Open Space Seattle:2100

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Crude, but Fascinating

This "mash up" of Google maps and climate change information is fascinating. Centered on England and controlled using meters, the map shows the worldwide impacts of climate change. You can control whether water has risen 1m or 7, to see the gradual spread of rising waters.

H2O hearts Rose City

Why do we love Portland so much? Our neighbors to the south are 1) nice folks, 2) have a lovely downtown, 3) are doing amazing work around sustainability, with, it seems, a keen focus on stormwater.

Take a look at this website for a lot of terrific resources about why stormwater matters so much in the Northwest, some of the things that we can do the return it to it's natural cycle, and some places where we can see the art of stormwater next time we visit.

Pretty great.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Active Living Presentations

From a recent conference by the Active Living Research group, we have the opportunity to view a series of presentation from the conference. Highlights conclude:

Association Between Neighborhood Characteristics and Children's Physical (In)activity Level, Sanne DeVries, MSc, TNO Quality of Life, The Netherlands

Physical Activity Relationships with Urban Form for Youth, Lawrence D. Frank, PhD, University of British Columbia

Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Likelihood of Physical Activity: The Role of Neighborhood Characteristics, Stephanie L. Taylor, PhD, MPH, RAND Corporation

The Effect of Sport Facilities and Trail Systems on the Use of Green Spaces for Physical Activity Among Latino(a) Americans, Monika Stodolska, PhD, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Urban Park Use and Physical Activity, Deborah Cohen, MD, MPH, RAND Corporation

Modeling Urban Trail Use: The Importance of Viewsheds and Trail Characteristics, Jeffrey Wilson, PhD, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis

The Urban Built Environment and Obesity in New York City: A Multi-Level Analysis, Andrew Rundle, DrPH, Columbia University

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Transportation? How great for open space?

With the Mayor looking to do several transportation projects in the city, we thought it might be useful to highlight the upcoming open houses since so many of the projects from the Green Future's Charrette dealth with streetscape improvements. So please share your thoughts with the Mayor starting, today:

The city plans to hold five public meetings on a possible November vote on taxes to pay for transportation needs. Each of the city's transportation "open houses" runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., including a formal presentation that begins at 7 p.m.

  • Thursday, March 16: Garfield Community Center, 2323 E. Cherry St.
  • Monday, March 20: NewHolly Gathering Hall, 7054 32nd Ave. S.
  • Tuesday, March 28: Olympic View Elementary School, 504 N.E. 95th St.
  • Wednesday, March 29: West Seattle High School, 3000 California Ave. S.W.
  • Tuesday, April 4: Ballard High School, 1418 N.W. 65th St.

Meeting rooms are ADA accessible. For interpretation services call 206-684-8297.

Get more details.


  • How much people in Seattle will be asked to pay in new taxes.
  • What types of taxes would be proposed -- property taxes, or other taxes and fees linked to transportation, or some combination.
  • Whether any tax package will be linked to the viaduct project.

Green Infrastructure brings in the Green

In various conversations, developers and city officials have noted Seattle's potential for a strong leadership role in the emerging green-building and green-urbanism industry, and the confluence of visionary planners, designers, politicians and academics, suggest the possibility of leveraging these expertises to form a joint City/University collaboration that will advance the theoretical and practical applications of Green Urbanism within the City of Seattle. To capitalize, they've suggested a joint UW/CoS initiative. This initiative would build on existing programs including the Mayor's Environmental Action Agenda and of the UW President's Policy on Environmental Stewardship and the university's Earth Initiative, while also furthering Seattle's prominence and magnetism as a progressive city leading locally to affect issues of global significance.

There are also opportunities to bring economic benefits to Seattle. As this article by Steve Nicholas, who directs the Office of Sustainability and the Environment, suggests. As a region, we are already ahead of the curve, but how do we maintain that edge showing the citizens of the world how to rethink urbanism in an exciting new way.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Capital Improvements

March 20 is fast approaching and the City's Capital Improvements Suggestion deadline almost here. Many of the charrette teams are using this program to get projects that were suggested in the Green Futures Charrette to the city. For example, the Rainier Beach group is proposing 4 projects that came from the charrette:

Genessee Missing Link
Beacon Hill-Columbia-Lake Washington Multi-modal Trail
Raincatchers Program in Rainier Valley
Rainier/MLK Below Grade Intersection

Of these, they've submitted a CIP application for the Genessee Missing Link proposal that they describe thus:

". . . for the City’s Capital Projects submittal, due on March 20, we will propose a “missing link” project to link disconnected portions of Genessee Park. The project would consist of street improvements on 42nd Street (beautifying and correcting a number of problems such as the missing sidewalks to the park), and a multi-modal trail that makes a clear and purposeful connection between the lake portion of Genessee Park and the Community Center portion."

What about your group? What are you proposing to the city? And how can we help?