Published on March 20, 2014
⑤ CITY DESIGN SOLUTIONS FOR SEATTLE eric gould 12 / 2013
❶ INFRASTRUCTURE - TRANSPORTATION BRENTWOOD SKTYTRAIN STATION, BURNABY, BC Seattle’s number one pressingissue is increasing population density. One studyfrom the Washington State Office of Financial Management suggests that the city will add an additional one million more people by 2030. Existing traffic density, construction progress for the Alaskan Way seawall and tunnel project that will replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct, and King County Metro’s reconsolidated and diminished transit system in combination are creating challenges to move vehicles and people around the city. Elevated transit networks like SkyTrain inVancouver, BC, as well as additional light rail and possible underground train options are greatly neededfor a cohesive city metro transit plan. Seattle Traffic at Dusk
❷ PIKE PLACE MARKET: CAR-FREE Seattle’s struggle with urban planningand design is an ongoing one. A city flaneur visiting the Pike Place Market must heed to a range of traffic seeking limited parking (usually none) while enjoying one of the most famous heritage sites in the Seattle. By taking a cue from Copenhagen’s famous Stroget, a meandering pedestrian- only retail spur in the city center, the Pike Place Market could be a better experience for vendors and visitors as a car-free market making exceptions to emergency services and delivery vehicles. . ❸ INFRASTRUCTURE: MOBILE URBAN UTILITIES Inspired by Artist-Writer Douglas Coupland’sV-Pole, a conceptual prototype for Vancouver (the “V” inV-Pole stands for “Vancouver”) that unveiled at the 2012 New Cities Summit in Paris, a network of V-Poles could be peppered around the city designed to supportwireless broadband, LED lighting, digital gateway access to community services and wayfinding, as well as provide a point for EV car owners to recharge their vehicles. Downtown neighborhoods like Belltown, the Pike Place Market, Pioneer Square, SODO and the International District / Chinatown would be suitable locations to offer these communities thisinfrastructural element. More info about Douglas Coupland’s design at v-pole.com. .
❹ COMMUNITY HUBS AND MARKETS Around the city, there is a growing need for community hubs and a desire to establish year- round public markets. Farmers markets doexist as a vital communityfunction around the city, but vary according to weekday andweekend ineach neighborhood. Byestablishing permanent structures to accommodate the fluctuating green grocer vendors with a mix of community gardens – as in vertical garden design projects, for example – coexistingwith complementary retail offers such as bakeries, deli markets, and florists, they can provide communities with centralized services. Also, coworking hubs can be part of these neighborhood communities and offer ways to recreate and work like Brooklyn Boulders Somerville in Somerville, Massachusetts. .
❺ HERITAGE ARCHITECTURAL RESTORATION PROJECTS Fifty-one years ago, Seattle World’s Fair architects in 1962 envisioned their Century 21 Expo as a model for the city’sfuture. Where didit go so wrong? A return to “lost” World’s Fair heritage architectural componentslike the Flag Pavilion and Fun Forest that offered public open space and recreation can restore Seattle Center’s legacy missing today. Also, the misguided Washington State Convention Center’s massive glass arcade over Pike Street diminishes daylight and should be removed and restore open sky to the street. In a city that has grown up so fast in the past 50- plusyears needs a cohesive vision to address current urban design problemsfacing Seattle today before it can advance towards the next fifty.
CREDITS Images: Compfight Seattle SoundTransit Light Rail Photo Credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/36226594@N02/5415978003/">Transportation for America</a> via <a href="http://compfight.com">Compfight</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">cc</a> Seattle Traffic at Dusk Photo Credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/33392350@N00/6773689165/">sea turtle</a> via <a href="http://compfight.com">Compfight</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">cc</a> Pike Place Market, Seattle, Washington Photo Credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/58440035@N05/6914126195/">dannymac15_1999</a> via <a href="http://compfight.com">Compfight</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/">cc</a> Stroget, Copenhagen, Denmark Photo Credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/87221579@N00/21172945/">PDXdj</a> via <a href="http://compfight.com">Compfight</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">cc</a>
Images: Various Brentwood Skytrain Station, Rapid Transit Project Office, Burnaby, British Columbia, Image courtesy Perkins+Will,perkinswill.com V-Pole Rendering 02 (Martin Tessler / Mathew Bulford), Image courtesy Meet the V-Pole, v-pole.com MESH Norway, from Takinga Peek at MESH Norway, Oslo’s First Coworking Space by Xiao Mina, 16 September 2013, Photo: Alex Asensi, Image courtesy Core77.com (http://www.core77.com/blog/case_study/take_a_peek_at_mesh_norway_oslos_first_coworking_space_25541.asp) Brooklyn Builders Somerville coworking space and climbing rock, images courtesy Brooklyn Builders Somerville official site (http://bkbs.brooklynboulders.com/spaces/collab-space-arrowstreet/) and Brooklyn Builders Somerville Facebookpage. Urban Plan Rødovre Syd / WE architecture ,image courtesy WE Architects at ArchDaily.com(http://www.archdaily.com/126435/urban-plan-r%C3%B8dovre-syd- we-architecture/) Select Century 21 Exposition Postcard images – various:Aerial of the Century 21 Exposition at night with the Space Needle; Seattle Center Coliseum and Flag Pavilion; Seattle Center Monorail, archival image source: Alamedainfo.com (http://www.alamedainfo.com/seattle_worlds_fair_1962.htm)
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