Understanding the Economic Impacts of Urban Greenway Infrastructure

This project proposes a comprehensive economic analysis of the “City Greenways” concept from Portland’s 2035 Comprehensive Plan, which calls for a citywide network of park-like pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly streets crisscrossing the city at roughly 3-mile intervals. Examining the urban greenway infrastructure comprehensively through economic, sustainability and equity perspectives helps cities such as Portland to understand how it can better address carbon emissions, develop effective pedestrian and bicycle transportation networks and improve health outcomes citywide. This project develops analysis to understand how cyclists, pedestrians and users of other modes interact with an urban greenway system of safer, clear and direct pathways linking land uses, open space amenities and daily destinations throughout the city, building on current research by the Principal Investigator (PI) and regional partners that explore related issues for a smaller-scale “Green Loop” in central Portland. The goal of this project is to evaluate the comprehensive economic impacts of the “City Greenways” network, through two primary research questions: (1) how does the “City Greenways” connect to current transportation network and how might the design and configuration of these urban greenway facilities provide broader active transportation networks linking businesses, households, centers and corridors; and (2) what would be the economic impacts (local and regional economic development, place-making benefits or land use tradeoffs), and how would this impact livability, sustainability and equity in the urban region? In order for cities such as Portland to strategize the implementation of an urban greenway network and to provide evidence to support infrastructure investment, the project proposes to establish an analytical framework to understand the economic impacts of urban greenway infrastructure, and to empirically estimate the overall economic impacts of a Portland greenway network on transportation, economic development, sustainability and equity. As a collaborative project between Portland State University (PSU) and Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, the outcomes will provide a solid research and practical foundation to evaluate whether urban greenway infrastructure can be successfully implemented as part of the city’s long-term response to global climate change and citywide goals for low-carbon development.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $328817
  • Contract Numbers:

    NITC 858

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    Portland State University

    Urban Studies and Planning
    P.O. Box 751
    Portland, Oregon  United States  97207

    City of Portland

    1900 SW 4th Avenue, Suite 7100
    Portland, Oregon  United States  97201
  • Managing Organizations:

    TREC at Portland State University

    1900 SW Fourth Ave, Suite 175
    P.O. Box 751
    Portland, Oregon  United States  97201
  • Project Managers:

    Hagedorn, Hau

  • Performing Organizations:

    Portland State University

    Urban Studies and Planning
    P.O. Box 751
    Portland, Oregon  United States  97207
  • Principal Investigators:

    Liu, Jenny

  • Start Date: 20170801
  • Expected Completion Date: 20180430
  • Actual Completion Date: 20180801

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01629453
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Institute for Transportation and Communities
  • Contract Numbers: NITC 858
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Mar 16 2017 11:38PM