Greater Portland Pulse (GPP) began life as the Greater Portland-Vancouver Indicators project in spring of 2010 with the formation of an advisory committee and nine results teams. The results teams were comprised of experts in the following fields: Arts & Culture, Civic Engagement, Economic Opportunity, Education, Healthy People, Safe People, Healthy Natural Environment, Housing and Communities, and Access and Mobility.
The results teams spent eighteen months identifying what would become the GPP indicators. They began by identifying ideal outcomes for the region. Examples of outcomes include informed community members, individual and family prosperity, and a transportation system that improves environmental health. They then determined which indicators would do the best job tracking whether we, as a region, are moving toward these goals.
In June 2011, we launched the original GPP website and released our first state-of-the-region report, The Path to Economic Prosperity: Equity and the Education Imperative.
Over the past three years, we have helped community members use data to better understand our region. Through reports, public presentations, and data visualization workshops, we have used GPP data to tell stories about the ways we live and work. To learn more about what we have done, visit the GPP in Action page.
In September 2014, we launched our current website. GPP's indicators are organized around a revamped set of themes and cross-referenced among these themes when necessary. The website also features a more user-friendly design and a new interface for charts and graphs.
In working toward better opportunities for comparison and greater consistency across the site, all indicators will now be viewable at three levels: local (county and/or metro area), state and national. In the past, indicators were often measured at a variety of geographic tiers and lacked comparable data outside the region. While some Census tract–level data were removed in the redesign, a great deal of new state- and US-level data has been added. With the view that more data is not always better data, we hope that this new clarity will prove more useful to all.
As part of Greater Portland Pulse’s redevelopment, we also have expanded our geographic coverage. GPP will now provide data for all seven counties in the Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). The MSA covers Clackamas, Columbia, Multnomah, Washington, and Yamhill Counties in Oregon and Clark and Skamania Counties in Washington.