Greater Portland-Vancouver Indicators (GPVI) - Overview

Economic, Social and Environmental Well-being

Greater Portland-Vancouver Indicators Brochure (.pdf)

Cities and counties in the Portland area are bound together by the air we breathe; the land we build and play on; the water we drink; the roads we travel; businesses, goods and services that drive prosperity; and most importantly, by people who live, work and play throughout the region. Because of this connectedness, when something good or bad happens in one part of the region, it almost always impacts the well-being of other parts and the region as a whole.

The Greater Portland-Vancouver Indicators will track the ups and downs of the whole region's well-being. They will provide a shared lens to track social, environmental and economic well-being. They will serve as a common language to help communities collaborate across boundaries to expand their strengths and proactively create a better future.

People Involved

Click here for information on GPVI teams.

Project Components

This project is about more than creating a collection of indicators, data and a website. It is about:

1. Choosing indicators, a political and strategic process. What are the goals of communities and organizations across the region? How are they measuring progress? How can we leverage these efforts to form a collective vision, goals and regional indicators of progress?
GPVI Indicator Criteria, January 2011

2. Measuring indicators, a technical process. How can we gather and report the data with clarity, accuracy, reliability and validity--without having to spend a lot of extra money?

3. Using indicators, a communications and results management process. How can we best share the data, learn from each other the meaning behind the data and co-create the most effective paths forward? How can we use the data to drive better results and accountability?

Indicator Categories

During 2009, Portland State University and Metro collaborated with Washington, Clackamas, Clark and Multnomah Counties; Portland Development Commission, Greenlight Greater Portland; the City of Portland; and POSI (Portland + Oregon Sustainability Institute) to draft a framework for regional indicators. In 2010, after considerable discussion, one of the eight categories (Healthy, Safe People) was split into two: Healthy People and Safe People. The final nine categories are:

learning that leads to opportunities and benefits for both individuals and the broader community

Quality Housing and Communities,
the home foundation from which we thrive

Economic Opportunity,
assets and opportunities that foster economic well-being

Healthy People,
our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being

Safe People,
Individuals and communities thriving with minimal risk and fear of danger, injury, and harm

Healthy, Natural Environment,
care of the resource base upon which all life depends

Arts, Culture and Creativity,
enjoying and interpreting the human experience

Access and Mobility,

real and virtual connections that help us success

Civic Engagement and Connections,

the social infrastructure that makes a community work and residents feel safe


This framework can be used to seed many conversations by diverse Greater Portland-Vancouver stakeholders about which results are most important to measure and why. The conversations will occur in a series of events and inter-connected project teams.

Regional Indicators Kick-off
PSU and United Way of the Columbia and Willamette kicked this process off on January 14, 2010. More than sixty leaders from throughout Greater Portland and Vancouver shared ideas on how regional indicators would add value to their work.


Project Teams
Teams of users--stakeholders and content experts (guided by data specialists)--will decide together what the most important results to measure are and why. They will also gain an understanding from each others' knowledge and experience about how the indicators link together and nest geographically.
* Mockup of conceptual framework (.pdf, 11x17)



Four Examples of Regional Indicator Project Best Practices

indicators boston

The Boston Indicators Project reports on indicators for civic vitality, cultural life and the arts, economy, education, environment and energy, health, housing, public safety, technology and transportation. Supported by the Boston Community Foundation, it includes sector crosscuts for neighborhoods, children and youth, competitive edge, fiscal health, race and ethnicity and sustainable development.

 Cascadia Scorecard offers basic scorecard trends for health, population, economy, sprawl, wildlife and energy and pollution. The scorecard is a product of Sightline Institute with support from the Boeing Company. 


indicators silicon valley

Silicon Valley Index is the principal analytical tool of the Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network. Supported by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, this project holds an annual State of the Valley Conference where they release the Index every February. The index is a composite of 40 indicators for people, economy, society, place and governance.


twin cities indicators

Twin Cities Compass promotes the region's well-being by measuring progress, reporting findings and providing strategies for action. It is led by Wilder Research in partnership with community-serving organizations, funders and volunteers. The project reports data for indicators in civic engagement, early childhood, economy and workforce, education, environment, health, housing, public safety and transportation.



psu logo

Portland State University


metro logo



united way logo

United Way of the Columbia-Willamette




Contributing Partners

  • Multnomah County
  • Portland Development Commission
  • Metro
  • Portland State University

Consulting Partners

  • Clackamas County
  • Clark County
  • Multnomah County
  • Washington County
  • The City of Portland
  • POSI (Portland + Oregon Sustainability Institute)
  • Portland Development Commission
  • Greenlight Greater Portland