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Growing Forward: Maintaining Liveability Through Better Town-Gown Relations

Air Date: April 21, 2014

Meeting Date: April 18, 2014

A large institution of higher education in a small- or mid-sized town inevitably influences life in that locale. The Eugene-Springfield area is no exception. The UO brings the benefits of research and innovation, economic development, and employment opportunities. It brings new ideas, resources, and diverse people into the community.

At the same time, proximity to a major university brings challenges to the community, especially the neighborhoods near campus. Those challenges become greater when the university is growing. Between 2007 and 2011, enrollment at the University of Oregon grew by more than 5,000 students; today it stands at just over 24,500. The consequences for residential and business neighbors can be particularly significant. Challenges arise because of the density and construction of student housing, parties and noise, parking and transportation, and related land use issues.

The panel will share with City Club, some ways it has addressed those challenges during the past five years. Neighborhood associations, the City of Eugene, the University of Oregon, and property managers and owners have implemented initiatives, task forces, and events. Their goal is to build the cordial and productive relationships that are the basis of a positive neighborhood experience. The speakers will describe recent collaborations and successes that have addressed the challenges and increased neighborhood livability.

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