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Summary Meeting Notes: September 20, 2012 Neighborhood Centers PEG

September 20, 2012 from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m.

PEG Attendees: Kate Allen, Lisa Bates, Jason Barnstead-Long, Andre Baugh, Paul Cathcart, Alan DeLaTorre, Justin Douglas, Ivy Dunlap, Allen Field, Gabe Genauer, Ryan Givens, Bob Granger, Denver Igarta, Jennifer Moore, Mark Raggett, Nick Sauvie.

Other Attendees: Judith Mowry, Tom Armstrong, Debbie Bischoff, Tyler Bump, Linda Nettekoven, Chris Smith, Deborah Stein, Spencer Williams.

Key Points and Outcomes
The following are key takeaways from the September 20th Centers PEG meeting that staff will consider in developing policies to address gentrification and displacement:

  • General acceptance of the mapping methodology, indicators, and policy framework (different policy response for different stages of gentrification).
  • Suggestions regarding demographics, including age of householder and length of housing tenure. These factors could be incorporated into the mapping analysis or be part of the demographic "drill down" within the context of a specific project.
  • Future discussion topics will include specific tools that align with each type; how the housing opportunity strategy relates, and prioritizing among neighborhood types (e.g. is it most important to stabilize dynamic areas or prevent gentrification in areas in early stages?).

Welcome, Introductions and Centers Reports 
Presenter: Steve Faust, Facilitator

Summary: Neighborhood Centers PEG members introduced themselves and shared observations from visits to Neighborhood Centers in Northeast Portland– Albina and Central Northeast areas.

Following introductions, Steve mentioned that several people have expressed confusion about the role of the PEG in relation to the overall process.  Steve stated that the City has spent the last few years reaching out to the community through the Vision PDX and Portland Plan processes.  BPS staff have drafted policy recommendations for the Comprehensive Plan based on the results of those efforts.  The purpose of the PEG is to advise City staff on proposed policy recommendations and contribute suggestions for revision.  Steve recommended that PEG members revisit the charter for more information or contact Bill with any questions.

Presenters: Judith Mowry, Office of Neighborhood Involvement

Summary: Judith described the role of the Equity Group in ensuring the Portland Plan Equity Framework becomes operational in the Comprehensive Plan Update process.  She talked about applying the equity lens to policy recommendations to determine how they impact various populations.  In particular, the Equity Group is interested in evaluating impacts on racial groups and people with disabilities.  In response to a question about the role of the Equity Group, Judith stated that they provide technical assistance to planning staff.  They also host a monthly equity workshop where participants discuss how equity relates to practical scenarios.  Judith also mentioned that the Office of Equity and Human Rights would be conducting a training later this year.

Meeting Handouts and Presentations:

Portland Demographics 
Presenter: Radcliffe Dacanay, BPS

Summary: Radcliffe presented a series of maps illustrating various aspects of Portland’s current demographics, including race and ethnicity, educational attainment, and income and poverty.

Meeting Handouts and Presentations:

Gentrification and Displacement
Presenter: Tom Armstrong, BPS and Lisa Bates

Summary: Tom Armstrong provided background information on gentrification and displacement in Portland and the policy strategy of aligning planning policy and public investment with programs to address displacement, with consideration for market and demographic dynamics.  The City plans to develop tools for different types of neighborhoods, facilitate equitable revitalization, mitigate harmful consequences, and apply tools to assess potential impacts from future projects.

The City is conducting a study, led by Lisa Bates, to map displacement throughout the city, identify neighborhood typologies along the spectrum of gentrification and use national best practices and case studies to develop tools appropriate for each neighborhood typology. 

Lisa described the indicators of displacement used by the study: increase in median household income; increase in population with a bachelor’s degree; change in percentage of renters; and decrease in percentage of nonwhite population.  She noted that this study is focused on residential displacement while PDC is working on a separate tool to look at commercial displacement.  Themes and questions from the PEG discussion on gentrification indicators included:

  • Do the indicators capture natural migration as populations see a rise in education levels, income and mobility?
  • Other indicators could include age of householder and length of housing tenure.
  • Examine why young people are moving here.Portlandis the least expensive of West Coast cities.
  • Consider the role that marketing plays in attracting people to move into areas.
  • Market forces also a factor, determining where growth and development occurs and impacting homeowners, renters and landlords.
  • Need to determine whether the displacement is voluntary or involuntary.

Lisa continued the presentation, describing the neighborhood typology spectrum and reviewing policies for neighborhood typologies.  She also indicated that once a neighborhood’s typology is identified, the next step will be to “drill down” to look at additional data and assess the need for mitigating tools or opportunities to enhance vitality.  Themes from the PEG discussion on policy tools for addressing gentrification included:

  • Consider policies that focus on integration versus segregation.
  • Tools to address gentrification will vary depending on typology.  One tool may be to encourage more diverse housing.  Another may be to take a portion of redevelopment funds to offset potential impacts.
  • Great framework and tools. Portland is unusual in the degree of segregation in its history, especially of the African American community.  The challenge will be to take this typology approach and develop policies to promote equity.

Meeting Handouts and Presentations:

Public Comment
No public comment.

Next Steps 
Presenter: Steve Faust

  • Regarding gentrification and displacement, future discussion topics will focus on the specific tools that align with each type of neighborhood in the gentrification spectrum, how this relates to the housing opportunity strategy, and prioritizing among neighborhood types (e.g. is it most important to stabilize dynamic areas or prevent gentrification in areas in early stages?).
  • The next Neighborhood Centers PEG meeting will take place at 8 am on Thursday, October 18.
  • The Planning and Sustainability Commission is hosting a forum on the topic of new apartments without off-street parking on November 13 (12:30pm). This will also be a topic for future Neighborhood Centers PEG discussion.


For more information, please contact Bill Cunningham, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability at 503-823-4203 or or Steve Faust, Facilitator at 503-278-3456 or