Box 9, Folder 26, Document 11

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Box 9, Folder 26, Document 11

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Need for
Special Legislation for the
Revitalization of
Central Business Districts
B~ enacting appropriate legislatip~:
Providing for planning and carrying out the revitalization of an
entire central business district, to allow for staged renewal on
a functional rather than a limited geographical basis, and to
provide for greater opportunity for the relocation of individuals
and businesses within the area.
Encouraging preservation, restoration and rehabilitation of
historical and other significant structures.
Recognizing that certain public facilities essential to the
central business district should qualify as non-cash grants-in-aid .
The Congress would permit cities to:
Plan for and guarantee the total revitalization of the central
business district so that developers and investors will be
encouraged to participate more readily, thus stimulating maximum
participation by private enterprise with a minimum of public
· acquis i tion.
Stage urban renewal action on a more efficient basis so as to
reduce the time lag between demolition and reconstruction.
Finance its urban renewal and other related activities on a more
efficient and orderly basis.
Increase job opportunities through the revitalization of the
primary employment area.
Strengthen the economic base of the community.
Provide increased cultural opportunities for the community.
March 23, 1966
People live in urban areas because they seek the combined advantages
which these areas can offer as compared to more sparsely settled areas.
Such advantages include increased employment opportunities, good housing
in attractive neighborhoods, adequate and economical transportation facilities, the cultural and social advantages offered by the great educational
institutions located in such areas, and the crnvenience and enjoyment of
the varied facilities afforded by the central business district. It is the
total urban "package," rather than any special element thereof, which is
the magnet of attraction. It is therefore essential that any national
legislation to assist cities in the renewal of their urban areas should
permit effective assistance to be made available for the renewal of any
blighted or deteriorated sections of an urban community so that any such
section can be redeveloped to provide any one or more of such desired and
needed advantages.
To a large extent, our present national urban renewal legislation
recognizes this principle. In areas of specialized need, such as mass
transportation and such as colleges, universities and hospitals in or near
urban renewal areas, it recognizes that the standards applied must be
different from those applied in residential area projects. In the case of
central business districts, however, this is not the situation. This
could be corrected by granting the necessary flexibility to provide, in
the case of central business district areas, the varied procedures and
treatment required to provide effective assistance for the renewal of such
It ·is to be remembered in respect of the national urban renewal program that the capital grant "write down" is extended to the community to
enable it to provide, by proper re development, the advantages its citizens
need. The benefit is to the whole community, not to any particular
redeveloper, be he a private entrepreneur providing housing, a medical
institution providing hospital facili ties, a college or university providing any one or more of the wide range of facilities such an institution
must provide, or a department store building a new structure as a part of
the community effort to revitalize its central business district. The
total community benefits by the better housing provided through the
redevelopment of one residential area, just as the total community benefits by the revitalization of a central business district through the
redevelopment of its deteriorated parts.
March 23, 1966

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