Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies

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Randy Morris, Community GIS Project Leader

Institutional Setting

The Institute was formed in 1992 under the leadership of Nohad A. Toulan, founding dean of the College of Urban and Public Affairs at Portland State University. The Institute is a research and services center within the college, but has an external governing board consisting of regional leaders and citizens.

The mission of the Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies (IMS) is to advance the economic, environmental, and social goals of the Portland metropolitan region by gathering and disseminating credible information, convening regional partners, and stimulating dialogue and action about critical regional issues. In addition, IMS provides statewide information about demographic trends through the Population Research Center, which became affiliated with IMS in August of 2009.

Indicators Initiatives

The Institute is pursuing three related indicators initiatives:

  1. Greater Portland Pulse;
  2. A regional equity atlas;
  3. Neighborhood Pulse.


1. Greater Portland Pulse (http://www.portlandpulse.org/) Greater Portland Pulse Provides a common foundation for regional collaboration and informed decision making by tracking our region's social, economic, and environmental conditionsIt educates users about regional priorities and provides information about the progress we are making toward these priorities. It does this through the provision of data, context, and by providing opportunities for dialogue.

GPP can be used in a number of ways including:

An Authoritative Source for Consensus-based Regional Outcomes and Related Indicators. Because of the process by which it was developed and the authority and neutrality of the university-based institution that maintains it (Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies at Portland State University), the GPP outcomes and indicators reflect a widely accepted vision for the region measured by the best data available;

A “State of the Region” Measurement Tool. The GPP indicator process produced a measurement tool that includes expert-vetted indicators for each of the outcomes that are available via the portlandpulse.org website;

A Repository of Regional Indicators and Data. The GPP indicators and data are updated continuously and may be used for a wide variety of purposes including grant writing, policy development, and policy assessment.

3. The Regional Equity Atlas 2.0, published by the Coalition for a Livable Future, is a major research and education project to promote widespread opportunity for a stronger, healthier, and more sustainable region.

Using maps, policy analysis, community based research, and other tools, the Equity Atlas project assesses how well different populations across the four-county Portland-Vancouver metro region can access key resources necessary for meeting their basic needs and advancing their health and well-being.

IMS participated in the development of the original Equity Atlas data and the revisions of the data for version 2.

3. Neighborhood Pulse is a new initiative that will map smaller-geography data than that avaialble on Greater Portland Pulse. IMS is working with the neighborhood organizations and with PSU's Institute for Sustainable Solutions to identify neighborhood data most useful to those organizations working to improve their neighborhoods.


Nick Chun
Manager, Oregon Population Forecast Program
Jason Jurjevich
Assistant Director and Assistant Professor
Randy Morris
Community GIS Project Leader


April 2018
We have launched the Northwest Open Data Exchange (NODE), a platform that pulls together the immense quantities of open data generated by PSU faculty,... [read more]
April 2018
IMS director Sheila Martin has joined the board of the Innovation Quadrant (IQ) and is developing a data strategy to measure its impact, both within and... [read more]
April 2018
IMS is working with the City of Milwaukie to write a Housing Affordability Strategy. It will serve as an overarching framework, combining existing land use inventory, needs assessments, and... [read more]


August 20, 2018
Website - By: Liza Morehead

Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies

Metroscape magazine, Summer 2018
Metroscape Magazine
October 16, 2017
Blog post - By: Sheila Martin

Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies

October 12, 2017
Meeting Materials - By: Sheila Martin

Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies

Link to Housing Data Hub
April 10, 2017
Presentation - By: Charles Rynerson, Sheila Martin

Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies

Using Data to Improve Health Services.pdf

Partner Webinars

March 18, 2015 - 8:00pm

Jake Cowan, NNIP alumni and consultant, presented on the completed "Monitoring Impact" guide. The guidebook frames defining and measuring performance for local data... [read more]

Presenters Jake Cowan, Erica Raleigh, Sheila Martin

Following up on the success of the Media session in Portland, we are pleased to announce “Storytelling through Community Journalism”, the first in our "NNIP and Media" webinar series.  This... [read more]

Presenters Charlotte-Anne Lucas, Meg Merrick, Jordan Wirfs-Brock