Monday, March 14, 2011

End of the Road for Eastside Urban Renewal?

By Lee Nichols


So what are the odds that the tri-party agreement between the Austin Revitalization Authority, the UrbanRenewal Board , and the city of Austin will survive past the end of October, when it's due to expire? Apparently not high, if one judges by comments last week from members of the URB.
The agreement, which makes ARA the lead developer for trying to revitalize and protect the culture of the East 11th and East 12th corridors, has been maligned by many for failing to deliver on that goal, as ARA has accomplished a few projects on 11th but very little on 12th Street. Back in April, the Robertson Hill and Swede Hill neighborhood associations called for an end to the deal, in which the city provides substantial operational funding to the ARA.
More recently, URB Chair Ben Sifuentes said he's done with the tri-party and even thinks the URB itself, which oversees the 11th and 12th streets project, should go.
"The URB and the tri-party agreement didn't work," Sifuentes told the online city politics newsletter In Fact Daily. "Why do we need it? Why do we have it? Do away with them. The Urban Renewal Agency's sole power is eminent domain, and we've already gotten the land that we've gotten, and it can't be developed right now."

 read more

Austin downtown, by Jorge Michel

some posts about revitalization projects:

Waterwalk Sustainable Urban Regeneration Project for Green Brussels Capital

Developing sustain ability: sustainability policy and gentrification on Toronto's waterfront

Implications of an Urban Renewal Based State-Led Gentrification Process in a Roma Neighborhood in Istanbul

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