Greetings from the Publisher, Summer 2017



As we approach the summer, you might be thinking about your summer travel plans. Or perhaps you are reading this on a bus, a plane, or a train. If you are, you’re already in tune with the theme of this issue: going places. In this issue, we highlight how people get around, the bridges they take to get there, the future of our communities, and the future of our technology-based industries.

There is a lot happening in Scappoose. Liza Morehead visited this Columbia County community of 6,785 and describes the community’s plans for encouraging and facilitating the population growth they are expecting. Meanwhile, in Willamina, an ambitious plan for utilizing an EPA grant for sustainable development is encouraging the community to look beyond its timber-town past to a vibrant, sustainable future.

Our region is defined by our two major rivers and the many streams that feed them. For decades, we’ve depended on bridges to carry us over those rivers and to our destinations. Andrés Oswill describes the history of some of our region’s bridges and discusses how we’ve funded them. How should we approach funding for the next era of bridge upgrades?

Every day, over a million workers throughout our region travel to work. Despite our efforts to create a range of alternative transportation options, most commuters drive alone to their jobs. How does commuting distance and behavior vary by income, and what does this mean for the quality of life for lower income workers? In the Atlas, Steven Howland and Randy Morris map commuting patterns and dig into the equity issues related to commuting.

What will it take to ensure that our region’s economy continues to capture the benefits of technological change? Skip Newbury, Executive Director of the Technology Association of Oregon, describes their efforts to keep the technology economy fueled with the talent it needs.

Because home ownership is the single most powerful tool most people have for building wealth, access to the funds needed for a down payment is a crucial requirement for expanding economic opportunity. Indicators gives a snapshot of the source of down payment for homes.

Our region is going places! As you read through the issue, share your thoughts with us. Feel free to comment at, or discuss your observations about the articles on our Facebook page.

Sheila Martin, 

Director Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies