Kudos to Jack Bog's blog for bringing attention to Eugene's latest idea for downtown revitalization- mixed use condos, apartments, maybe a hotel (what? no Whole Foods? No Symantec?), all of it heavily subsidized by federal money and/or tax increment financing.
Oh, this one cracks me up. My family moved from Portland to Eugene in 1968. This was just in time to watch Eugene utilize, you guessed it-- urban renewal. The city demolished their downtown core and turned it into a car-free pedestian mall. Many historic buildings were demolished in the process. I have no idea how many millions of tax dollars it cost, but the project was an utter and complete failure.
The pedestrian mall turned into a ghost town. It killed the downtown core. Literally. For a time in the 70's, when I was working at Chrystalship records (HI! Chrystalship time!) on the pedestrian mall, it and a hi-fi store, and Brownie's Karmel corn were the only thriving businesses.