Imagine downtown Eugene as a place where all community members feel safe, comfortable and welcome.
In partnership with Project for Public Spaces, the City of Eugene is launching a project with the goal of making downtown a better place for all. We are starting by re-imagining our downtown parks, squares and sidewalks as active, vital destinations. It should be a place everyone wants to be any day of the year; to come together, to meet, relax and have fun. A downtown that is the true heart and soul of Eugene. A thriving cultural, commercial and community center.
families heading downtown to have fun,
theater-goers lingering downtown for dinner after a show,
sidewalks alive with musicians, vendors, and outdoor dining, and
people of all ages enjoying music in the park.
Imagine… the kind of place where WE ALL want to be!
Downtown is Eugene’s civic center and the economic, cultural and governmental focus of the region. Parks and open spaces play a critical role in the vitality of the area and how people experience downtown. In June 2016, the Eugene City Council approved an ordinance making the downtown Park Blocks and other open spaces eligible for up to $5.2 million of urban renewal funding for improvements. Before funding is allocated, however, the Council wants to hear from the community.
As part of a broad public engagement process, community members are being invited to help create a vision of what’s best for the downtown parks and open spaces and provide input on what improvements are most important to them.
Starting in August 2016, the City began working with the Project for Public Spaces (PPS) on a public engagement effort on existing public spaces downtown including the Park Blocks, the Plaza at the Hult, Broadway Plaza (Kesey Square), and the Library Plaza, as well as the pedestrian paths that link them. PPS is an internationally known non-profit that has a long history of helping communities transform public spaces into vital places that highlight local assets, spur rejuvenation and serve common needs.
PPS began a series of interviews and focus groups in August with key downtown stakeholders and has conducted an observational study of the current uses of downtown public spaces. Public events continued in October with public presentations and workshops, more Pop Up stations, additional interviews, and an online survey.