The Beaverton Urban Redevelopment Agency (BURA) is poised to change Beaverton’s downtown for generations through significant investments in public infrastructure, private development and other city programs/activities. A new project, the Downtown Equity Strategy, is needed to guide these investments and other city initiatives to ensure that downtown Beaverton is an inclusive place for racially diverse and low income communities, and that involuntary displacement as a result of these investments is prevented, minimized and mitigated. Displacement can refer to demolition of homes or businesses, rising housing costs and commercial rents that price out existing residents and businesses, and cultural displacement that occurs through changes in the aspects of a neighborhood that have provided people of color with a sense of belonging and connection – including businesses, community institutions and other amenities.
Planning efforts, urban renewal, public infrastructure, and redevelopment activities can bring about significant positive change which could not be possible without these interventions. We also know that historically, negative consequences often result from redevelopment activities, disproportionately impacting people of color and low-income residents and business owners.
Implementation of the Downtown Equity Strategy will help all Beaverton residents benefit from these changes. It will also help BURA and the city thoughtfully navigate decision-making to avoid negative consequences for areas within and adjacent to the Urban Renewal Area.
What will this project do?
The Downtown Equity Strategy will develop policies, strategies, and tools in three main categories:
- Prevent and mitigate involuntary displacement of residents and businesses from the project area.
- Create an inclusive downtown, with amenities desired by communities of color and other marginalized communities.
- Update decision-making processes and community engagement practices to incorporate racial equity tools for projects in the downtown area.
BURA and the City of Beaverton have selected a consultant team led by Vision Action Network to help lead this work. The project team includes Adelante Mujeres, APANO, Bienestar, Coalition of Communities of Color and ECONorthwest.
Get involved! The project team will be involving community members throughout this important work. Visit www.BeavertonOregon.gov/DES to sign up for project updates and learn more about upcoming engagement opportunities.
For more information: Contact Rachel Thieme, Community Development Department, at firstname.lastname@example.org.