Urban renewal began in the 1940’a as a federal program to revitalize central cities. At that time, it was often a top-down effort characterized by large-scale clearance of land to provide what was then considered to be improved housing conditions. These efforts disproportionately impacted and displaced poor people and people of color. The federal urban renewal program was discontinued in the 1970s.
Today, many state and local governments are utilizing tax increment financing, also known as urban renewal, for redevelopment to revive downtown areas. Since the 2000s, urban renewal projects have evolved to become a more collaborative effort that aims to strengthen existing communities by relying on input from people in those communities.
The City’s Community Development Division, which leads administration of Eugene’s two urban renewal districts, intends to incorporate a racial equity and accessibility lens to the projects and programs proposed in the Urban Renewal amendment. More information about this process will be shared as staff begins implementation of the amended Plan.