The Salem we have today is due largely in part to the implementation of the 1977 Heritage East and West Urban Renewal plans. These plans replaced an earlier 1963 plan that would have demolished the historic core of downtown. Over the course of fifty years the Urban Renewal Area in Salem became a successful and thriving urban landscape. Lynn Duncan, then Director of the Planning and Community Development department recognized the key role the Urban Renewal Area played in the success of the downtown and undertook the re-drafting of this plan in 2011 with the aid of Steve Cecil and Emily Innes of the Cecil group. Historic Salem representatives participated in an active working group and made important contributions to the plan, including strengthening and promoting historic preservation regulations. The original intent of the plan it was updated to reflect current design guidelines and clarify actions that the SRA can take, providing much protection to historic downtown buildings.