January 31, 2018

Hack Oregon Demo Day

Please note that this event is separately ticketed from the Global Tech Jam. General Admission tickets are FREE, but space is limited. Proceeds from VIP ticket sales directly support Hack Oregon volunteers.

Hack Oregon is a Portland based nonprofit and Smart Cities program focused on building data-driven software to address important themes in the public interest. Each project is produced by interdisciplinary teams of volunteers working in partnership with government, academic, and industry partners.  Projects often approach challenges where data is not easily accessible for analysis or visualization, both for stakeholders and the general public.

Join them for a night of drama, celebration and data-driven intrigue where they will unveil five new story collections on the CIVIC platform, an open data portal built by Hack Oregon. CIVIC integrates data across regional sources, promotes opportunities for new analysis and provides a browseable, clear, visual interface.

Thursday, June 21st
6:00  – 9:00 pm

Revolution Hall
1300 SE Stark St #110, Portland, OR 97214




Let’s take a hard look at our vulnerability as a city and make actionable recommendations that can help save lives and save critical infrastructure.


While the event of a catastrophic earthquake in the Pacific Northwest may be unpredictable, science tells us it’s inevitable.  We should be using the best information available to prepare for disaster and plan for resilience.  Yet, emergency prevention is often overlooked and underfunded in a variety of ways— including data analysis. 

One of Hack Oregon’s most widely visited projects is Aftershock, a tool that generates custom reports for seismic preparedness across Oregon.  This year, we focused on in-depth analysis for the City of Portland.



What do we know today that can guide the transportation infrastructure for Smart Cities of tomorrow?


Newly released findings from TriMet shows a slow decline in public transit ridership over the last 10 years, a pattern which appears to be consistent across the nation.  While the cause of decline in ridership doesn’t point to a single variable, it’s been suggested that housing affordability and economic displacement may play a role in this phenomenon.

The transportation project this year will dive deeper into a spectrum of data sources and multivariable analysis that can illuminate a fuller picture of demand and equity in our evolving transit ecosystem.



Synthesize complex information to understand the state of the housing market and promote a vision for long term affordability.


Over the past 10 years, the United States housing market has been dominated by two major trends: a surging demand in the rental market and a crash in the rate of homeownership.  The 2017 State of the Nation’s Housing Report by the Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard University shows these trends are particularly evident in Portland.

With house prices rising faster in Portland than the rest of the country, the deepening gap between income and home prices may not be a bubble but a long-term shift that will restructure the cost of housing in our city.  

In a recent City Club interview, Dr. Christopher Herbert, managing director of JCHS, said Portland is “ground zero for gentrification.”

Building on our project from last year’s CIVIC Housing Theme and Homelessness Theme, JCHS’s National State of Housing Report, and The City of Portland’s State of Housing report, we can tell a story that speaks to our city and brings a data-driven perspective to upcoming policy decisions in Portland.



Visualize and compare patterns over time to understand the multifaceted history of change in Portland neighborhoods.


All of us have felt the impact of rapid change and growth in Portland, but it can be hard to quantify in real terms.

When we talk about a “neighborhood”, we’re talking about a lot of things: schools, roads, crime, housing, businesses, parks…. everything.  But when we think about how neighborhoods are managed at the municipal level, the conversation and the accountability structures become more segmented. Data that exists on neighborhoods are often fractured across departments, with inconsistent standards, and in technical terms— very often “don’t relate”.

However, there are two things almost all data sources have in common: time and space.

The theme this year on Neighborhood Development is special because, in addition to tackling some of the toughest architecture challenges of the season, their work supports integration opportunities for every single other theme.  Together, this project represents the backbone of an evolving time-based and geospatial reference tool that powers the entire CIVIC platform.



Connect the dots between money, influence and the future redistricting of our State.


Oregon is preparing for our 10-year redistricting process, which means drawing the geographic boundaries to create electoral districts for congressional and legislative representatives. In a recent op-ed, Secretary of State Dennis Richardson stated, “Oregon’s legislature is responsible for redrawing district lines objectively. However, partisanship and incumbency can unduly influence how districts are reshaped. Many states around the country have realized this problem known as gerrymandering.”

Drawing district boundaries fairly, taking into account factors such as ethnicity, political affiliation, and socioeconomic status is an enormously complex information challenge.  Let’s assemble an elite data team to conduct independent research and data analysis to try to understand how changes and tradeoffs in redistricting might affect the next 10 years of Oregon elections.  We’ll publish this in an open, visual format to support the Redistricting Task Force and drive public engagement toward a balanced outcome.

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