Community Resiliency: Environmental Justice along the Duwamish River

Mobile Workshop

This walking mobile workshop will explore the South Park Neighborhood along the banks of the Duwamish River, Seattle’s only river, for a walking tour of recent community-led park projects. Participants will learn about current efforts to balance climate resiliency with placekeeping in an era of rapid gentrification. 

The Duwamish River is both a significant source of wildlife and an EPA-declared superfund site. The neighborhood is heavily industrial and has the largest population of children in Seattle. South Park is known as an environmental justice community and is home to a diverse immigrant population, one elementary school, two freeways, community-based organizations, and vibrant businesses.

Please note: This tour is about 2.5 miles and at times on uneven pavement. Please dress for the weather and note that there will be noise from nearby freeways and overhead airplanes.


  • Identify how Seattle’s Duwamish Valley is planning to use and enhance the natural and built environment to mitigate sea level rise-related tidal flooding.
  • Discuss with colleagues the challenges facing coastal urban areas across the country at the intersection of climate change, environmental justice, flood risk, legacy contamination, park access, and affordable housing. 
  • Outline the partnerships among community-based organizations, public agencies, private businesses, and others that are contributing to climate and affordable housing action in the Duwamish Valley. 
  • Identify and evaluate community-led park projects as examples of grassroots efforts to address environmental issues and foster resilience in the face of urban development.