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the Oregon settlement began to be populated in the 1830s near the end of the Oregon Trail.Its water access provided convenient transportation of goods, and the timber industry was a major force in the city's early economy.Its Combined Statistical Area (CSA) ranks 19th-largest with a population of around 3.2 million.

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At the turn of the 20th century, the city had a reputation as one of the most dangerous port cities in the world, a hub for organized crime and racketeering.

After the city's economy experienced an industrial boom during World War II, its hard-edged reputation began to dissipate.

Per a 2014 report, over 7,000 locations within the Portland area are at high-risk for landslides and soil liquefaction in the event of a major earthquake, including much of the city's west side (such as Washington Park) and sections of Clackamas County.

Portland is 60 miles (97 km) east of the Pacific Ocean at the northern end of Oregon's most populated region, the Willamette Valley.

In 1891 the cities of Portland, Albina, and East Portland were consolidated, creating inconsistent patterns of street names and addresses.

The "great renumbering" on September 2, 1931 standardized street naming patterns, divided Portland into five official quadrants, and changed house numbers from 20 per block to 100 per block.

Downtown Portland straddles the banks of the Willamette River, which flows north through the city center and separates the city's east and west neighborhoods.

Less than 10 miles (16 km) from downtown, the Willamette River flows into the Columbia River, the fourth-largest river in the United States, which divides Oregon from Washington state. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has an area of 145.09 square miles (375.78 km Portland's cityscape derives much of its character from the many bridges that span the Willamette River downtown, several of which are historic landmarks, and Portland has been nicknamed "Bridgetown" for many decades as a result.

Council Crest Park, commonly thought of as the highest point within city limits, is in the West Hills and rises to an elevation of 1,073 feet (327 m) The city's actual high point is a little-known and infrequently accessed point of 1,180 feet (360 m) near Forest Park. Tabor, an extinct volcanic cinder cone, which rises to 636 feet (194 m). Other bridges that span the Willamette river in the downtown area include the Burnside Bridge, the Ross Island Bridge (both built 1926), and the double-decker Marquam Bridge (built 1966).

Nearby Powell Butte and Rocky Butte rise to 614 feet (187 m) and 612 feet (187 m), respectively. Other bridges outside the downtown area include the Sellwood Bridge (built 2016) to the south; and the St.

It was the first American city to have residents report thus, The article, which focused on crime boss Jim Elkins, became the basis of a fictionalized film titled Portland Exposé (1957).

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