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Re/Imagining Summit Ave: Reclaiming the Right-of-Way


As Seattle continues to grow and densify, it is critical to consider the importance of green space in the urban environment. Green space is essential to the our built spaces because it provides environmental, human health and wellness, and economic benefits. We must reconsider how we define green space and include it in the design of our future cityscapes in the way we do sidewalks and roadways. Green space has long been isolated to areas designated for aesthetic uses such as parks and gardens. The core of Seattle has already become densely urbanized, therefore it is vital to design our streets more creatively if we want to add more green space. A significant amount of space in the public realm is covered in asphalt, reserved exclusively for automobiles. Redesigning our streets to take advantage of areas where there is unused asphalt could be an innovative method for adding green space in Seattle. The 1700 block of Summit Ave. in the Capitol Hill neighborhood is a particularly wide street with an excess of unused asphalt. Through community outreach I found that the residents of Summit Ave. would like to see a street redesign to remove a sections of  asphalt to be replaced with a small area of green space. Using research about the benefits of green space in the public realm combined with community input, I have constructed a robust proposal for a redesign of the 1700 block of Summit Ave