Open Space Seattle:2100

Friday, March 30, 2007

3 Great New DPD Websites

With the passage of the Seattle Green Factor, the Department of Planning and Development has been facilitating a lot of great public education, particularly with its Green Factor Workshop Series which continues in City Hall's Bertha Landes Room, this Wednesday April 4th at noon. This week it is all about Rainwater Harvesting.

There is also a solid new website that talks about Green Roofs, and they have established a solid web resource on a new website.

Also, the Soils for Salmon site is a great tool to learn about what soils can do for stream health.

OSS 2100 @ PELL Meeting

We'll be presenting to the City Council's PELL Committee next Wednesday, April 4 sometime between 2-4 pm. Come on by and check it out.

Draft Bicycle Master Plan To Be Released

Looking forward to seeing what they came up with . . .

Mayor Gregg Nickels will announce the release of the draft Bicycle Master Plan on Wednesday, April 4th at 10 a.m. at Sturgus Park. The plan provides a blueprint for connecting routes throughout Seattle by integrating bicycling into the City*s transportation and trail systems while encouraging more cycling and safer cycling.

Seattle Bicycle Master Plan Draft Release
April 4th at 10 a.m.
Sturgus Park
904 Sturgus Avenue S

Directions:FROM I-5 Northbound: * Take the DEARBORN ST./JAMES ST./I-90 EAST/MADISON ST. exit towards SPOKANE, exit (#164A) * Take the DEARBORN ST. ramp * Turn LEFT onto S DEARBORN ST/ WA-167 * Turn RIGHT onto 8TH AVE S * Turn RIGHT onto S KING ST. * Turn RIGHT onto 12TH AVE * Turn LEFT onto S CHARLES ST. * S CHARLES ST becomes STURGUS AVE S.

From I-5 Southbound: * Take the exit- exit number 165A- toward JAMES ST. * Stay straight to go onto 6TH AVE. * Turn LEFT onto YESLER WAY. * Turn RIGHT onto BOREN AVE S. * Turn SLIGHT RIGHT onto 12TH AVE S. * Turn LEFT onto S CHARLES ST. * S CHARLES ST becomes STURGUS AVE S.

The Seattle Department of Transportation builds, maintains and operates Seattle's $8 billion transportation infrastructure. To further Mayor Nickels* goal to get Seattle moving, the department manages short- and long-term investments in streets, bridges, pavement and trees, that better connect the city with the region.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Grey Lady Goes Ga-Ga for Green Roofs

Gap Headquarters' Rolling Green Roofs Photo by William McDonough + Partners

It is always a lovely thing to read about green roofs blooming across the country, from Seattle's own perched oases at City Hall and the new Justice Center to the Rouge River Ford Plant in Dearborn, MI and Chicago's City Hall, with its recreated midwest prairie ecosystem. But to read about it in the New York Times is, of course, even better.

The article focuses on the work of Rana Creek Habitat Restoration as they partner with Renzo Piano to design a big old meadow for the top of the refurbished California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. (In a recent stop in town, Paul Kephart, founder of Rana Creek, recounted how Piano was initially opposed to the messy meadow about his slick modernish architecture. Uh, hello, Academy of Science? Ecology? Climate Change?)

Kephart was actually in town because he will be helping to work on the new green roofed parking garage at the new Gates Foundation headquarters at 5th Avenue, across from the Seattle Center. If his past work is any indication, the headquarters will be looking amazing in a few years . . . or atleast the parking garage will, and how many places can you say that about?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

OSS 2100: Travelling the Country, Spreading the Gospel

One of the things that has been so gratifying about the work that everyone has been doing with Open Space Seattle is how interested other communities across the US have been in what we are doing here in Seattle. To that end, Nancy and I have been invited by various groups to speak at a few upcoming conferences, so if you are in Witchita, KS, Amherst, MA or Philadelphia, PA in the next few weeks, you have the opportunity to hear one of us.

Nancy will be speaking in Witchita at the Lowe Auditorium at the WSU Metroplex, on
March 29. She assumes at 7 pm but that has not been confirmed.

Then she'll be heading over to Amherst, MA to the Fabos Symposium, which is being hosted by UMass-Amherst on March 31st. While the symposium is a day-long event, Nancy will be speaking at 10:45, in Room 162 on the Lincoln Campus Center.

Finally, Brice will be speaking to the National APA conference on April 16th from
11:00 a.m.–12:15 p.m with Nate Cormier from Jones + Jones. Titled "Urban Green Infrastructure in the Pacific Northwest" the talk will be held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Louv in Orion

Giving the full rundown of what he has called "Nature Deficit Disorder" that has resulted from the current patterns of development in the US. As he states early on in the 4000+ word article: Developers exploiting our hunger for nature, I thought, just as they market their subdivisions by naming their streets after the trees and streams that they destroy.

He also lays out the development of new movements in several communities throughtout the country who have embarked on campaigns for
to "Leave No Child Inside."

Other choice statistics:
In a typical week, only 6 percent of children ages nine to thirteen play outside on their own."
. . . Bike riding is down 31 percent since 1995."
there are also risks in raising children under virtual protective house arrest: threats to their independent judgment and value of place, to their ability to feel awe and wonder, to their sense of stewardship for the Earth—and, most immediately, threats to their psychological and physical health."

And while it is not explicitly "natural" these statistics do bring an additional level to the on-going discussions about the appropriateness of skate parks in various parts of Seattle. Maybe it isn't so bad to tear up an underused patch of greenery when the public health benefits could be great.

Monday, March 05, 2007

(d)Rain Drops keep flowing to our streams

The PI's blog reports that the City Council has moved toward dis-incentivizing stormwater running off. Congrats to Councilmember Conlin for this ambitious proposal.

What this would mean is that large parking lots (think Northgate Mall or that lovely large lot by the Husky Stadium) or large lawns (parks? golf courses?) would have a fee imposed on them that is larger than the rest of us. Why lawns, you ask? Because the amount of water that runs off of a lawn (often just two inches of grass/soil over our nasty impermeable glacial till) has the same coefficient of runoff (as the civil engineers would say) as other land uses.

Good stuff.