About the Regional Equity Atlas

What We Are Mapping

The Regional Equity Atlas 2.0 analyzes how well different neighborhoods and populations across the region are able to access essential resources and opportunities, and how these patterns relate to key health outcomes.  It includes a web-based Mapping Tool that enables users to make and edit their own maps, and we have also created Maps and an Initial Analysis of many key issues.

Equity Atlas 2.0 includes data on a wide range of issue areas that were identified as priorities by stakeholders from across the region:

  • Demographics:  Race/ ethnicity, income, age, and household composition
  • Access Measures:  How well the residents of a particular geographic area can access key opportunities including a healthy environment, food, housing, transportation, parks and nature, education, economic opportunity, services, and other community resources
  • Health Outcome Measures:  Key diseases that are affected by the conditions in which we live, such as the rates of asthma, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, as well as other health outcomes such as obesity and birth outcomes

Most of the data can be mapped by neighborhood or census tract for the four-county region including Multnomah, Clark, Clackamas, and Washington counties.

With a dynamic mapping interface and a broad range of indicators, Equity Atlas 2.0 provides a powerful tool for analyzing, monitoring, and transforming regional inequities. 

Why Maps

Maps provide a unique and powerful way to examine the issues facing our region:

  • Maps enable us to deal effectively with complex information by presenting data and relationships visually, rather than through dense text or tables
  • Maps help us to look at the entire picture while at the same time enabling us to zoom in to see specific areas in greater detail
  • Maps help to illuminate inequities by showing patterns and trends
  • Maps allow information to be layered, and for each layer to highlight different issues

How the Data Is Used

The Equity Atlas can help to inform a wide range of planning and policy decisions, such as where to locate new housing, transit, parks, services, infrastructure, and other amenities, and where to most effectively target public and private investments. 

We work with partner organizations to analyze the disparities revealed by the Equity Atlas maps and develop policy recommendations.  This includes working with interested government agencies to develop an equity framework that enables the agencies to more effectively operationalize the concept of equity in their planning and decision-making.  

The Original Regional Equity Atlas

The original Regional Equity Atlas (2007) received national attention for its groundbreaking analysis of disparities affecting the region. The Equity Atlas mapped the distribution of different populations and communities across the region, with a focus on historically disenfranchised groups. Then it mapped access to key resources such as food, transportation, parks and nature, walkable neighborhoods, a healthy environment, affordable housing, and quality education. The comparisons between the resource maps and the demographic maps revealed pervasive disparities in historically disenfranchised populations’ access to the resources necessary for health and well-being.

By illuminating the region’s “geography of opportunity”, the Equity Atlas transformed local conversations around equity and provided concrete information to guide local advocacy and policy making to promote greater regional equity.


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