I have a feeling that we’ll be referencing Portland a lot on this blog! After all, their foresight starting from the 1970’s has helped shape them into THE model in the US for a walkable, livable, multi-modal community.
Here’s an awesome article I stumbled across from The Oregonian that shows how the region’s economy has flourished due to the options that their transit system provides.
Less driving is more cash for Portland
Urban living – The metro area saves on mileage, a study finds, and mostly uses it to fill the local economy’s tank
Monday, August 20, 2007 – DYLAN RIVERA
Because Portland-Vancouver drivers log 20 percent fewer miles a day than most U.S. urban dwellers and spend less on cars and gasoline as a result, the region’s economy saves $2.6 billion a year, or about 3 percent of the area’s annual economic output, according to a new study for the Chicago-based CEOs for Cities.
And most of that money, which otherwise would go to far-flung car makers and oil companies, appears to go instead to housing, entertainment and food in the Portland-area economy.
“It stimulates local businesses rather than rewarding Exxon or Toyota,” says the five-page report titled “Portland’s Green Dividend” and authored by Portland economist Joe Cortright.
As cities from Los Angeles to Miami look to remake themselves with rail transit and mixed-use housing, the report could have widespread implications.
It raises the question of how much it costs Americans to live in cities that require residents to drive for nearly all their daily needs. Though transit, bicycling and walking are relatively minor contributors to Portland’s savings, the study implies that development patterns that shorten commutes and facilitate walking, bicycling and using transit can have a positive economic impact.