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Curbing Conservation



Conservation districts are found in cities across America.They focus on responsibly developing areas that have historical significance, cultural relevance, or unique architectural features. In the case of Capitol Hill, all of the above components are present, and it became Seattle’s only conservation district in 2009. My project chronicles this conservation district, through interviews with neighborhood advocacy groups, architectural analysis, and a literature review. This conservation district has three goals (1) to encourage the preservation of existing buildings, (2) support small businesses, and (3) preserve neighborhood character.

Persistent challenges and public controversy has led the conservation district through four phases of revisions. My report will include a timeline of these amendments and their impact on the built environment. In addition to a timeline, I have crafted three policy proposals that strengthen the conservation district’s impact of each of its goals. By engaging with stakeholders of the conservation district, field research,and reviewing best practices, I have explored the effectiveness of the Pike/Pine Conservation Overlay District.

Cycle Pack


The plethora of positive social, and environmental benefits that result from cycling inspired me to research how the University of Washington could increase bicycle ridership on and to campus. Preliminary research uncovered a gap in services provided to students who live within biking distance of campus, but do not have access to a bicycle. My research also revealed that a bicycle library, which facilitates long term bicycle rentals, would fill this service gap. Pursuing this finding, my project morphed into developing a plan to establish a bicycle library at the UW. I began this process by grounding myself in literature, conducting case studies on bicycle libraries, andunpacking the success and failures of bike-share schemes. Next, I reached out to the UW community in order to conduct interviews, expand my research, and establish campus partnerships.After compiling my research, I developed a bicycle library program, conducted a cost analysis and applied for a $25,000 grant through the Campus Sustainability Fund. As a result of funding from the CSF, and coordination between; UWild, EcoReps, UW Transportation Services, and UW Sustainability, “Cycle Pack” bicycle rentals will be available to student starting in the Fall of 2017.While the program I have developed provides a detailed plan for implementation and operation,Cycle Pack’s success will depend on its ability to adapt over time and the collaboration between the program’s supporting organizations and departments.

Attract People to the Streets

Every city around the world has a different urban history with specific social, political, and economical cultures along with it. However, we have reached a point in urbanization where cities all share the same challenges when it comes to urban planning. The common goal for them is to become more livable and people friendly. One method to address this urbanism issue is to look at the street design and how the building facades are connected to the general urban space. The goal of this project is to find new urban design ideas that focus on improving the connection between the facade and the sidewalk in order to ultimately create pedestrian friendly streets. To do so I compared the street design of the cities of Seattle, WA and Paris, France. Looking at specific streets at both places, it will target Eastlake Ave E in Seattle and different boulevards and streets in Paris, France. By comparing these streets in terms of urban design and regulations, as well as the work of designers who got inspired by overseas ideas as well, we can find new solutions to address the many challenges Eastlake Ave E is currently facing as a mixed development street. To present my findings in my presentation, I created a video documentary that shows how similarly Paris and Seattle regulate their street façade but design them differently. My final product is to give some recommendations for Eastlake Ave E shown through paintings. The project accomplished, people can realize that we can find urban planning solutions in other city concepts. We can find new design solutions for our streets by getting inspired by other culture’s ideas.

Just My Type: Developing a Community for Type 1 Diabetics at the University of Washington


About 1.25 million Americans have type 1 diabetes. Statistically, there should be around 150 students at the University of Washington and around 14,60 in the greater Seattle area with type 1. Because diabetes is a chronic condition that requires 24/7 management, it can be extremely burdensome and lead to high rates of stress and depression. Yet, there is no community for type 1 diabetics at the University of Washington. This leads me to my question: How can I build a community for Type 1 diabetics at UW while also making an impact in the fight against diabetes? For my senior capstone, I have conducted research on support groups, developed a plan to increase membership, and built relationships with other diabetic organizations in the attempt of answering this question. My goals were to 1) offer a network to type one diabetics at UW 2) to build connections between the members and the greater Seattle diabetic community and to 3) increase awareness for diabetes by raising at least $5,000. Through this process, I have created a manual for the next leader that outlines “How to Prosper the Community for Type 1’s at UW” to ensure long term success for the leaders of the group.

Engaging the Original Seattleites


Over two-thirds of Native Americans live in urban metropolitan areas, but they are often underrepresented through existing urban planning outreach methods and events. Cities must be planned with the needs of Native Americans in mind. If ignored,  cities will be a barrier to the continuation of Native American culture and enforce oppressive colonization culture. Currently, little public outreach is geared towards urban Native Americans. Common methods of conducting outreach are not culturally appropriate for Native American communities. Altering current outreach methods, such as town hall and open houses, to more culturally appropriate methods is one solution to effectively engaging urban Native Americans. I applied communication and event structure recommendations from public health researchers and narrative interview facilitators to urban planning outreach events by altering the way the event facilitator interacted and guided the conversations. To determine the effectiveness of the communication recommendations, I conducted follow up surveys with participants. Participants indicated that the test outreach events were comfortable environments to voice their opinions because they felt their opinions were heard and valued. Additionally, the demographics of those attending the event and group size were indicated as important factors in creating that comfortable environment.  Implementing these recommendations in future outreach events could lead to more engaged participation by urban Native American populations. More effective engagement will allow cities to better meet the needs of their Native American communities.

Memories of a Dish: Personal and Cultural Identities Expressed Through Food


Food practices (cooking and eating) are a reflection of a culture or country. Food is born out of available ingredients and is therefore tied to a geographical location and its established societies. Seattle attracts people from all over the world who bring with them their food culture creating diverse neighborhoods and populations. I explore diverse communities in Seattle through the lens of cooking and eating. I interviewed Seattle residents and university students whose cultural identities differ from the dominant white American one. Based on these narratives, I put together a cookbook made up of first-person stories and corresponding recipes. By documenting diverse food memories into the form of a story-based cookbook, I hope to understand the importance that culinary traditions play in the identity of an individual. I aim to celebrate diverse food narratives through story-telling and the tactile approach of cooking, eating, and sharing food. Through interviews, I found that individuals connect to their culture and identity via food practices. The experience of immigrating or growing up in a culture that is different from one’s own drastically changes a person’s cultural practices, and food is a way to express past and present identities. A dish cooked today may date back 30 or 300 years, holding historic memory. Food is a political, public expression of where people shop, where they choose to eat, and what their tastes and preferences are. In some cases, communities are known primarily for their cuisines in mainstream American culture. In a country of so many divides, perhaps food can help us heal.

We’re Trying to Reach You!


Tension can grow between local community groups and people perceived as having the power to make large-scale changes (like city government employees, commissions, and boards) when community members feel that their input is not considered or that they are not reaching City of Seattle officials through the correct methods.

This project identifies the strategies currently used by various nonprofits and citizen groups to collect feedback and pass community knowledge to local planning officials, then compares those to theoretical outreach strategies. It consists of a literature review addressing the importance of citizen engagement; a collection of the best practices for outreach to local communities; a series of interviews with employees of nonprofit organizations operating in the Seattle area; and a matrix of City of Seattle public outreach policies.  The purpose of this project is to mitigate future tensions by providing recommendations for how best to provide the city with feedback that uses the time of staff members at local community organizations efficiently.

Increasing Environmental Appreciation through Photography in Public Schools

There is a current lack of art and outdoor environmental education within the public school system in Seattle. Outdoor education refers to any topic that is taught outside, while environmental education concerns the natural environment and issues that pertain to the natural environment. Students are often taught about problems relating to our environment, but they are rarely taught to simply appreciate it. Art can be used as a tool to give students enjoyable hands-on environmental learning in an outdoor setting. By using photography students are able to interact with their environment, show others how they see the world, and feel a deeper sense of appreciation towards nature. This project was inspired by the Literacy Through Photography program at Duke University and will address the question of how photography in an outdoor curriculum can increase a student’s environmental awareness within public schools. To begin answering this question I have compiled a comprehensive literature review and taught a pilot curriculum activity with a K/1 class at Leschi Elementary School that incorporates being outdoors, the environment, and photography. My literature review and observation results suggest that students enjoy interactive activities outside and that outdoor and environmental education is beneficial for student health, environmental awareness, and happiness. In the future, these findings could be studied further with more pilot programs in a variety of school locations, such as within intercity schools where nature is lacking.