The city of Oakland, Calif. has long been associated with crime, poverty, urban decay and, more recently, violent protests tied to the Occupy movement.
So it may have been a surprise to New York Times readers when the newspaper listed Oakland as No. 5 among its top “places to go” in 2012.
But Oakland has seen a revitalization of its downtown in the past decade, thanks in large part to the city’s now-defunct redevelopment agency and past support from Oakland’s onetime Mayor Jerry Brown.
Now, as governor of California, Brown is closing the redevelopment agencies that helped transform Oakland’s blighted places. The goal is to solve California’s ongoing budget crisis, but left in the lurch are urban building projects all over the state, including in Oakland.