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Matt Davis

The last thing the poor African Americans and Hispanics in East Portland need is the fucking Portland Development Commission coming in with good intentions and white-washing the district.

Let's restrict the urban renewal interest to Old Town and Goose Hollow, where the "battle has already been won."


I have to agree with you. One of the reasons that Portland is lauded for being green is the focus on infrastructure in downtown. Are we willing to add light rail lines, fareless squares, and transit malls in these outer Portland areas? PDC dollars have been spent to make these infrastructure items work.

It is just in the last five years that downtown has started to come alive with the Pearl, South Waterfront, and other development in between. Are we ready to abandon it already? I would hate to see it come unraveled the second we stop paying attention.

Downtown Portland is good, but with the continued support of development immediately surrounding the core, it could be even better.

Joseph Readdy

Unfortunate choice of east side alternatives: Rockwood is a part of a relatively new urban renewal district managed by the City of Gresham redevelopment agency. The five-year lag between initiation of the district and the recent developer request for qualifications that might lead to a mixed-use redevelopment project is typical.
When might it be possible to end the Rockwood urban renewal district? It could very well be twenty or thirty years from now.


There seems to be a lot going on with this discussion.. Urban renewal is and always has been intended to be a catalyst for private investment in urban areas. It's not meant to be a long-term presence to be relied upon. That's why there are sunset dates on urban renewal areas. I think downtown, the Pearl, and Goose Hollow are all well on their way to be "completed" without public investments. Those are highly desirable locations with premiums on accessibility. The east side has shown the ability to succeed without urban renewal funds ever entering in the mix. New infill development has occurred on Belmont, Hawthorne and Division already. This was the result of zoning regulations allowing greater development rather than public investment. The demand for residences there is strong, regardless of the quality of the streets.

The outer east, whether we go there or not, is home to thousands of Portlanders. They have needs and desires too. Parks, schools, and other public investments are strongly needed to make these communities viable to entice private investment.

Sure, there's always room for improvement in downtown and surrounding high-density areas, but relatively speaking, when we're limited in how much urban renewal we can have, there are other areas needing urban renewal more.. Let's not get lost in our pursuit of a more perfect urban experience at the expense of the more vulnerable populations.


If we really want to be dense in our core, we've got a long way to go. Go look at some of the East Coast Cities - now that is density. We have so much unused and underutilized land and property inside the UGB right now; what we need to do it set the UGB where it is right now, and leave it for 50 years. That would just lay it all out there for everybody too see and understand. Developers could look at the land available inside the UGB, and start with the areas that they thought were best, then gradually fill in as we go along. City Leaders, PDC and Metro could look comprehensively at how to provide a transportation system to meet the needs of this density. And people outside the current UGB would realize that for the next 50 year, they will remain outside the UGB and plan accordingly. Urban Renewal Plans could be developed from the inside out - a comprehensive look at what we have to work with, starting from close in and working out toward the boundary.

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