The City’s 20-year growth management plan, known as Envision Eugene, shows that Eugene must redevelop land inside our urban growth boundary if we do not want to expand the boundary. The expected demand for housing inside the existing boundary will need to be built somewhere. By encouraging growth in the downtown core, we can reduce development pressure on farmland on the edge of the community.
A high priority action item within the Eugene Climate and Energy Action Plan is to increase density around the urban core and along high-capacity transit corridors. National data show that individuals living in city centers drive, on average, fewer miles than individuals in other parts of a community. Downtown is walkable, has good access to transit, and offers goods and services for residents’ daily needs. More residents in the downtown will result in lower per capita carbon emissions and other automobile emissions (including carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxide, and particulate matter).
Housing in the downtown core also positively affects the economic activity in the city center. For example, new residents in the downtown support local businesses because they increase demand for nearby goods and services. Also, an occupied building creates an active use, which enhances the overall vibrancy of the downtown.
The chart below shows property tax per acre for a variety of development types and locations throughout the community. The chart shows that dense development in the downtown core generates substantially more tax revenue per acre than any other part of the city. And the dense development costs less to serve—the cost per resident for roads, water, and sewer are significantly lower.