Connect with Metro
503-797-1804 TDD
503-797-1797 fax

Putting parcelization into perspective

Planning and conservation    Planning library    Parcelization study

Over the years, residents and business owners around the region have worked to achieve community visions in their downtowns, main streets, and employment areas: jobs, housing choices, walkability, local shopping, access to nature, and cultural and recreational opportunities. While there have been many successes, change has been slower than expected or desired in some cases.

Parcelization—the presence of multiple small parcels with multiple owners—can be one of the constraints to building larger-scale developments in urban areas. A new report, completed by ECONorthwest in October 2012, explores the challenges posed by parcelization. The report describes:

  • The extent to which parcelization is responsible for impeding the investment and activity that communities wish to see in their downtowns, main streets, and employment areas
  • Parcelization in the context of other development challenges
  • Best practices for addressing parcelization

This report illustrates 10 case studies in the region that shed some light on the extent of complications caused by parcelization. The report also provides findings, best practices and recommendations for the private sector and local governments to consider in reducing the effects of parcelization on development in urban communities.

A copy of the full report, its executive summary, and supporting materials may be downloaded from the links below.

Related documents

To view PDF files, download free Adobe Reader. To translate PDF files into text to assist visually-impaired users, visit

To view MOV files, download free QuickTime.

Need assistance?

Ted Reid

© 2014 Metro. All rights reserved.

Send questions, comments and suggestions about the website to

600 NE Grand Ave.
Portland, OR 97232-2736
503-797-1804 TDD
503-797-1797 fax