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South Park Blocks URA: Overview

The South Park Blocks Urban Renewal Area, created in 1985, includes significant historic buildings, cultural attractions and green spaces.

The University District is home to Portland State University (PSU), the state’s largest university. The Portland Art Museum, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Performing Arts Center and Oregon Historical Society are just a few of the Cultural District attractions. The Park Avenue District runs through the center of the URA, providing a unique urban design, open space, and historic quality to the heart of downtown Portland. The West End is home to many downtown churches and mixed-income, mixed-use housing developments. PDC has played an important role in a number of developments, rehabilitations and public improvements in the URA.


Current PDC efforts in the South Park Blocks URA focus on:

  • Expanding and supporting the downtown retail core.
  • Preserving Section 8 affordable housing and providing middle income housing in support of a healthy mixed-income downtown residential neighborhood.
  • Assisting Portland State University (PSU) as an economic generator for the city, including bolstering partnerships on clean tech job creation and next-generation green building.

Review a summary of goals for the South Park Blocks Urban Renewal Area (URA).