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Notes for the Reader


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There are a few points that should be taken into account when reading Voices from the Community: The visionPDX Input Report. These relate to how we organized the report, how we treat quotations and how we use certain terms.


  1. This report is organized into nine major issue areas, each of which contains a number of chapters on topics that can be considered subcategories of that issue area. So, for example, under the issue area of Environment one will find chapters on Air, Water, Energy, Pollution, and more. This organizational structure generally follows the coding tree that the Portland State University Survey Research Lab developed to organize and sort the responses received from the public (for more information, read about our Methodology).

    Given that community members responded to open-ended questions and frequently touched on inter-related themes, many of their comments defy easy categorization. The result is that some ideas appear in multiple sections of the report and some themes are addressed from slightly different angles in more than one chapter.

    To help readers find related content, we have included a number of links throughout the report that point to chapters in which related content can be found. For example, in a discussion on neighborhood livability that mentions the importance of parks, we might say, “see Urban Livability: Parks and Open Space for more.”

  2. The organization of Voices from the Community: The visionPDX Input Report differs in some respects from the organization of the abridged version of this report. In order to improve readability, some smaller sub-sections have been merged to form larger chapters and the titles of some chapters have been slightly modified. We have also altered the order in which the chapters appear, choosing to list them alphabetically for smoother navigation.


  1. All quotes displayed are taken from the actual surveys submitted to the City. Some typos and misspellings have been corrected to improve readability, and words orignally written in capital letters (CAPS) have also been made lower-case. However, all other elements of the quotes, including grammatical errors, have been left unchanged.

    Because survey questions varied from "What do you value about Portland and why?" to "What changes do you most want to see right now?" it is imporant to know the context in which a quote is given. Many people include the question prompt in their response, providing enough context so that no additional information is needed. In these cases, quotes have not been altered. However, in cases where the survey question is not clear, we have added clarifying phrases in brackets to the front of quotes, which look like this: “[What I value is] the clean air, the rivers, and all the trees.”


  1. Throughout the report, a number of different terms are used to refer to survey respondents, including “Portlanders,” “people” and “community members.” These terms are used interchangeably and in all cases refer only to those individuals who filled out the visionPDX survey and not to the community at large.

    To be inclusive of all survey respondents, some of whom are refugees, immigrants, visitors to Portland and others, we chose not to use the term “citizen” when referring to visionPDX participants.

  2. In order to provide a general sense of how many people mentioned a particular theme, issue or strategy, we often use words such as “most,” “many,” “some” and “few.” These are relative terms that refer to the number of people within a given chapter that hold a certain point of view. The visionPDX survey was designed to be qualitative, not quantitative, so we cannot give percentages or numbers of respondents who agree or disagree with a theme, issue or strategy.

    Because some chapters contain more comments than others, the number of respondents conveyed by these terms ("many," "most," etc.) varies from chapter to chapter. For example, in a chapter that contains 1,000 responses in a given topic area, “most” will refer to many more people than it will in a chapter that contains only 300 responses.

  3. The terms “minority voices” or “minority opinions” refer to perspectives that were voiced by a small number of people and that differ from the majority opinion expressed in the data. These terms do not refer to views expressed by ethnic, cultural, religious or other groups that form a minority of the overall population.

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