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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Bureau of Transportation

Phone: 503-823-5185

Fax: 503-823-7576

1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 800, Portland, OR 97204

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Community History and Resources

History matters, place matters and people matter. The history of exclusion, disinvestment, gentrification, and displacement continues to impact Portland’s black community to this day. 

To learn more about this history we are sharing a series of key resources for community members to learn from and refer to: 

  • Bleeding Albina – A History of Community Disinvestment 

    In Bleeding Albina, Portland State University professor Dr. Karen Gibson provides a detailed history of the Albina community – the heart of Portland’s Black Community - in the later half of the 20th Century. Her work focuses on residential segregation, institutionalized racism in the housing market, and the destabilization and displacement of Portland’s Black community in the later decades of the 20th century. This work is foundational to understanding the history and context of North/Northeast Portland. 

  • History of Racist Planning in Portland 

    This document, recently published by the Portland Bureau of Planning & Sustainability, is a review of racist planning practices in Portland. This systemic discrimination, which was also practiced nationwide and goes back to the origins of our country, has harmed communities of color by excluding them from homeownership and wealth-building opportunities; denying them access to educational resources, jobs and healthy neighborhoods; and perpetuating segregation, displacement, and harmful stereotypes through the zoning code, deeds and covenants, lending practices, public housing and urban renewal. 

  • PAALF People’s Plan 

    The PAALF People’s Plan serves as a powerful tool for research, organizing, and implementation. By viewing the community as the drivers of change, this project empowered the Portland Black community to assert their right to actively shape the city they live in. While traditional planning engagement models often intimidate community members through complex, technical language and processes; the project’s aim was to engage the community on their terms to ensure that the solutions are informed by the people they affect. 

  • Historic Black Williams Project – Map & Brochure   

    The Historic Black Williams Project acknowledges the complex and changing history of Williams Avenue and honors the role Portland’s Black community has played in its history. Consisting of 30 mounted signs and 10 sidewalk tiles, this installation came as a result of the recommendations of a 26 member community advisory committee during the planning of the 2011 North Williams Safety Project 

Recent community engagement supporting our Racial Equity Work at PBOT: