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Community Building in the City of Portland with Verde

Environmental justice organization, Verde, serves communities in Portland, Oregon by building environmental wealth through social enterprise, outreach, and advocacy. Over the past year (from February 2020-April 2021), Verde participated in the Greenlink Equity Mapping (GEM) Project facilitated by Upright Consulting Services. Verde provided consulting support for the development of the mapping tool and organized community through participatory research around a number of key issues with the Build/Shift team. The Built/Shift team is a group of community leaders through the Zero Cities Project organized to approach building performance standards through a justice lens.

Over the course of the year, the Build/Shift team hosted three Zoom workshops about Community Health, Housing and Transportation, and Community Safety and the Election and Energy Cost Burden. Verde also supported the development of the GEM tool to ensure that it was usable and focused on the data that might be most important to understanding disparities and creating equitable outcomes in Portland.

Verde has stated that the GEM tool will be useful in the next phase of their work to support the community-collected energy, energy burden, and housing data. This data will be used for the community-led development of a building performance standards policy for the City of Portland with a focus on healthy and safe rental housing.

For more information on how Verde is using GEM, please contact Oriana Magnera at

Image from the Zero Cities Project Report by Verde


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