First Hill Park Redesign
This project aims to envision, research, enhance, and design a new future for First Hill Park. The process is to be based in an understanding of the community’s desires and needs, with the ultimate goal of implementing a design with the most positive impact for the greatest number of people.
FHIA, and our partners at SiteWorkshop, will work with the Parks and Recreation Department and the surrounding community to perform a community engagement and outreach plan which ultimately produces enhancements to the amenities and design of First Hill park. The schematic proposal will be reviewed and adopted by the community and the Parks Department throughout the process, and constructed in the mid-term.
Our vision is to make First Hill Park a vibrant, welcoming, and safe open space in our neighborhood where people of all ages and abilities can relax and play and which increases public safety, contributes to neighborhood wellness and connectivity, and builds community.
This park will be a safe, vibrant, and pleasant place that is well-used by the community and welcoming to all. It will provide active as well as passive opportunities for people through the day and evening. People walk through park on their way to work, home or as part of a stroll, and to the park to meet neighbors, read a book, or take in the air. There are art opportunities on a temporary and permanent basis, lighting in the winter, a year-round informational kiosk to spread information, and the space is well maintained by the Parks Department with community support and ownership.
It will accommodate and facilitate exciting and cheerful gatherings and play as well as quiet reflection, passage, and people watching. The community will feel the park is a vital and vibrant part of their neighborhood, and nearby stakeholders will enhance and be enhanced by the park with activation events and a flow of pedestrians.
The park will be beautiful and serve the needs of people of all ages, with special consideration for First Hill’s growing population of children and older residents. The park will be a public gathering space that serves the need for public space in a dense urban neighborhood, and promote community-building. The park vision emphasizes design equity, and acknowledges that parks are publicly assessable places welcome to all people who use them in a law-abiding manner.
The park project will embrace the neighborhood’s vision and the city’s plans of a rich pedestrian experience along green, active streets. The redesign will implement on the shared goals of the First Hill Public Realm Action Plan, Pedestrian Master Plan, and Bicycle Master Plan and work in conjunction with the First Hill Mile and the pavement parks at either end of University Street.
- Activated and Stewarded by Community – Neighbors and other community stakeholders feel ownership and opportunity to activate the park with special events and programs.
- Broaden Activation Potential The design reflects flexible space uses for both active large gatherings and moments of calm with lower vacancy.
- Enhance Landscape The landscape has distinctive character that respects original vision, is drought-resistant, shade-tolerant and lush – like a garden.
- Improve Quality of Space for Daily Park Uses The space is designed for non-event/informal use including seating, play, art, and information dissemination.
- Improve Safety and Access The design improves lighting, visibility, seating and gathering spaces, and safety.
- Porous Relationship with Public Right of Way The park has a transparent relationship with the right of way, is an extension of the public realm rather than a separate space.
- Promote Design Equity The park is a welcoming place that serves the needs of all people regardless of income or housing status, so long as they are behaving in a law-abiding manner.
- Provide Accessibility for All Full ADA 2010 compliance – pathways, audience and landscape.
PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT PLAN
- Public engagement to incorporate emphasis on underrepresented groups including renters, low-income residents, medically assisted populations, homeless people, and children and families.
- Public engagement to will involve public open meetings, targeted events to underrepresented groups, and passive opportunities to collect feedback such as online surveys, comment boxes, etc.
- Public process will fully engage the Parks Department at every step of the way
- Public process could also involve Seattle Design Commission review
SPECIAL DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS