Oregon Public Broadcasting and PSU Present Portland 2.0
Author: College of Urban and Public Affairs
Posted: December 20, 2018

Beginning in the late 1960s, the Portland region boldly decided to head in a direction different from other urban areas—turning away from sprawl and freeways, rebuilding a vital and active downtown, maintaining desirable neighborhoods and attractive public parks and amenities. It gained a reputation for urban success, civic vitality and innovation. Let’s call that Portland 1.0.

However, our quality of life has not been equally shared. Some were simply left out, excluded. Importantly, the burdens of our desirability, especially displacement and housing affordability, have fallen disproportionately on those least equipped to cope and those historically bypassed by our “urban success,” especially communities of color and lower income groups.

Growth is creating new strains. And circumstances have changed, including an increasingly diverse population, technology, the economy, modes of civic engagement​.

The Portland 2.0 project arose out of a belief that it is time to assess how things have changed and to ask some big questions about governance as a shared civic endeavor of citizens and leaders–about how things do or don’t get done, about the capacity of our civic infrastructure to shape and achieve Portland 2.0.

Multnomah County Commissioner, Jessica Vega Pederson, and PSU alumnus and committed supporter, David Yaden, invite you to join them Saturday, January 26 for a spirited discussion. Portland 2.0, a joint project of Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) and Portland State University, is posing some provocative questions about how the Portland region came to be the way it is today and where we go from here:

  • What do we need to know about Portland 1.0—that energy-filled period beginning in the 1970s that changed our region’s direction?
  • What has changed and where are we today with regard to the economic and social context and conditions that gave rise to Portland 1.0?
  • What about inclusion and accountability? Do we care as much about our neighbors as our neighborhoods?
  • Is our “civic infrastructure” of citizens and leaders, of public and private institutions up to creating Portland 2.0?

This project was created by David Yaden, who worked closely with Stephen Percy, the Dean of PSU’s College of Urban and Public Affairs (CUPA). The project intends to nudge the civic conversation toward considering how the Portland region governs itself, how things do or don’t get done, and the capacity of our “civic infrastructure” as a shared endeavor of citizens and leaders.

Yaden says that inspiration for the event came from wanting to give a boost to programs that educate emerging civic leaders such as the Marko Haggard Legislative Internship program, which was named for his PSU mentor, or the Center for Women’s Leadership, where Vega Pederson is an Advisory Board member.