2015 wrap for Portland Oregon

2015 was quite the year for Portland Oregon. We ranked as one of the top cities in the country in many ways:

Portland ranks banner

  • PDX named best airport (Travel Pulse).
  • Portland among top four housing markets in the US (Redfin Realty).
  • Second best best city for foodies (Washington Post).
  • 4th highest ranked city “on the edge of greatness (Sperling best places.net).
  • 4th best city to retire to (Sperling best places).
  • 10th highest ranked city for being “green.”
  • Third “quirkiest city in the US (Travel & Lesiure).
  • Among the top ten in most pedestrian friendly cities(Travel & Leisure).
  • Top 5 in most improving housing markets (Freddie Mac).
  • Portland named among top 25 best cities to live in the world (Monacle Magazine).
  • Millenial generation chooses Portland (CBS News).
  • Portland farmers market named best in the country (Huffington Post).
  • Among the top food cart cities in the world.

As with any city that is growing faster than we can keep up, Portland also has its share of problems we have to tackle; so Portland also ranked high in some areas we’d prefer not to rank:

  • 8th worst city in traffic congestion
  • Almost at the bottom of the list in educational scoring
  • Almost at the top of the list in number of high school drop outs
  • Increasing crime rates and gang violence (182 gun violence deaths in 2015 with almost 40 of those related to gang violence)
  • Fastest rising rents in the country
  • 10th highest ranking city for online crime
  • And finally we’ve even caught President Obama’s attention for the very high number of homeless in our city. As more people move here, some without money or jobs, the number of tent cities continues to rise; as do folks with signs at every freeway on and off ramp.
  • Gentrification of inner city neighborhoods driving long term residents to the streets.

2016 is slated to be the year we tackle many of our biggest problems.

  • Steps are already being taken to deal with education deficiencies. While many of our schools are very highly ranked, others need some help. To solve these problems, Portland will no longer require students to take national tests as too much time is spent on preparation causing other areas of study to lapse behind. New school boundaries have been drawn to better balance the populations in different areas around the metro area. The new boundaries are scheduled to go into effect in 2016.
  • Rent control measures are being discussed and implemented to control excessive rent increases to tenants.
  • Portland police department is in recruiting mode offering signing bonuses to beef up our forces to combat crime and gang warfare.
  • The homeless problem has been acknowledged and local politicians and committees are looking for ways to better house and feed our residents.

The one thing we can say about this city is that deficiencies do not go unnoticed. Portland residents take pride in all that’s great about this city, and campaign actively and get involved to improve what needs fixing. One has to believe that this is among the top reasons that so many people want and do move here. We’re not perfect, but we’re always striving to be better. 

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