The City of Portland plays a unique role in the state and regional economy. Portland is the largest city in our metropolitan area, which in turn is the largest in the state. Along with its size it carries the burden of more complex economic, social, and related environmental systems and issues. For example, Portland’s 12,000-acre harbor and airport industrial districts are Oregon’s distribution hub and global trade gateway, as well as the sensitive riparian plateau at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers. Downtown Portland is the core office location in the region and state for professional and business services, finance, and creative services, as well as the region’s diverse urban center.
By 2030, the City of Portland is expected to grow its number of households and employment by 28 percent and 38 percent, respectively. This forecast projects that Portland will absorb 18 percent of regional (four-county) housing growth and 27 percent of regional job growth. In order to meet the resulting demand for diverse employment sites, the City of Portland will need a firm grasp of the supply of buildable vacant lands, brownfields and redevelopment capacity.
As part of the update to the City of Portland’s 1980 Comprehensive Plan and the 1988 Central City Plan and under State-mandated Periodic Review, the City of Portland is required to complete an Economic Opportunities Analysis (EOA). The EOA is designed to meet the requirements of Oregon Statewide Planning Goal 9 and the administrative rule that implements Goal 9 (effective Jan. 1, 2007). The EOA includes an analysis of national, state, regional and county trends as well as an employment forecast that may be used to determine the number of needed development sites. It also includes an inventory of short- and long- term buildable commercial, employment and industrial land in the city.
Given the city's unique and complex set of issues, the Bureau of Planning applied for a Periodic Review Technical Assistance grant in the amount of $100,000 in order to hire a qualified and capable consultant to complete the EOA. The information and data derived from the EOA will be used to assist the community to better implement local economic development objectives as well as evaluate and develop supporting Comprehensive Plan policies. On Nov. 13, 2008, the State informed the bureau that the money will be granted in full to begin the research and analysis.