University Street Activation Project Report Released!
It’s no secret that First Hill has a shortage of park space. Rising land values and development pressures have made acquiring traditional space for a new park difficult. So, in 2014, the First Hill Improvement Association partnered with three city agencies – SDOT, DPD, and Parks- to explore a concept sweeping the country: repurposing land in the public right of way from just pavement (especially awkward public intersections or overly broad streets) into new uses as community gathering areas – pavement parks!
Through the First Hill Public Realm Action Plan, two pilot pavement parks were created on First Hill: one at University Street and 9th Avenue, the other at the intersection of University, Union, and Boylston. Between these two lies First Hill Park, one of the very few parks on First Hill. FHIA knew that for these spaces to flourish they needed activation. First Hill Park was already in a state of neglect and decline, so FHIA sought funding from the Department of Neighborhoods to make these three spaces come alive.
In partnership with Framework Cultural Placemaking, the City of Seattle, and community members we spent the summer having fun with our neighbors: creating events, building relationships, and talking about how to make these places community assets for the long-term. What you see in the pages that follow are the results which prove that with attention, dedication, and resources our community can create safe and vibrant places for all to enjoy.
The effort to activate and improve these amenities is ongoing, including generous offers of volunteer engagement from neighbors and more work to come to explore how to strengthen these parks.
In 2016 we foresee a bounteous harvest from the seeds sown along University Street. We thank all who were involved in creating new and maintaining old open space on First Hill and hope the community will join us in the future.
Thanks for being our neighbor!