People Leaving Portland: Good or Bad For Light Pollution?

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Recent stories emerged about population decline in the Portland area. Although it wasn’t much of a decline, those leaving are some of the wealthiest and most connected individuals. This not only hurts the city economically, but also poses a question. If the city loses population, is that good or bad for light pollution? Let’s take a look at some thoughts in both pro and con of this question. These thoughts are just some examples of the considerations around this topic, which isn’t easy or fun to talk about.


With fewer people in Portland, it means that the growth can be concentrated and hopefully better controlled. This could include fewer new houses, fewer tall buildings built, and refocusing efforts on new growth. With the reduced growth, it could provide an opportunity to reduce existing light pollution in underserved areas and make improvements that have been needed.

Another positive is that a lack of growth means that future light pollution in the area could improve or even not increase as much. Providing an opportunity to limit future light pollution through slowed growth is one way to reduce light pollution.


Just because people are leaving Portland, it doesn’t mean that they leave the area. They might just move to surrounding areas and increase light pollution in those areas. This would just shift the problem somewhere else.

Even if the city were to implement regulations and controls, it takes time for them to take effect and results to be seen. For example, some might not be able to afford to reduce their light pollution even if they want to because of costs or other reasons such as zoning or how the building is constructed.

What do you think? Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below or via social media. We post articles regularly, on a weekly basis, so come back next week for more articles like this!

1 Comment on "People Leaving Portland: Good or Bad For Light Pollution?"

  1. Elizabeth Nash | April 13, 2023 at 3:29 am | Reply

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