features that make Portland, Oregon one of America’s most livable places to reside.

You’ve previously seen bits and pieces of that trip here on StreetFilms, but we’ve never posted the entire half hour adventure which contains over 12 minutes of additional footage. And with the incredible turn in leadership in the past months and the speed at which changes are coming, it gives me hope that NYC could one day become as livable as Portland! Continue reading

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Portland: Overrated?

Is Portland overrated? I’ve tried pitching the following words to the New York Times and the LA Times as an op-ed column, over the last few weeks. Needless to say, neither of them wanted it—they’re too busy running “Ra Ra Portland” pieces. And why not, when it sells advertising?
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