Urban Land Institute Urban Resilience Panel Studies South Park and Georgetown Neighborhoods

ULI Panel Members and City Staff on Site Tour, Photo Courtesy of ULI

During the week of June 21 – 26 a group of national experts gathered in Seattle to study the Duwamish riverfront neighborhoods of South Park and Georgetown to assess the challenges climate change is expected to present in the form of rising sea levels. This “Resilience Panel” was one of several taking place in cities throughout the U.S., convened by the Urban Land Institute (ULI), and made possible through a generous grant from the Kresge Foundation.

The group of panelists hit the ground running. They explored the South Park and Georgetown neighborhoods; interviewed more than 50 stakeholders representing agencies, businesses, property owners, residents, and non-profit organizations; and studied numerous plans, reports, and data on existing and envisioned neighborhood conditions.

The goal of the Urban Resilience Advisory Program is to provide independent and objective advice to communities on how to prepare for increased climate risk in ways that allow a quicker, safer return to normalcy after an event as well as an ability to thrive going forward.

What Did the Panel Recommend?

Duwamish River looking north from the South Park Bridge, photo courtesy of ULI

On Friday, June 26, the panel’s visit culminated with a presentation, held at the Duwamish Longhouse, to an audience of approximately 100 people that outlined their initial advice for addressing resiliency. Some of the initial recommendations included:

  • Identify “impact districts” to distinguish areas within the Duwamish corridor that would benefit from specific actions
  • Improve communication and coordination between the South Park and Georgetown neighborhoods by establishing a “coordinating hub” through which the neighborhoods could join together to work on issues important to all who live, work and play in the Duwamish corridor
  • Hold an annual “State of the Duwamish Summit” to check in on community goals and progress
  • Increase transportation options within, and to/from the South Park and Georgetown neighborhoods
  • Improve stormwater drainage through green (natural) and grey (human-made) stormwater improvements

ULI will develop these initial recommendations into an advisory report, which will be released sometime this fall. This report will be an independent, ULI report and not an official City report.

The City will consider the recommendations in the final report as we move forward with our work on climate change and resilience planning efforts.

To view the Resilience Panel Presentation (draft recommendations) follow this link http://uli.org/advisory-service-panels/advisory-services-panel-seattle-washington/

For more information on what the City is doing to plan for climate change, visit the Office of Sustainability and Environment (OSE) webpage at www.seattle.gov/environment/climate-change