Westwood / Highland Park

Seattle, United States of America

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Winning team: M06
Team members: Sophie Holtkötter, Fatbardha Gela, Leonie Zickler, Fabia Scharf, David Bothor, Alina Tholen - Technical University of Dortmund
Advisor: Karsten Zimmermann

The envisioned intervention in the Westwood/ Highland Park area is characterised by a major shift from a car-oriented to a people-oriented urban design. The basis for this is strengthening connections within the neighbourhood as well as the implementation of measures that counteract the currently existing deficits. The interventions propose sustainable solutions which also contribute to a more conscious lifestyle among the local residents. 

In line with the 15-minute neighbourhood concept, measures are distributed in a decentralised manner, enabling residents to meet all their everyday needs within the shortest possible distance. This saves time, unnecessary trips by car and carbon emissions.

Key components

  • A Maker’s Area in a vacant warehouse with collaborations from local businesses.

  • Green spaces with new uses realised throughout the area. Around 6,500 sq ft of the area are designated for an urban community garden which includes several raised garden beds, a shed with the necessary equipment as well as a composting area.

  • Focus on the expansion of public transport, cycling and walking in order to encourage the residents to change their mobility behaviour. Two mobility hubs at major bus interchanges, one at the Westwood Village Shopping Center and one at the Walgreens Drugstore, are established.

Learn more about the project in the project presentation.

Presentation of the site

The proposed study area is located within the Westwood/Highland Park neighbourhood in the southwest area of the City of Seattle. The study area is a commercial corridor of approximately 25 acres (10 hectares). It traverses one of Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan’s designated “Residential Urban Village” areas. The study area will be served by bus rapid transit (BRT) beginning in 2021.

The neighbourhood is more racially diverse and its households have a lower median income than the city overall. The area lacks parks and recreation spaces, and residents and businesses have a higher risk of displacement and lower access to opportunity than other areas in the City.

The City’s main expectation is that students envision and communicate how incremental redevelopment strategies can create complete 15-minute neighbourhoods that will help Seattle achieve its Climate Action Plan goal of reducing road transportation emissions (currently a large part of Seattle’s GHG emissions), supporting quality of life and more sustainable lifestyle.

Approx. site area
25 acres (10 ha)

In the Westwood/Highland Park neighbourhood approximately 52 percent of residents are persons of colour and the median household income is lower than the citywide average.

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Jury Composition

Alicia Daniels Uhlig, Lecturer, Cal Poly College of Architecture and Environmental Design
Hélène Chartier, Head of Zero Carbon Development C40 Cities
Rico Quirindongo, Interim Director / Lauren Flemister, Deputy Director Seattle Office of Planning and Community Development
Amalia Leighton Cody, Director, Toole Design Seattle and member of Seattle Design Commission Erin Christensen Ishizaki, Partner, Mithun
Facilitator - Janet Shull, Strategic Advisor, Seattle Office of Planning and Community Development (not a jurist)

If you have a question or would like more details on the site and the Students Reinventing Cities competition, please use the form below. You will receive a response via email.

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