SDOT Director Scott Kubly, Mayor Ed Murray and Seattle Parks Superintendent Jesús Aguirre joined community members to celebrate the opening of Seattle’s first “Pavement to Parks” site with a ribbon cutting on First Hill this past Saturday. Attendees enjoyed the new space by listening to live music, playing table tennis and dining on artisan grilled cheese sandwiches from a local food truck vendor.
These projects use underutilized street space to create community-driven public spaces, improving safety and offering inventive solutions for addressing open space needs. Located at the intersection of University, Union and Boylston, and at Ninth Avenue and University, the sites were developed based on recommendations in the First Hill Public Realm Action Plan. These new public spaces are the early implementation phase of the City’s effort to improve First Hill’s parks, green space and pedestrian connections.
The First Hill Improvement Association will be responsible for stewardship of the space going forward with maintenance and operations help from Seattle Parks and SDOT. Activation events will be held throughout the summer and more information about the events can be found at http://universitystreet.org/.
These prototype parks will be monitored by SDOT and community volunteers, and design modifications will be informed by the spaces’ performance over the next two years. The project is a partnership between SDOT, Seattle Parks and Recreation, Seattle Parks Foundation, the Department of Neighborhoods, the Department of Planning & Development, the First Hill Improvement Association and neighborhood residents.