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A Resolution in Support of the University District Parks Plan 2015 Update and a Central Public Space


A Resolution in Support of the University District Parks Plan 2015 Update and a Central Public Space


WHEREAS, the University District currently lacks a centrally-located neighborhood center and/or public space and does not fulfill the minimum public space requirements set by the City of Seattle1; and,

WHEREAS, the University of Washington campus cannot act as a public space for the entire University District neighborhood; and,

WHEREAS, with the potential rezoning of the neighborhood with the pending up zone, the neighborhood is already experiencing significant growth2; and,

WHEREAS, the University of Washington has expressed clear interest in developing the University District into an “innovation district”, prioritizing economic growth over community interest3; and,

WHEREAS, public space is proven to improve the wellbeing of the citizens it serves, by: increasing the livability and desirability of neighborhoods, improving public health through increased walkability, solidifying neighborhood identity, and promoting dialogue and encounters between different and diverse groups4; and,

WHEREAS, a prominent number of students at the University of Washington, residents of and commuters into the neighborhood, will directly benefit from public space within the University District; and,

WHEREAS, U District Square is a nonprofit with the mission to create a lively neighborhood with unique character, advocating for public open space and smart growth prioritizing the balance of community and developer interests; and,

WHEREAS, the University District Parks Plan 2015 Update (Parks Plan) was created to assess the current state of public open space in the neighborhood and to involve the community in the planning of a vision for public open space; and,

WHEREAS, the Parks Plan was drafted through a series of public forums and was officially approved by the University District Partnership Board of Directors in 2015; and,

WHEREAS, the Parks Plan prioritizes the following seven planning concepts to create more open space in the neighborhood: “a publicly owned central square, a north-south green spine, east-west pedestrian connections, improvements to existing and planned parks, pocket plazas, improvements to the western edge of the University of Washington campus, and a focused public realm management program”1; and,

WHEREAS, the Parks Plan sets the creation of a publicly owned central square as the top priority, with planning to start as soon as possible; now, therefore,


THAT, the ASUW endorses the U District Parks Plan 2015 Update and the priority of creating a centrally-located public space within the University District; and,

THAT, the ASUW will work with U District Square in advocating for public space; and,

THAT, the University of Washington administration acts as a partner with the University District neighborhood and supports the interest of the community with regards to public space and/or a neighborhood town center; and,

THAT, a copy of this legislation be expeditiously forwarded to UW President Ana Mari Cauce, GPSS President Alex Bolton, ASUW President Tyler Wu, ASUW Director of Community Relations Ann Nguyen, ASUW Director of Campus Partnerships Leigh Friedman, the UW Board of Regents, Director of Transportation Services Josh Kavanagh, Facilities Maintenance and Construction Director Damon Fetter, UW Real Estate Director Todd Timberlake, University Architect and Assistant Vice Provost for Campus & Capital Planning Rebecca Barnes, Director of Regional & Community Relations Sally Clark, and City/University Community Advisory Committee (CUCAC) Chair Matt Fox.


[1], pg 12