Hyperlocal Histories: Co-creating Parks that Cultivate Curiosity

Mobile Workshop

This Mobile workshop will highlight Oxbow and Hing Hay parks, exploring hyperlocal histories and how curiosity can influence design and use.

Oxbow Park (built in 2004) established a new heart for Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood, an overlooked and underserved community wedged between freeways, an airport, and a river. Hing Hay Park (built in 2016) in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District has become a dynamic new stage for diverse Asian cultural expressions and experiences.

Tour leaders include thought leaders in landscape architecture, Seattle Parks and Recreation, and the surrounding community, who will discuss the process of co-creation that led to such distinct civic expressions. We will also observe how stakeholders have continued to evolve and augment these spaces with interventions and activation over the years.

Curiosity is a powerful tool that can inspire engaged citizens and enthusiastic learners. This workshop highlights how curiosity can influence the design and enjoyment of parks. Consensus around a shared vision of what is worthy of place-making and place-keeping is essential for great park design. Thoughtful design amplified through the prism of sincere engagement daylights “hyperlocal histories,” revealing the unique stories and contexts that make a place significant. We will learn about the co-creative process of research, experimentation, and craft (REC) as we visit two locations that serve as our case studies.

This holistic approach to health assessment and public life planning as an anti-displacement tool has captured the attention of City planning, parks, transportation, and council people. It has helped shape narratives that integrate diverse issues with health, such as the land use and design review process, the post-protest police consent decree, park management, and street use permits.