In an ever-evolving urban landscape, the need to reimagine public spaces has never been more critical. We’re thrilled to introduce the Outside Citywide Public Space Explorer, an exciting new resource born from over five years of collaborative efforts across many departments, agencies, and organizations. This tool aims to bring about several transformative changes in how we plan and improve our public space system:
1. Gaining a Better Understanding of Our Public Space System
Seattle’s public space network is a diverse tapestry of different assets, encompassing plazas, trails, P-Patch gardens, neighborhood greenways, parks, and more. It’s the lifeblood of our city, offering opportunities for exercise, relaxation, community-building, and cultural enrichment. However, despite having one of the country’s best public space networks overall, some neighborhoods have historically been better served than others.
Past policies resulted in public spaces being concentrated in affluent, predominantly white neighborhoods, while communities of color received fewer investments and suffered from higher concentrations of pollution-generating activities.
The Outside Citywide mapping tools address these disparities head-on by providing a comprehensive view of our public space system. Prior to this effort, the dozens of different departments and agencies that own and manage public spaces in Seattle all mapped and inventoried their assets separately. The Outside Citywide program changed this by putting all these assets together on one map. Looking at the system as a whole, we were then able to gain a much deeper understanding of where the system is working well and where it is falling short. This will allow us to channel future public space investments into the neighborhoods that need them the most.[Read more…]