Downtown's Economic ImpactDowntown Portland is known for its sales-tax free high-end shopping, innovative restaurants and well-planned transportation system. Downtown's streets, which feature statues, fountains and half-size city blocks, contribute to the vitality of the urban experience. With its urban-residential draw, the eclectic charm of Old Town/Chinatown, the West End academic and cultural area, and the Yamhill/Morrison signature retail district, downtown Portland is well-composed yet remarkably diverse.
Downtown Portland comprises less than one percent of the region's land mass but provides 13 percent of the regional employment base and generates 15 percent of the city's property tax revenues and four percent of the region's low income housing stock.
Downtown Portland is also home to several universities and other educational institutions, including Portland State University, the University of Oregon's Portland Center, Portland Community College's Downtown Center, Oregon Culinary Institute - Pioneer Pacific College and the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine.
Attracting residents and tourists alike, downtown Portland has a flourishing arts scene, with world-class cultural amenities such as symphony, opera, ballet, theater, museums, art museums and galleries, film festivals and a thriving music scene. With a public transit mix that includes light rail, streetcars and buses, 13 four-star, luxury hotels and more than 600 retail businesses, downtown Portland is indeed an urban paradise.