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The Social and Environmental Achievements of New Urbanism: Evidence from Orenco Station

The study that follows is part of a small but growing number of analyses designed to empirically evaluate the achievements of new urbanist developments. This study is based on a house-level survey of residents in Orenco Station, a new urbanist development in western Portland, Oregon. Similar surveys were also conducted in two more traditional neighborhoods, one in Northeast Portland and one in Southwest Portland, and so comparisons can be made across the communities. Through this comparative approach, it is possible to evaluate the current outcomes of this new urbanist project on a variety of dimensions. Key issues that are
explored include the following: Has the Orenco Station project succeeded in fostering a sense of community for its residents? How have residents responded to living in a higher density situation? And, of particular importance from an environmental perspective, have Orenco Station residents reduced their reliance on automobiles since moving into the community? My research demonstrates that Orenco Station has succeeded in fostering an unusually high level of social cohesion within the community.