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.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  • 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.