Greetings from the Publisher, Winter 2019

Welcome back to Metroscape!

What makes a city livable? In this issue, author Liza Morehead highlights changes afoot in riverfront parks along the Columbia, Willamette, and Sandy Rivers. In September 2018, the City of Vancouver opened Waterfront Park on the Columbia River, part of a high-density, mixeduse urban redevelopment project. At thirty-two acres, Waterfront Park is a small part of the more than 736 acres of riverfront parkland in Multnomah, Clackamas, and Clark counties. Activating riverfront spaces is essential for improving the region’s livability.

Our cover story looks at Hillsboro, Sandy, and other municipalities investing in broadband internet to improve internet accessibility. Data from the 2015 American Community Survey (ACS) show that, although more than three-quarters of Americans have internet access, accessibility is lower for older individuals, persons of color, and individuals of lower socioeconomic status. For example, just 52 percent of individuals residing in households earning less than $25,000 have internet access. Eavan Moore raises an important policy question: are local governments ready to institutionalize the internet as a public utility?

This issue’s Atlas illustrates how light imaging, detection, and ranging— “LiDAR” for short—is an essential form of mapping technology. As Justin Sherrill explains, LiDAR data are being used to advance climate change research, study and predict landslides, and measure and assess the health of urban tree canopies across the region.

In an interview with several farmers from Gales Creek, Oregon, a small hamlet in rural Washington County, Nathan Williams explores land-use, zoning, and economic issues critical for farmland preservation. As local journalist and interviewee Chas Hundley notes, “in order to afford working on the land, you also have to have a day job.”

Living adjacent to the Cascadia Subduction Zone means we are at increased risk for earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, lahars, and other natural hazards. Portland State planning students Sabina Roan and Jaye Cromwell explore how local emergency management officials are integrating equity into disaster preparedness planning.

Finally, we explore the local dynamics of life expectancy. Between 1990 and 2016, life expectancy increased by more than three years in Oregon (76.3 to 79.5 years) and Washington (76.8 to 80.2 years), according to an April 2018 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

As always, if you have ideas or comments about issues that you’d like us to explore or how we can better serve our regional partners, reach out to us at Many thanks!

Jason R. Jurjevich, Jason R. Jurjevich, Acting Director Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies

Greetings From the Publisher, Winter 2012

Welcome to the Winter 2012 issue of Metroscape! This issue offers a glimpse into the future of our region.

The story by Chad Deitchley on the future of Hayden Island draws out the tensions between competing views of the island’s future. The Columbia River Crossing project will leave a huge mark on the island. The island’s residents and businesses, as well as those who cross the island via the bridge, have a stake in the bridge’s ultimate design. The competing interests in the future of the island are reflected, in part, by the fact that the island is designated as both “regionally significant industrial land” and “regionally significant conservation area.”

Our cover story describes the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Project, otherwise known as the Orange Line. Merry MacKinnon describes how the line will alter the landscape and affect those living and working adjacent to it.

This issue’s Atlas examines the age friendliness of our cities and poses a number of questions about how our region will respond to the aging of the baby boom generation. It examines how various local, regional, and statewide planning efforts might work together to assure that our communities are vibrant places for those of all ages and abilities.

The interview with Angus Duncan addresses the uncertainty regarding how our region will be different as a result of climate change. While we don’t know exactly how climate change will affect our landscape, our economy, or our population, we can take charge of how we prepare for the possibilities.

As we ponder questions about the region’s future, it is comforting to know that after 77 years, the Verboort Sausage and Kraut Dinner is still served every November. Perhaps after a long week of worrying about how we build an inclusive, prosperous, and sustainable future, we can still wait in line in the rain for a dinner of sausage and kraut.


Sheila Martin
Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies

Greetings from the Publisher, Summer 2011

What do you look for in a good beach read? I look for a good story, of course, but I also want something that teaches me a lesson from the past, forces me to question my assumptions about the present, and prompts me to imagine the future. We offer this summer issue of Metroscape® as an opportunity to dig into some thought provoking pieces about the past, present, and future forces shaping our metropolitan region and the challenges of making policy under conditions of uncertainty.

The Landscape focuses on Cornelius, where demographic changes in the midst of a stubborn recession pose challenges for those working to create economic opportunity. The piece points to city’s leaders commitment to form partnerships that leverage the community’s resources and to maximize the effectiveness of investments.

You’d never think a public service as mundane as wastewater treatment could be trendy, but it turns out that it’s the most recent addition to a long list of sustainable practices being developed, applied, and tested in our region. Lisa Eckman explores the world of small-scale wastewater treatment as a case study of how public services are evolving due to the need for efficiency and innovation.

How else has innovation influenced our public services and urban form? The historical transportation maps of this issue’s periodic atlas show how transportation technology and policy affected the way our region emerged and changed. The policy decisions of the past continue to influence what we see and experience on our residential and commercial streets today.

If you’re up for a long summer run, you’re not alone. Running has been part of our region’s economy and its culture since Phil Knight started selling sneakers out of the back of his car down south in Eugene. At the time, it wasn’t considered polite to sweat in public, but today, competitive running events are extremely popular. Amy Jackson’s interview with David Sobolik enlightens readers about how running and runners have changed over the past few decades.

What is the future of Damascus? Liona Tannesen Burnham explores the complex issues and emotions surrounding the recent vote to scrap the city’s comprehensive plan. In ten years, what will the editor of Metroscape® write about the implications of this vote? How will it affect the future identity, economy, aesthetics, and demographics of the city and the region?

Finally, the indicator page examines health outcomes and the factors affecting those outcomes for each county in Oregon, as reported by the University of Wisconsin. Given what we understand today about the social determinants of health, these maps paint a picture of the quality of life that involves more than physical and mental well-being.

Pull up a beach chair and dig in! As always, the Metroscape staff looks forward to your comments and discussion about this issue. Feel free to comment at, or discuss your observations about the articles on our Facebook page.

Sheila Martin
Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies

Greetings from the Publisher, Summer 2012

Greetings, readers…

Twenty years ago we began to develop the program for an ambitious new undertaking at Portland State University, the Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies. One of the first things we learned was that few in the metropolitan region had a sense of the whole place. We were all familiar with the parts of the region we frequented, but beyond that, it was all kind of a blur.

About a year or so later, we were fortunate to be joined by Dr. Craig Wollner. Craig, a historian and student of many things northwest, came on board to help grow the program. One of the first projects we talked about was the creation of a new magazine, a flagship publication that would be aimed at a general audience and would serve as a vehicle for helping us all learn more about our region and its prospects.

The first question soon became what to call this new publication. It couldn’t be named after a place, because our region had too many places. We wanted it to stand out. In the end, we settled on Metroscape, a marriage of metropolitan and landscape, two themes that mattered to all that we were engaged in. In this “word” we saw the built and the natural, urban and rural, city and suburb, and historical and contemporary. We believed that understanding and developing a shared sense of our metroscape would ultimately contribute to the prospects for the region itself.

The subtitle for this publication would be “An Atlas and Mirror of the Portland Metropolitan Region.” What makes this region a place? What separates us? What unites us? Can we better understand the “forest” containing all these “trees?” These would be the big questions that would define Metroscape, and in large part frame the work of the Institute.

In the fall of 1995, Volume 1, Number 1, hit the streets. For those keeping track, this was before the move to the web. Issues came out in hard copy, and it took us 6 months to put one out. Craig was the trail boss for the whole thing, and our first issue, appropriately, featured “A Sense of Place: The Identity of the Metroscape” by Craig himself. Other authors included Carl Abbott and Pam Hanes. Our very first “Periodic Atlas of the Metroscape” was produced by Ric Vrana, and featured maps helping to unpack the communities—geographic, racial, ethnic—of our region.

What you now see on your screen is the most recent in a continuous string of publications reaching back to the very origins of the Institute and its mission. Hopefully, it can continue to provide that occasional “aha moment” when the patterns that surround us suddenly take on new meaning and explanatory power. That was our hope almost 20 years ago, and it remains so today.

I am writing this because Craig Wollner is no longer with us. His death took him from us too soon. Sheila Martin and Meg Merrick, supported by a great group of committed Metroscapists and the Board of the Institute, have kept the publication living and alive, investing it with the vision and energy needed for the next decades of its existence. Will it always be a “magazine?” Hard to say. The move to the web makes all kinds of things possible. Still, the fundamental role for a publication like this, to not assume that we are all on the same page despite choosing to live in the same place, continues. We hope you’ll be with us as Metroscape, like the region we cherish, takes its next steps.

Ethan Seltzer
Founding Director of IMS

Greetings from the Publisher, Winter 2011

Craig Wollner
Craig Wollner

Regular readers of Metroscape® are used to opening the front cover and reading the “Greetings from the Editor.” In this space, Craig Wollner would describe the vision behind the issue, how it was conceived and birthed, and how the pieces fit together. Since Metroscape’s first edition in 1992, Craig Wollner has played a pivotal role in the publication as editor, writer, executive editor, and general visionary.

With Craig’s death in November, this is the first issue of Metroscape® published without his careful attention to every detail from initial planning to printing and mailing. Nevertheless, before his death, as he had with every other issue of Metroscape®, Craig guided the the themes and content for this issue.

It is worth noting that this first issue of Metroscape® published after Craig’s passing is also our first electronic issue. As Craig pointed out in the Winter 2010 issue, the decision to discontinue printing the publication was difficult, but ultimately Craig welcomed the challenge, and got the Metroscape® team excited about the possibilities that the online format offers.

This issue presents a number of articles that reflect changes in the demographic and political structure of our region. With Census 2010 past us, we examine reapportionment and redistricting impacts on the region’s political representation. We also trace the history of immigration to the Portland region and how it has affected both the people who choose to move here and the region they call home. We examine changes in how the U.S. Census collects and publishes population and socioeconomic data for our region, and the implications for our understanding of changing demographics. In the Indicators piece, Charles Rynerson shows our participation rate in the 2010 Census. Michael Burnham’s interview with Phil Keisling, Oregon’s former Secretary of State, provides an insightful look into current politics. The landscape considers Skamania County, the smallest and most recent addition to the Portland Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Losing Craig has encouraged us to reflect on the vision described in the first issue of Metroscape®. The founders, including Craig, aimed to acquaint the residents of the Portland metropolitan area with their region… “ how it works, and where we’re headed. It’s about places, about history, about heroes.” Over the years, Craig’s careful guidance has brought us stories of our region and its heroes, be they elected officials, urban planners, nonprofit directors, entrepreneurs, teachers, health givers, farmers, cops, artists, or anyone who strives to make this community a better place for all. Although Craig would have protested our putting him in their company, his contributions to Metroscape® made him a hero to us.

Sheila Martin
Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies

Greetings from the Publisher, Summer 2014


As the academic year closes and summer begins, we suggest you read the Summer 2014 issue of Metroscape® while enjoying all our region has to offer, and consider how we might improve our region and our connections to each other in the year ahead.

This issue’s Landscape takes us back in history to describe how Portland’s west side waterfront became the Tom McCall Waterfront Park and an important symbol of Portland’s rejection of the predominant, car dominated trajectory of most cities at the time. Forty years later, despite many plans for improving the space and its connections to the community, it remains essentially as it was in the 1970s. Jeremy Young discusses ideas from a 6-month project completed by a team of students in PSU’s Masters in Urban and Regional Planning program.

Public engagement specialist Tony Andersen, examines the state of the relationship between the government and the public and finds the relationship wanting. In his piece “Rekindling the Public Romance,” he examines new tools for public participation and channels for improving communication—always the first step on the path of reconciliation.

Our Interview with Dr. Jeremy Brown, President of Portland Community College, provides insights into PCC’s role in our community and in fulfilling our aspirations for a highly educated, engaged citizenry. The Indicators page shows us how community colleges like PCC fill important needs in the post-secondary education system.

Our Atlas provides Part 2 of our discussion of the connections among different parts of the region by exploring how our economy—in particular, employment in our region’s key economic clusters—creates important economic connections among the cities and counties in the region.

Finally, how might we approach the issues that arise from homelessness with compassion and inclusion? Authors Andrée Tremoulet, Ellen Bassett, and Allison Moe tell a story about balancing public concerns about encountering the homeless in highway rest areas with the need to connect them with resources to address the complex social, political, and economic circumstances underlying their lack of housing.

We’re happy to report that our reinstatement of the print edition of Metroscape® was met with overwhelming approval by our readers—long-time subscribers as well as newcomers. If you’re reading this as a result of a hand-off from a subscriber and you like it, contact us to receive your own copy! Its easy to sign up at We also love your feedback, so keep it coming!

Sheila Martin

Director, Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies

Greetings from the Editor, Summer 2010

As I noted in the winter edition of Metroscape®, this is the last printed version of the magazine you will see. Our next issue and succeeding ones will be online. As Ben Lundin’s interview with Peter Bhatia, Executive Editor of The Oregonian, which begins on p. 20 makes clear, these are parlous times for those who put information on paper and then peddle it to the public. Even a free public service journal like Metroscape® has to try to stay ahead of the curve of public attention in presenting its wares to information seekers. And so it is with a sense of regret on one hand, and a mounting feeling of excitement on the other, that we look to the electronic Metroscape® coming out in December.

In this new format, we promise the same compelling and informative articles about our region that you’ve always anticipated when you received the magazine in the mail—and counted on to really understand what’s going on. We’ll still have page-turning articles, although the turning will be by mouse rather than hand. We’ll still have vivid maps and graphics. In short, it’ll be the same magazine you’ve read, just from the ether, rather than the postal service.

How will you know when the new issue is out? We’ll notify you in advance. We have many of our readers’ email addresses, but not all, and so we’re hoping that if we don’t have yours, you’ll send it in. Or, if you have a new email address, we’re anxious for you to update us. With your correct address, we’ll notify you when new issues are posted, so you can get the new edition in a timely fashion. Here’s how to let us know:

Simply go to and fill in the correct information.

“Make no small plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood,” said Daniel Burnham, the late nineteenth century American architect and planner. Metroscape® has been a nineteen-year adventure in big plans. You may have noticed, we’ve morphed from a big-print, big-pictures book into a more text- and information-driven product. We’ve gone from a gray-scale publication to four-color, and we’ve tried a number of new twists—like our 3-D atlas of a few years ago. So despite the fact that each new idea engendered serious, sometimes agonizing, debate, change is not new to us and each step away from our previous identity has been, we think, of a forward nature. This one is no different. It’ll just take some help from you to make it work.

Craig Wollner
Editor in Chief

Greetings from the Editor, Winter 2010

The magazine you hold in your hand is the next-to-last printed Metroscape®. The summer 2010 issue will be the last one committed to paper—at least, by the magazine’s staff. Looking into the future and in light of recent cuts to the Portland State University and College of Urban and Public Affairs budgets, it’s clear we must find a way to reduce expenses.

Fortunately, there is a way to shrink the budget while continuing to publish the magazine and present you with not just the same high quality and informative journal about our region that you’ve enjoyed for the last seventeen years, but an even better one. Like a lot of print media, we are ready to make the transition to online status as a matter of necessity. But as we explored our options, it became clear that this would also be a step into a new world of possibilities for bringing you news and analysis of the region. So, for example, we might publish a podcast of the issue’s interview, so that you’ll hear the inflections in the voice of the interviewee that drive home a particular point. Contrast that to the transcript of questions and answers that lie upon a page. In addition, we will be able to convey to you interactive maps in the atlas section, bringing home more vividly than ever the spatial dimensions of the topic under examination. Those are just a couple of the opportunities to enhance our coverage of the region that this change will open to you, our readers.

The Metroscape® staff is made up of people steeped in the printed word, so it wasn’t easy for us to accept the necessity of this change. But in addition to the great possibilities of going online, we were able, while sifting through the numberless programs for electronic publication, to find ones that reproduce as nearly as possible in cyberspace, the experience of reading a paper periodical. We’ll be formatting the magazine in one of them, with the intention of making it as easy as possible for you to transition with us to the new style of reading Metroscape®.

Meanwhile, the current issue of Metroscape® contains the kind of thoughtful pieces that have kept you reading us for all these years. Dr. Mary King writes on the gendered recession in the region. Tim DuRoche remembers the movement that culminated in Tom McCall Park. The atlas, authored by Moriah McSharry McGrath and Gretchen Luhr, looks at disease clusters, and the Landscape portraitizes Forest Grove. Susan Wilson elicits from a small town high school principal all of the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of running a rural high school in the region.

This issue of Metroscape® is late due to the closure of Portland State University and the furloughing of faculty and staff, December 19-28. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Craig Wollner
Editor in Chief

Greetings from the Editor, Summer 2009

In this issue of Metroscape®, we present a very mixed bag of stories. Our lead story is about the open combat developing between motorists and cyclists. Kyle Cassidy takes us through the growth of bicycle ridership and the clash it has engendered with motorists, raising both the blood pressure and the level of risk for each group. As the Portland region increasingly becomes Bike City, USA, the animosity between the two factions (plus pedestrians) only grows. In any case, he analyzes the situation incisively and offers wise counsel to both factions. The back anchor is an essay by Rachel White probing how and why our places get the names they do. As surely as the mountains, rivers, forests, parks, and the elements of the built environment influence our impression of our surroundings, Rachel discovers that place names make an indelible impression on the land.

Our atlas concerns samples of recreational proclivities in the region. Once again, our imaginative technical editor, Dr. Vivek Shandas, has come up with a way to profile spatially the revealing patterns of everyday life in the area. Vivek’s contribution is followed by an attempt to get a more penetrating reading on the workforce outlook for the Portland metropolitan area than we are used to seeing. Not that the economists and reporters following the travails of workers don’t do a good job of describing the situation, but we were looking for the insights of someone on the everyday frontlines of both the numbers and the policy issues surrounding the most depressing unemployment picture of our time to date. In Ray Worden, one of the nation’s foremost workforce professionals, we found the expert we were looking for and he gives us a complex but completely accessible view of the employment picture in our interview.

Our research coordinator, Liza Mylott, has come up with an interesting piece for the “Landscape” feature on the history of and prospects for ferries in the region. At a time when bridges and roads are in the news a lot, we’ve forgotten that our rivers have also been thought of as roadsteads and might be again. Liza thought it would be interesting to review what regional ferry service would look like and do for the region, and she was right. She also put together an “Indicators” piece that adds yet another dimension to the story of the impact of the recession in the Portland area. By looking at free or reduced school lunches, she adds depth to our understanding of the ramifications of the slowdown, especially for our most vulnerable people—kids.

These are parlous times for everyone, as some of the features in this edition of Metroscape® illustrate. If the issues are nervous-making, they also make fascinating appraisal. If you can’t enjoy the times, we hope you enjoy the reading.

Craig Wollner
Editor in Chief

Greetings from the Editor, Winter 2009

As the cover of this issue indicates, there is a serious topic within. Dr. Leanne Serbulo, a recent graduate of the PSU urban studies doctoral program, has done a great deal of research and thinking about the problem of intolerance in the region and we are now the beneficiary of her work. Although bigotry is a subject not often discussed in connection with this relatively tranquil corner of the nation, it is one that has had a significant on-again, off-again relationship with us. In fact, it has never really been far from the surface of events in the region, as the author clearly shows. When it has reared its head, many have struggled courageously to overcome it and, as in the instances she discusses, triumphed.

But it turns out that these victories have often been fleeting and like a persistent bacterium, hate has a way of growing back to plague us. As recently as the last decade, we were not nearly as enlightened as we thought we were. In this look at the recent history of our experience of this phenomenon, Dr. Serbulo reminds us that, if the past is any measure and even as a majority of Oregonians voted for the man who will be America’s first African-American president, we are not likely to be immune from the germ of intolerance.

Two other important pieces appearing in this issue include a powerful interview by Vivek Shandas with the CEO’s of two of the region’s most innovative philanthropic organizations. He examines with them the suddenly pressing question of how, in an increasingly staggering economy, their groups innovate to help those most in need and what the most pressing issues they face are, as well as the unique features of need in our region. The challenges faced by the two organizations—Mackenzie River Gathering Foundation and Social Venture Partners Oregon—are daunting but when you finish reading the piece, you’ll be glad these bright and committed people are at their head.

The versatile Dr. Shandas reappears in another guise with a co-author, Dr. Linda George of the Environmental Science Department at PSU, to depict and interpret in our atlas the meaning of data gathered by the Oregon State Department of Environmental Quality on toxins in the metroscape. DEQ’s prodigious efforts have produced, as the authors note, “one of the highest resolution datasets of modeled air quality in the nation.” We know our readers spend a lot of time thinking about how to make this a better region. This important atlas will be a powerful stimulus to your ruminations.

There are a few more enlightening pieces in this issue—one on the value increment of trees on real estate and another on the metroscape’s wine country. The performance of regional stocks over the year round out our offerings in this issue. In other words, it’s a full and fascinating magazine, as always. Enjoy it and please accept the Metroscape® staff’s bests wishes for a happy new year.

Craig Wollner
Editor in Chief