About U District Square

We are an all-volunteer, non-profit group of neighbors of our U District community. Our membership represents residents, students, merchants, property owners, workers, commuters, and visitors. Funding for our efforts is entirely from generous donations. Please help us by volunteering or donating what you can.

Mission

Our mission is to create a civic square in the heart of the U District, at the site of the future light rail station.

Vision

Our vision is to create a great public place for the U District community to gather, meet friends and have a unique neighborhood experience. The future light rail station, located two blocks from the University of Washington campus and just one block from the district's major commercial avenue, will bring over 12,000 daily visitors to the neighborhood. We aim to create a great public place for these visitors and for the 23,000 current residents of the neighborhood.

We are committed to making the U District more livable, vibrant and fun for all people who live, work, go to school or visit the neighborhood.

Challenges

While the U District light rail station is not slated to open until 2021, decisions about what happens at the street level and above the station are being made now--out of sight of the public eye. We have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to create a world-class public space at the heart of the U District. To some people, making a maxed out building that generates short-term benefits to a few developers and landowners is the only thing that matters.

We believe that the "highest and best use" of this location would be to create a public good--a public space that all people can enjoy for decades to come. Experience from other cities show that well-designed public spaces can have numerous economic benefits that spread throughout a large geographic area. Small business owners benefit, housing near the open space becomes more desirable, and the open space provides a forum for many kinds of public events.

Benefits

The benefits of public open space at the future U District Light Rail station are: economic, social & environmental.

Approach

We are a community group that values public interactions of all kinds. As such, all of our activities will be documented on this website and will be open to public comment. We support the open exchange of ideas and look forward to connecting with you.

  • We support transit oriented communities.
  • We support increased density in the U District in concert with creating active public open space.
  • We support transparency.