Toward a Living Community

Toward a Living Community

A Vision for Seattle's First Hill and Adjacent Neighborhoods
Seattle's First Hill neighborhood

Seattle's First Hill neighborhood

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A powerful vision for Seattle's First Hill and adjacent neighborhoods @living_future #LCC #OurLivingFuture
Monday, January 11, 2016 - 9:00am

CONTENT: Article

The time is now to make the First Hill and Central District neighborhoods of Seattle the most environmentally regenerative, socially just, and culturally thriving neighborhoods in the nation.
This document is the summation of a year’s work to create a vision of a Living Community for the First Hill and Central District neighborhoods (hereafter referred to as the community). 
The intent of this document is to: 
  1. Provide a physical record of the work; 
  2. Create a resource to guide future decisions for our neighborhood partners and government staff; 
  3. Inspire other planning teams/neighborhood groups/municipalities to undertake their own Living Community plans and to take action to create more resilient, equitable, and beautiful neighborhoods based on the ideas presented here. 
The community represents one of the mots diverse, vibrant, densely populated, and rapidly changing parts of Seattle. One need only walk down any street to see the scale and immediacy of this change on many large and small parcels alike. 
This document reflects the vision, input, and feedback of many individuals and organizations who dedicated time to the planning process. The most substantial contribution to date of this first round of the stakeholder engagement process is the structure of the vision itself, which emerged in a charrette in June of 2015. The participants of the charrette envisioned a regenerative future of the community around the topic areas of: integrating urban agriculture and food systems into the neighborhood; radically transforming networks within the right-of-way as places that favor people and place making rather than motorized vehicles; using net zero water principles on a micro-watershed scale; guiding and implementing a renewably powered future for the neighborhood; and creating a more healthy, equitable, and livable neighborhood to foster the significant community that already exists in the community. In addition to establishing a vision for the community, this document also includes a concise set of quantitative analyses and benchmarks meant to support and guide this vision. More detailed information such as physical and resource analyses are included in the various appendices. Following a quick historical sketch, the vision for the community is illustrated through five vignettes; ideas which emerged during the previously mentioned charrette. The vignettes are followed by preliminary implementation and phasing strategies focused on the block scale and biased towards meaningful action. The final section outlines actionable next steps for the project team, City leadership, and neighborhood partners to advance this vision. Certainly no communities are built in a day, least of all Living Communities. This document represents the first year of work to create a Living Community in First Hill and the Central District, though it is not itself the Living Community or even master plan, it is intended to be an important and useful step along the way.