Open Space Seattle:2100

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Living Barge is Coming

From the email list, via City-repair's listserv:

Myself and my collaborator Nicole are going to be
planting a barge with native plants of the Duwamish
River basin and floating it on the Duwamish River for
the month of April. This project will draw attention
to the co-existence of industry and nature on the
Duwamish. We're planning tours, discussions and
exhibits that will give people the opportunity to talk
about the area's history and its future, and to learn
more about the Duwamish and South Park. Plans include
a South Park walking tour, boat, canoe and kayak tours
of the Duwamish and the Living Barge, art exhibits and

We're putting together a construction crew now and are
looking for a small, dedicated group of folks that
would be willing to pitch in and help us build the
barge for the last couple weeks of March.
Construction will be at the Duwamish Shipyard - very
cool! Experience is helpful but not necessary.

If you're interested, or would like to help in other
ways, email me at or check out for more details on events,
schedule, and other volunteer needs. See you on the

Orr holds Court

David Orr is the Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics at Oberlin College. He is perhaps best known for his pioneering work on environmental literacy in higher education and his recent work in ecological design. He raised funds for and spearheaded the effort to design and build a $7.2 million Environmental Studies Center at Oberlin College, a building described by the New York Times as "the most remarkable" of a new generation of college buildings and selected as one of 30 "milestone buildings in the 20th century by the U.S. Department of Energy.

David Orr is the author of four books: The Last Refuge: Patriotism, Politics, and the Environment in an Age of Terror (Island Press, 2004); The Nature of Design (Oxford, 2002); Earth in Mind (Island, 1994/2004); Ecological Literacy (SUNY, 1992) and co-editor of The Global Predicament (North Carolina, 1979) and The Campus and Environmental Responsibility (Jossey-Bass, 1992). He has published 120 articles in scientific journals, social science publications, and popular magazines. He has lectured at hundreds of colleges and universities throughout the U.S.

He was named one of twenty-five "Environmental Champions for 2004" by Interiors & Sources Magazine, awarded a Bioneers Award in 2002, a National Conservation Achievement Award by the National Wildlife Federation in 1993, a Lyndhurst Prize in 1992 awarded by the Lyndhurst Foundation "to recognize the educational, cultural, and charitable activities of particular individuals of exceptional talent, character, and moral vision," the Benton Box Award from Clemson University for his work in Environmental Education (1995). He holds three Honorary Doctorates and has been a distinguished scholar in residence at Ball State University (1995) and Westminster College in Salt Lake City (1996). In a special citation, the Connecticut General Assembly noted Orr's "vision, dedication, and personal passion" in promoting the principles of sustainability. The Cleveland Plain Dealer described him as "one of those who will shape our lives."

Dr. Orr is contributing editor of Conservation Biology. He has been a Trustee of the Educational Foundation of America and the Compton Foundation. He serves on the Boards of the Rocky Mountain Institute (CO), Second Nature (MA), the Center for Ecoliteracy (CA), and the Center for Respect of Life and Environment. He is also an advisor and consultant to the Trust for Public Land, the National Parks Advisory Committee, and other organizations. Raised in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania. He holds a B.A. from Westminster College (1965), a M.A. from Michigan State University (1966), and a Ph.D. in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania (1973).

Nature Deficit Disorder

From the email box:
Explore and Soar Together at the Seward Park Audubon Center

We cordially invite you to a special evening with Richard Louv, author of "Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder"

Wednesday, March 1st, 2006
8:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Dessert & coffee

Introducing the Seward Park Audubon Center, which will give southeast Seattle's residents and visitors a gateway to nature's outdoor classroom, guided by professional environmental educators and citizen scientists.

REI Seattle Flagship Store
222 Yale Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109

RSVP to Heather Page by February 24
206-652-2444 x102

Friday, February 10, 2006

More on Multi-functional Schools

Schools not only as the centers of communities, but also AT the center of communities.

Devil in the White City

Thought y'all might be interested.

Praxis | The College of Architecture and Urban Planning Lecture Series


Author Erik Larson
Thursday, February 16, 7:00PM
Kane Hall Room 130, University of Washington

Open and Free to the Public

Parking available in the garage under Kane, off 15th Avenue NE

Author Erik Larson imbues the incredible events surrounding the 1893 Chicago World's Fair with such drama that readers may find themselves checking the book's categorization to be sure that The Devil in the White City is not, in fact, a highly imaginative novel. Larson tells the stories of two men: Daniel H. Burnham, the architect responsible for the fair's construction, and H.H. Holmes, a serial killer masquerading as a charming doctor. Burnham's challenge was immense. In a short period of time, he was forced to overcome the death of his partner and numerous other obstacles to construct the famous "White City" around which the fair was built. His efforts to complete the project, and the fair's incredible success, are skillfully related along with entertaining appearances by such notables as Buffalo Bill Cody, Susan B. Anthony, and Thomas Edison. The activities of the sinister Dr. Holmes, who is believed to be responsible for scores of murders around the time of the fair, are equally remarkable. He devised and erected the World's Fair Hotel, complete with crematorium and gas chamber, near the fairgrounds and used the event as well as his own charismatic personality to lure victims. Combining the stories of an architect and a killer in one book, mostly in alternating chapters, seems like an odd choice but it works. The magical appeal and horrifying dark side of 19th-century Chicago are both revealed through Larson's skillful writing. --John Moe

Schools as Community Centers

After today's story about how Seattle schools will need to close buildings, we thought it timely that this post came out of the Portland Architecture blog. In a post entitled "Schools as True Community Centers," Brian Libby writes:

...what if in the future we looked at building a new kind of school where the building is shared with retail, offices, even residential? Instead of a single, two or three-story building for classes, administration and other school-only uses, you could build a new multi-story structure that could be rented out for various purposes. You could provide lower-income housing on the altruistic side, or you could take advantage of the gentrification happening in this area by renting out higher-end apartments.

A great question and one that was addressed and (re)considered as part of the charrette. Other cities have certainly used their spaces as multi-use areas. Take Chicago for example, their open space plans call out schools as integral for their open space network.

Just sayin', could be cool.

CIP Suggestions

This year represents a new round of budget cycles for the city's biennial budget cycle. Chris Leman, in the Eastlake Community and the Community Neighborhood Council, worked with the Department of Finance to take Capital Improvement Project suggestions.

Comming out of the charrette, we heard several groups talking about using this mechanism to fund several of the brilliant local ideas. If you wold like to fund something in your neighborhood, visit the website and get them submitted by 9am Monday, March 20.

Patrick gets Posted

For everyone who was not able to attend the delightful, informative, funny and inspiring lecture by Patrick Condon on February 2. Now you will have your chance. The Seattle Channel, who graciously filmed the event for us, has the video online here. And while on the website, you might also want to check out the video for this event called Urban Lifestyles: Healthier by Design. The event features researcher Lawrence Frank speaking about how better urban design can contribute to healthier citizens.

For the Patrick Condon lecture, you can also catch it in the Seattle area on the Seattle channel at the following times:

Tuesday, February 14, 2006 2:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 16, 2006 4:30 a.m.
Friday, February 17, 2006 10:30 p.m.
Sunday, February 19, 2006 8:00 a.m.
Wednesday, February 22, 2006 2:00 a.m.
Thursday, February 23, 2006 9:00 a.m.


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Seattle Critical Areas

We received this in the inbox and thought we'd pass it on. Looks like a great opportunity to advance several of the proposals from the charrette.

Seattle Critical Areas Hearing this Thursday!

Take Online Action Here

This Thursday, February 9, your Seattle City Council Members are holding a hearing on the critical areas ordinance, a set of safeguards to protect our water quality, prevent pollution in Puget Sound and our city's lakes, wetlands and streams, and protect public health and safety from natural disasters such as tsunamis and earthquakes.

The current draft isn't strong enough to protect these critical resources. That's why we need you to attend the hearing next Thursday at 2 pm at City Hall and send a letter to your Council Members.

Go here to learn more and take online action


Heather Trim, 206-382-7007,

Monday, February 06, 2006

Green Future Charrette

All images by Hartson Photography

There are platitudes and boring cliches. But the charrette was amazing. So much energy, so many ideas, so many opportunities to fulfill the potential of a brighter future for Seattle. We invite your reflections and hopes in the comments below.

For us to see developers and community members talking and agreeing and moving toward a better vision of the city as a whole is just plain refreshing. As Patrick Condon, our keynote speaker said, charrettes allow people to "solve a complex problem in a ridiculously short amount of time." And to hear community members advocating for development and developers noting that, yes, that parcel does need to be a park, is incredible. For all of our entrenched oppositions, to break those barriers down and actually having a conversation it wonderful.

Then there were the designs. Proof again that all of us together are smarter than each of us alone. From a new city rising on the banks of the Duwamish where Boeing Field rests now (vertical take-offs in the future, you see) to a widened and beautified Rainier Ave. Tremendous.

To see it all, it will be in Gould Hall Court until Wednesday at 5:30pm. If you would like to see photographs of the charrette, take a look at