Downtown Equity Strategy
The Downtown Equity Strategy is a new initiative of the City of Beaverton to guide public investments in downtown Beaverton with a focus on racial equity. Once developed, we will have a framework for spending public resources in a manner that recognizes downtown belongs to all Beaverton residents and as such, should develop in a way that is interesting, inviting, and accessible to people of all backgrounds, centering Black, Indigenous and people of color; and in doing so, prevent, minimize, and mitigate involuntary residential and business displacement.
We have an initial project proposal and are seeking input about the focus of the project and what will be achieved when the project is completed.
SURVEY LINK: Please give your feedback about your experience in downtown Beaverton to help us shape this project.
CUESTIONARIO EN ESPAÑOL: Favor de compartir sus experiencias en el centro de Beaverton para informar el diseño de este proyecto.
What is expected to be included in this project?
The Downtown Equity Strategy will develop policies, strategies, and tools to guide redevelopment and public infrastructure projects in Beaverton’s downtown.
What is not included in this project?
This project does not include other racial equity efforts unrelated to redevelopment or infrastructure, such as the police operations, the library, or the city’s hiring practices.
What are the main deliverables of this project?
We are hoping to 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
- Update decision-making process to use community engagement principles and a racial equity lens prior to bringing recommendations before Council/BURA for redevelopment and public infrastructure efforts in the project area
Why is the city doing this project now?
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. This 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 communities, and that involuntary displacement as a result of these investments is prevented, minimized, and mitigated.
Review our draft project proposal: Draft Project Proposal
What we’ve already heard from community members:
In these early stages of the Downtown Equity Strategy Project, community input is necessary in helping shape the project's priorities and goals. As our team begins preliminary community outreach, we think it prudent to first recognize prior community concerns and demands from past planning efforts. We believe it is necessary to address these formerly recorded priorities to better inform the project.
The most pressing demands we have heard community members ask for are as follows: First, gathered from the focus groups interviewed in the Leading with Race Report (2018), the top three community demands, listed in order of priority, include:
- Expanding both access and quality of affordable housing, including equitable rent regulations and policy reform
- Building safe spaces, such as community centers, for resources and culturally specific recreational activities and gatherings
- Increased support for local business and transportation access to both ensure a diversity of local services and affordable transport to them
Second, concluded from the Allen Boulevard District Survey Report (2018), the top concerns for the area include:
- Lack of community gathering space and recreational opportunities
- Unsafe environment for pedestrians and bicyclists
- Rising rents and unsafe housing conditions
- Neighborhood appearance and lack of investment
Finally, drawn from the Allen Boulevard Priorities Survey Report (2019), priority outcomes identified include:
- Additional street crossings, lighting and other changes help improve pedestrian safety
- Healthy and affordable housing opportunities for existing residents
- Storefront improvements help existing businesses attract new customers
- Diverse culturally specific events, activities and art bring people together to celebrate
We have heard similar feedback from community members across multiple community engagement efforts, and understand that concerns about displacement and demands for increased community involvement are top priorities. We are listening and will incorporate this feedback into the Downtown Equity Strategy.