Urban Target Area Ecological Assessment
Knot’s team recently delivered a 258-page Ecological Assessment for the Urban Area of the Portland Metro region as part of the Information Gathering phase of the 2019 Parks and Nature Bond Measure. This report assesses existing conditions and conservation potential for the area within the current Urban Growth Boundary, requiring intensive research to understand and communicate conservation ownership and planning efforts, the existence of priority species and habitat types, and to articulate how Bond criteria apply to the target area. Knot produced and interpreted detailed mapping for 20 different standard map themes applied to all target areas and added seven new special topics for the urban area.
The Urban Area is the largest single area of the 24 assessed for the bond. It has the most potential for Metro’s objective of advancing equity, considering the diversity of the communities living within its boundaries and the range of community needs. Special topic analyses in the assessment added depth to the ecological characterizations by mapping the availability of tree canopy cover, impervious surfaces, and a range of other environmental burdens associated with poor health outcomes and quality of life for BIPOC and low-income communities relative to the rest of the urban area. These included the distribution of toxics sites, hazardous air quality, and flood risk.
The core project team for this work included two Indigenous community advisors in addition to Metro’s Indigenous community liaison. The final report benefited greatly from the consensus-driven framing that these members contributed.