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The Roots of Downtown Placemaking


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 allocating funding, the Council asked to hear from the community about their vision for what’s best for downtown parks and open spaces and what improvements are most important to them.

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.

Final Recommendations from PPS

In their report, "Placemaking in Eugene," the team from PPS incorporated the ideas, concerns and comments from the public engagement completed in 2016, and turned that into a vision for downtown.

They made a general recommendation for bold action, specifically  involving a three-pronged approach of: safety and social services; activation (particularly with attractive events for families); and physical improvements.

Their work includes detail recommendations for each of the four public spaces (Park Blocks, Broadway Plaza / Kesey Square, the Library Plaza, and Plaza at the Hult Center), as well as a strategy for downtown management.

Download the final report (23.1 MB) here.
Or read it online with Issuu.

Public Engagement Report

Places for People began with public engagement to hear from people across the community about their experiences and ideas for the downtown public spaces.  PPS has documented those conversations and survey responses in their report: Summary of Observations and Community Engagement.

You can download the file here (please note, at about 30MB, the file is large).
Download Summary of Observations and Community Engagement
Or flip through the document in using the Issuu reader below.

See below for a complete list of events.

Community Events

Placemaking Presentation by Fred Kent and Open House 

Thursday, October 13, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. at Lane Community College Downtown Campus
  • International expert Fred Kent, the founder and president of Project for Public Spaces, spoke about the value of memorable public spaces.  Click here to watch the video

Placemaking Workshops


Wednesday, October 12, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. Hult Center Studio, 1 Eugene Center
Saturday, October 15, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Atrium Lobby, 99 W. 10th Ave 
  • Workshop participants toured different downtown public spaces, assessed their current condition, and brainstormed short-term and long-term solutions.

Online Survey

  • During October and November, more than 1,900 people took the online survey in either English or Spanish.

Email Updates

Public Meetings

  • Information about Places for People and project updates have been shared at the following public meetings:
    City Council, February 15  Click here to watch the video (featuring a presentation by Meg Walker of PPS)
    City Council, October 17  Click here to watch the video (beginning at 45:15)
    Human Rights Commission, September 20
    Planning Commission, September 19

 Pop-Up Placemaking Stations

  • These stations around downtown and other parts of the city were opportunities for community members to learn about this project, and share what they like (or don't like) about downtown, when they go downtown, and what would bring them downtown more often.

Thursday, October 13
11:00 am - 1:00 pm    Downtown Library, 100 W. 10th Ave.
2:00 – 4:00 pm    Bi-Mart, 1680 W 18th Ave.

Friday, October 14
8:30 - 10:30 am    Market of Choice, 2580 Willakenzie Rd.
5:30 – 8:00 pm    Pueblo a Pueblo Festival at Petersen Barn, 870 Berntzen Rd.

Saturday, October 15
8:30 - 11:00 am    Lane County Farmers Market, 8th Ave. and Oak St.
7:00 - 8:00 pm    Hult Center Lobby, 1 Eugene Center

Wednesday, November 9
9:00 - 11:00 am    Goodwill Thrift Store, 1010 Green Acres Rd.
10:00 am – 12:00 pm   Erb Memorial Union, University of Oregon

Thursday, November 10
3:15 – 4:15 pm    Churchill High School 1850 Bailey Hill Rd.

Friday, November 11
2:00 - 4:00 pm    Erb Memorial Union, University of Oregon

Monday, November 14
1:00 - 3:00 pm  Capella Market, 2489 Willamette St.

Tuesday, November 15
2:00 - 4:00 pm  Grocery Outlet, 2060 River Rd.
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