EWEB RIVERFRONT MASTER PLAN
This completed master plan models sustainable, mixed-use redevelopment in a variety of ways: it creates 8 acres of new riverfront open space, requires LEED certification for all new construction, adds meaningful residential capacity at the city center, improves public access and the Riverbank Trail System, and proposes numerous ways to teach about our river, our history and our city. With the nine-member Community Advisory Team’s counsel, a series of form-based design guidelines and an ecological assessment were both completed to before finalizing the master plan. During the 12-month design process, more than 1,000 community members participated in the plan’s development.
In June 2010, the master plan was unanimously approved by the EWEB Board of Commissioners after receiving consensus approval from the Community Advisory Team. In November 2010, the land-use phase was completed to codify the master plan’s vision in 2011-2012. This master plan represents the final step in a decades-long planning process to renew the connection between downtown Eugene and the Willamette River.
For decades, Eugene has aspired to reconnect its city center with the Willamette River. At the only location where downtown touches the riverbank, the Riverfront Master Plan seizes this opportunity.The 27-acre Downtown Riverfront is envisioned as an urban neighborhood demonstrating green design and teaching about Eugene’s history. It delivers on policies for infill development, mixed-use, public access and sustainable redevelopment.
The Master Plan provides a framework that directs the form of the public realm while allowing for redevelopment creativity and flexibility. It extends Eugene’s urban fabric into the site, and introduces an arc of open space along the Willamette. Key elements include:
• A Great Loop connecting downtown’s Great Streets through the riverfront site.
• The Cultural Landscape: 8 acres of open space with a public plaza, art, riparian enhancement, native plants, the Steam Plant, and stormwater swales recalling the historic Millrace.
• Open Space Guidelines that pull the river landscape into the city and repair an industrial site that is 90% impervious.
• Restaurant Row and a riverfront Boardwalk creating a vibrant people place overlooking the river.
• Secondary Streets along utility easements that provide emergency access, river views, and 300 on-street parking spaces.
• Form-based code and well-formed blocks that allow for a mix of pedestrian-friendly redevelopment.
The Master Plan included a year-long, intensive community design process that generated broad public support for the site’s redevelopment. It is the basis for the Riverfront Special Area Zone adopted by Eugene’s City Council in 2012.