“GOOD” NEIGHBORHOODS IN PORTLAND, OREGON: FOCUS ON BOTH SOCIAL AND PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENTS

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Abstract:

ABSTRACT: 

We conduct an empirical investigation of the social environment of “good” neighborhoods in physical form in a model of the “compact city,” Portland, Oregon and discuss the implications for design and evaluation of policies inspired by smart growth and new urbanist movements that focus on the urban form and transportation dimensions of neighborhoods, and of housing assistance policies designed to change the economic mix in neighborhoods. We conceptualize the physical and social dimensions of the “good” neighborhood environment and develop an approach to operationalization that uses publicly available data. Our findings indicate that for the most part, Portland has been successful in creating neighborhoods at several economic scales that feature not only the connectivity, accessibility, mixed land use, and access to public transit that characterize “good” neighborhoods from a physical perspective, but also a “good” social environment indicative of strong ties and collective efficacy. However, there are signs that in the process, Portland may be creating poverty areas that lack connectivity, accessibility, and access to public transit and a mix of destinations.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9906.2009.00457.x

Affiliations: Florida State University

Publication date: October 1, 2009

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