Eugene's downtown area is in 'crisis,' new assessment says

Stock downtown Eugene - KATU file

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) -- A consultant hired to help improve downtown Eugene has told city leaders that the area is in "crisis" and is widely considered unsafe.

The Register-Guard reports that the Oregon city hired New York-based Project for Public Spaces to recommend ways to make the downtown public spaces safer, welcoming and more active.

The firm presented several ideas during a Wednesday meeting. Vice president and design director Meg Walker says the project has found problems with homelessness in other cities but that the situation in downtown Eugene is the most serious she's seen. She says the small, concentrated downtown makes the problem appear more severe than it would in a big city.

Walker and her colleagues proposed ideas to help the city's homeless population as well as designs to make downtown spaces more appealing.


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