Friday Transportation Seminar: Transportation and Gentrification: Impacts on Low-income Black Households in Portland

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Friday, May 7, 2021, 11:30am to 12:30pm PDT
Steven Howland, Portland State University
PDH: 1 | AICP: 1

We are committed to making decisions that promote the success and well-being of our campus community. Until further notice, all live events hosted by TREC will be online only.

Friday Transportation Seminars at Portland State University have been a tradition since 2000. You can join us online at 11:30 AM.



Portland’s Black population has been heavily impacted by gentrification in the historic Albina community. Nearly half of Portland’s Black population lives in the area east of 82nd Ave, known as East Portland. This has had substantial impacts on both Black households that can continue living in Albina and those living in East Portland. The suburban-esque built environment of East Portland makes it difficult to get around and reach basic necessities. Those living in Albina have taken on exorbitant rents. Both groups suffer from a geographic divide that has made it difficult to rely on family and friends for basic needs like childcare and fulfilling social needs.

This seminar will walk through those difficulties as found through a qualitative study of 27 low-income Black households in Portland. It also highlights the difficulties those households faced using various modes of transportation, why they chose the modes they did, and how they coped with their mode choices. See BikePortland's coverage of the research project: Interviews reveal transportation impacts of Albina displacement.


  • Learn about the need to consider all a household’s needs when planning transportation;
  • Learn about the experiences of low-income Black households on various modes of transport;
  • Learn about how even a 5-10 mile geographic divide can impact low-income Black household’s ability to make ends meet and how transportation is a large part of that.


Supported by a fellowship from the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), Steven Howland of Portland State University focused his doctoral research on examining the impacts of gentrification on transportation and social support for black working-poor families in Portland. Read more about the project: Suburban Black Poverty in East Portland: The Role of Transportation in Making Ends Meet.


Steven Howland, Portland State University

Steven Howland has a Ph.D. in Urban Studies from Portland State University where he focused on economic development, housing, and their intersection with transportation. Currently, Steven is an Assistant Economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. At the Federal Reserve, he conducts research for the community development team with a focusing on housing, jobs, digital divide, entrepreneurship, and access to credit.



This 60-minute seminar is eligible for 1 hour of professional development credit for AICP (see our provider summary). We provide an electronic attendance certificate for other types of certification maintenance.


Photo by Cait McCusker

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The Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) at Portland State University is home to the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), the Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation (IBPI), and other transportation programs. TREC produces research and tools for transportation decision makers, develops K-12 curriculum to expand the diversity and capacity of the workforce, and engages students and professionals through education.