Bicycling and the culture that has sprung up around it in Portland is a major part of our city’s brand. People move here because of our bike-friendly reputation — whether they’re drawn to mundane things like our great bike parking and bikeway network or more attention-grabbing things like our record-breaking annual World Naked Bike Ride.
But what (if any) impact does this have on our city’s business climate? And what about all the other aspects of Portland’s culture like our penchant for locally sourced food or our infamous young and unemployed residents that Portlandia creators mock as having moved here to retire?
Believe it or not, this is actually a topic that is getting some serious attention.
Tomorrow, the Portland Advertising Foundation will host an event called: The Portlandia Effect: Portland’s alternative lifestyles growing our economy. Here’s a blurb from organizers:
Ever wondered how local lifestyles and practices influence our business success on the national landscape?
“Oregonians and Portland’s Creative community may be experiencing first-hand the confluence of Pop Culture and Commerce: The Portlandia Effect. How does the business community outside of Oregon respond to our culture? Join PAF and a panel of expert brand strategists and economic development gurus, including our region’s most progressive thought leaders, for a spirited discussion of the perception of Portland’s laid back alternative lifestyle on our business environment.”
You can register for the event and see who’s on the panel here.
I know that many Portlanders moved here and/or started doing business here because of our bike-friendly reputation. To the extent that bicycling can be considered an “alternative lifestyle,” I’d say the Portlandia effect is definitely real and that yes, it does impact our city’s bottom line (positively, in my opinion).
What do you think?