Explore the Economic Value Atlas
The Economic Value Atlas provides insights about our regional economy.
What is the Economic Value Atlas?
The Economic Value Atlas is a tool to help policymakers focus investments in ways that will create access to family-wage jobs and support growing industries.
The tool will help verify and improve our understanding of the economy by providing an interactive, visual display of variables that tie back to a set of desired economic outcomes. It will also help provide a more transparent public discussion about economic conditions among the communities in the region and how we can build an inclusive economy and expand access to opportunity.
Why was the tool built?
Greater Portland’s dedication to creating a great quality of life has brought an influx of new residents and rapid job growth, creating challenges for the region’s livability, including wage disparities, fewer affordable housing options and longer travel times.
The tool will help to share resources and information at a scale that crosses city and county lines, which will help greater Portland build and leverage distinct competitive advantages for communities and industries.
Metro and its local jurisdictional partners have robust plans for land use and transportation, but also need to ensure those plans help the regional economy thrive for everyone. This tool helps us better understand where businesses are growing, what they need, how people get there and how products get to market.
Who was involved in creating the tool?
Many partners had a hand in creating the Economic Value Atlas, involving Metro and other local jurisdictions, The Brookings Institution, Greater Portland Inc., Columbia River Economic Development Council, WorkSystems Inc. and other organizations with a shared interest to advance inclusive economic development objectives.
Who is going to use this tool?
- Economic development professionals seeking to highlight key competitive advantages of their community and the region when interacting with businesses and entrepreneurs.
- Advocacy organizations and workforce development organizations dedicated to economic justice that want to understand specific opportunities to address barriers to economic opportunity.
- Jurisdictions (including Metro) that want to both understand and communicate economic conditions that surround our transportation and land use planning and project investment decisions.
How does it benefit the public?
The Economic Value Atlas uses data to paint a picture of the regional economy that will help our communities be more intentional about how and where public investments should be made. For example, the tool can help pinpoint areas of focus for regional investments that help achieve both local and regional economic development aspirations.
How does the tool work in practice?
- For implementation of the regional housing bond, the tool could offer possible guidance for where affordable housing makes sense given existing affordability levels and nearby workforce.
- For developing transportation investments, the tool can indicate what the economic situation looks like along specific corridors to tell the region whether certain investments make sense.
- For a business, it can provide tools to assist businesses in early area/site identification based on development potential, access to workers, existing mobility/connectivity and other key factors.
What might it look like in the future?
In the shorter-term, Metro expects to add features that allows the user to print out and export data on a particular area, compare different communities and focus in on only those areas that exceed the regional average for a particular measure.
A medium-term build out of the tool might build on business area/site identification with features that include zoning allowances and more detailed directional information on market access.
A longer-term build out of the tool could lead to a map feature that informs how Metro and local jurisdictions evaluate what transportation projects to invest in as part of their allocations of local and federal resources.