The workshop will highlight Seattle’s distinctive approach to balancing the demands for economic development, parks and open space, historic preservation, and housing affordability. Embark on a captivating 2-mile walking tour through the heart of Seattle’s South Lake Union, a neighborhood best known for its transformation from a sleepy warehouse district to a global technology boomtown.
The neighborhood and its relation with parks and recreation has a rich and varied history: it’s home to Lake Union Park and Denny Park, Seattle’s first municipal park and Seattle Parks and Recreation’s headquarters. In the 1990s the neighborhood was proposed for conversion to “the Commons,” a 60-acre city-center park. Voters rejected that plan twice and the neighborhood took a different path. Through the lens of urban design and social history, this 2-mile walking tour showcases the neighborhood’s origins as a native fishing village, recent adaptive reuse of former industrial properties, multiple approaches to historic preservation, REI’s flagship store, a surprising amount of affordable housing intermixed with market-rate development, and contrasting community spaces. History and streetscapes interweave to tell a compelling story of continuity and change.
- Identify the historical significance of three parks, and understand how each reflects a unique moment in the neighborhood's century-long evolution.
- Discuss how urban design influences and is influenced by socioeconomic factors.
- Discuss the adaptive reuse of a half-dozen former industrial properties, outlining insights into the innovative approaches employed to repurpose these spaces and contribute to the neighborhood's revitalization.
- Outline the City’s approach to balancing competing demands for economic development, parks and open space, historic preservation, and housing affordability.