In 1995 Metro adopted the 2040 Growth Concept to guide growth and development in the Portland metropolitan area. It designates regional and town centers plus downtown Portland as the focus for redevelopment and concentration of homes and jobs.
Centers vary in size, urban form and access to transportation. For example, the Gresham regional center is the city’s downtown and government center, situated along major roads and rail lines. The St. Johns town center is in a North Portland neighborhood that evolved in the early 1900s along a streetcar route.
The State of the Centers report, first published January 2009 and updated May 2011, provides a description and demographic information for each center, highlights community actions to enhance it, and lists its private and public amenities.
The report uses a context tool to gauge progress in creating the centers envisioned in the 2040 Growth Concept. By scoring performance measures such as sidewalk density or the number of private amenities (bakeries or grocery stores, for example), the tool helps planners, community groups and businesses identify high-performing or underserved areas relative to a goal or desired outcome.