Homelessness has become a focal point of Portlanders’ angst as the number of people who sleep on the street has grown. It has also captured the interest of Portland State University researchers in the linguistics department as much as those who study city planning.
So when the Portland State president announced shortly after he started the job that he would fund two initiatives that take professors from across the school and train them all on the same topic, many felt they finally had a way to do something about the more than 4,000 people who don’t have a permanent home in the city.
Portland State President Rahmat Shoureshi announced Monday morning that he would dedicate $3 million to a new Homelessness Research and Action Collaborative and a Digital City Testbed Center, which will focus on how technology can be used to make urban regions more efficient, greener and healthier.
The centers will be given about three years to prove they can attract outside investment and make a difference in understanding homelessness and how technology and urban planning interact.
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