By Taxpayers Association of Oregon
Researchers at the University of California studied the recovery of 62 metro downtowns in the wake of the pandemic—and Portland ranked near the bottom.
Portland ranked 60th, ahead of only San Francisco and Cleveland in terms of recovering from the pandemic, based on a Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies review of cell phone data showing visits to restaurants, bars, and other downtown businesses, according to the Portland Business Journal.
Part of Portland’s slow recovery stems from the number of high-skilled tech employees who shifted to working from home during the pandemic.
With a downtown office vacancy rate of 26 percent, as more companies migrate to the suburbs, Portland may need to reinvent the downtown, perhaps by creating more outdoor spaces, hosting more cultural events, and building streets designed for pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit with parking shifted to the outer edges. At the same time, the city center should focus on diversifying the economy to boost education, health, government, and other resilient sectors.
As Portland was announced a slow recovery city, these also made headlines which re-inforce the chaos.