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Waterfront Seattle’s Meeting of the Minds – All of Them

February 20, 2011 by  
Filed under City of Seattle, Featured, Land Use

 rsz_scenic_central_waterfront_awv

The Waterfront Seattle project’s February 17th public meeting was expected to bring out only 100-150 attendees, but a whopping 960 turned out for the event, filling all areas of the Seattle Aquarium plus a tent set up outside.

Seattle-Aquarium-04With a theme of “What Makes a Good Waterfront?”, it was pretty clear by the end of the presentation that how to develop the Central Waterfront will be a Seattle hot -button for some years to come. Lead Designer James Corner of james corner field operations was the keynote speaker.  They are most renowned for designing High Line, an urban park set on top of an old railroad structure in New York.  This link to a recent AIA Seattle  article contains interviews with the principals involved.

Along with questionnaires asking for audience opinions of what they want/don’t want in a waterfront, Corner’s firm is also working with up to ten different groups, or Stakeholders, for their input.  They are, in order of presentation:

Neighbors:  representatives from all Central Seattle neighborhoods plus Magnolia and West Seattle

Entrepreneurs:  includes for-profit and nonprofit developers plus startup companies

Business Owners:  Waterfront venues, Pike Place Market, Seattle Chamber of Commerce

Commuters:  car ferries, motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians

Greens:  nature experts, environmentalists plus those concerned with salmon and wildlife

Shippers & Builders: Port of Seattle plus shipping industries

Tribes:  Muckleshoot, Suquamish, Duwamish

Visitors: includes tourism venues, hotels, Seattle Convention and Visitors Bureau

Creatives:  involved with Arts and Culture, plus Seattle Parks and Recreation

Sports Teams:  Mariners and Seahawks organizations

waterfront walkCorner acknowledged there have been struggles for all parties to come to a consensus in forming a plan regarding the Waterfront, but is positive that differences will be resolved.  We only hope the Stakeholders remember the overlying theme of “A Waterfront for All”, and that all factions will need to do some give and take in order to do what’s best for the City of Seattle.

Waterfront Seattle spans 26 blocks, running from Olympic Sculpture Park (Broad Street) to the sports stadiums (King Street area).  Redevelopment will take approximately eight years to complete. This waterfront timeline shows the schedules for the Waterfront, Elliott Bay Seawall Project, and the proposed SR99 Bored Tunnel projects.

Another public meeting will be scheduled in May where a first draft of the Central Waterfront design should be ready for review.  We plan to attend that, so stay tuned. 

waterfront pierYou can follow Waterfront Seattle’s progress, and can still voice your opinions. Click on the City of Seattle’s new Waterfront site.  Select “Answer” to “What Makes a Great Waterfront?” to provide your own ideas. Choose the video link to watch the full 76-minute presentation of February 17th, produced by the Seattle Channel. You’ll find tapings of past meetings and presentations here as well.  Finally, waterfrontseattle.org  also has links in Facebook and Twitter.

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