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The City of Portland, Oregon

Community & Civic Life

Promote the common good

Main: 503-823-4519

City/County Info: 503-823-4000

TDD: 503-823-6868

1120 SW 5th Ave, Suite 114, Portland, OR 97204

History and Related Documents

  • Dawson Park Gazebo Beautiful dome salvaged from Hill Building which once stood as the cornerstone of Ablina, now serves as historical reminder.

  • Marquam Bridge off-ramp to nowhere Plans for Mt Hood Freeway stopped short because of neighborhood activism

  • Streetcar Old and New Photo of New and Old Streetcars under the 405 overpass in NW Portland

Portland's neighborhood system and commitment to public participation has been nationally recognized for many years.  This page contains the beginning of a collection of electronic documentation of Portland's 35+-year history in the evolution of its Neighborhood Association and public participation system.

City Code and ONI Guidelines:
History of Portland's Neighborhood System:
Dr. Carl Abbott wrote the best description of the origins of Portland's Neighborhood System in his 1983 book Portland: Planning, Politics, and Growth in a Twentieth-Century City:

Dr. Matt Witt's 2000 PSU Ph.D. dissertation ("Dialectics of Control: The Origins and Evolution of Conflict in Portland's Neigborhood Association Program") includes the most complete history available of the evolution of Portland's neighborhood system from 1974 to 1998--its fascinating! The chapters that tell the story of the neighborhood system include:

The League of Women Voters of Portland studied Portland's neighborhood system in the mid-2000s. As part of this effort, the League prepared a short history of Portland's neighborhood system through 2005.

The categories on this page serve as a sort of index to the different types of documents available here including budget related documents, documents particular to the evolution of the city code governing the system as well as academic studies and a guide put together to help individuals interested in putting together their own neighborhood's history.

Academic papers

A collection of research on Portland's neighborhood system and Office of Neighborhood Involvement. This is just an initial listing and will grow over time.

Historical Maps

Maps showing historical changes in the City's neighborhood system over the years.

Citywide Community Gatherings

Information and summaries on Citywide Community Gatherings, including past Neighborhood Association Summits.

Evolution of ONI City Code Title 3.96 and Guidelines/Standards

Historical archives related to the evolution City Code Title 3.96, including information on the GREAT committee, authorizing language for the Office of Neighborhood Involvement and Guidelines/Standards for Portland's Neighborhood Associations system.

1970's documents

Historical documents archiving the creation and early development of the Office of Neighborhood Associations.

1980's documents

Historical documents archiving the bureau and neighborhood system in the 1980's.

1990's documents

Historical documents archiving the bureau and neighborhood system in the 1990's.

2000's documents

Historical documents archiving the bureau and neighborhood system from 2000 and beyond.

ONI Newsletters

The Other Side of the Fence monthly ONI bureau newsletter produced from 2003-6