The rebirth of downtown Boise : how it was accomplished and lessons learned
Author(s)Smith, Matthew Cooley, 1974-
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
William C. Wheaton.
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Downtown Boise, Idaho is a vibrant, safe, and pedestrian friendly city to work, shop, live and play. However, Boise has not always enjoyed its current state of well being. For many years downtown Boise was a desolate wasteland. Very few people frequented downtown, and nearly no one resided downtown. From the late 1960s to the mid 1970s nearly eight city blocks of Boise's Central Business District were demolished with money from Federal Urban Renewal Grants. Thereafter, the redevelopment of downtown Boise was stopped for 15 years due to the supposedly imminent arrival of a downtown, enclosed, retail mall. Thanks to the vision of a few politicians and the actions of a couple of agencies Downtown Boise recovered. This thesis analyzes the mistakes and wisdom of Boise's urban renewal efforts as well as the actions of politicians and agencies in making downtown Boise into a successful mixed-use downtown. In particular, this thesis focuses on what went wrong during Boise's first downtown urban renewal attempt and the actions and practices put into place to ensure the same mistakes did not occur during the second renewal period. I will conclude by highlighting the lessons learned through the process of rejuvenating downtown Boise. This thesis is intended to aid cities that find themselves in the desolate situation Downtown Boise found itself 15 years ago. By understanding both the process by which downtown Boise was changed and the lessons learned throughout the first and second urban renewal endeavors, it is my hope that cities will gain ideas to assist them in the rebuilding and improving of their own downtowns.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 2000.Includes bibliographical references (p. 82-84).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology