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By Clair Enlow
October 22, 2003
Back in 1970, Portland faced the same conditions that drove other American cities -- including Seattle -- to the brink of despair. Inner-city neighborhoods shaken or emptied by a decade of urban renewal. Middle class flight to the suburbs. Retail moving to the malls. Parking lots where parks ought to be. The list goes on.
Portland, now at the pinnacle of urban correctness, was at the bottom of an economic trough deeper and longer than Seattle's. Downtown lights were either dim or dead. Then there were the freeways. A map of planned construction in and around Portland at that time shows the city would have been cut up like a jigsaw puzzle.
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