First Hill open house to discuss ideas for creating public space in a dense, expensive neighborhood

10849746_10152681958713472_254082806541285596_nThey can construct big and tall apartment buildings on First Hill — and there are projects underway and plans to do so on a growing number of corners along Madison like here and here. Creating public space for those residents present and future and the thousands of people who work on First Hill is the goal of the First Hill Public Realm Action Plan. Wednesday night, city planners will host an open house at First Hill’s Town Hall to talk about how “street spaces” and “private development” can create “a greener, more walkable neighborhood” —

Open House: First Hill Public Realm Action Plan
Wednesday, January 7 5:00 PM
First Hill’s growing residential population, cultural institutions, and influx of workers warrants high quality public spaces that meet mobility and recreational needs. The current First Hill neighborhood plan (from 1998) recognizes this need for open space in this bustling, downtown-adjacent neighborhood, but despite efforts to advance this goal, land acquisition has proven to be challenging. For this educational open house, city staff will be present to discuss open space concepts and implementation strategies for these innovative open space proposals. Moving beyond land acquisition, the plan incorporates street spaces and private development to create a greener, more walkable neighborhood.

Presenters include Susan McLaughlin, Urban Design Lead/Project Manager at Seattle Department of Transportation; Donald Harris and Chip Nevins, Department of Parks & Recreation, Property and Acquisition Services; Lyle Bicknell, Principal Urban Designer with the Department of Planning & Development; and Alex Hudson, Coordinator for the First Hill Improvement Association.

Last year, CHS wrote about the City of Seattle initiative for the First Hill neighborhood born of the challenges of acquiring adequate land for parks in the area. In 2000 and 2008 voters approved levies to fund land acquisitions for new parks on First Hill, but affordable properties are almost non-existent in one of the densest neighborhoods in the state. With Seattle’s continued growth, First Hill’s plan might end up part of the solution for the future of “parks” in the city.

A documentation of the plan including specific concepts for locations across First Hill is below.

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5 thoughts on “First Hill open house to discuss ideas for creating public space in a dense, expensive neighborhood

  1. Ok.. and who’s going to maintain the open space and keep it clean? You know that bums, drugs, etc are going to infest it.

  2. Urban public spaces conceptually seem like such a great idea, but the renderings never show the reality – that they become dystopian campgrounds.

  3. I hope someone brought up the possibility of lidding I-5 where it’s in a deep cut. ( https://northwesturbanist.wordpress.com/2014/07/05/lets-bury-i-5-redux/ ) Even sorry, brutalist Freeway Park is delightful when a lot of people are using it (e.g., Dance Until Dusk). More pedestrian connections, or a whole section just for a school, would be great. Maybe we could hire park attendants.

    Even non-weight-bearing greenspace that we look at from the edges, instead of noise and unfiltered smog, would be a massive improvement. Mercer Island got lots of lidding, First Hill deserves it too.

  4. Pingback: 3,000 new residents and the need for ‘open green space’ on First Hill | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle