History of Racist Planning in Portland

September 2019


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Social Equity

This report summarizes and reflects on the city of Portland's use of racist and exclusionary planning practices, as a way of actively addressing the effects of these practices and preventing further harm to affected communities. It breaks down the history of urban planning in Portland into three eras:

  • Early planning (the 1900s to 1970s)
  • Contemporary planning (the 1980s to early-2000s)
  • Equity in planning (the 21st century)

The report uses the Fair Housing Act as a foundation to review past land use and zoning decisions. Some of the practices higlighted are racially restrictive covenants, segregation through real estate, redlining, and urban renewal projects. The city also presents maps of areas of vulnerability, areas with predominantly White populations, areas of affluence and median home values in order to understand the current impacts of these practices.