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2013 Neighborhood Design Studio


Winter Quarter 2013 | Lake City | Instructor: Julie Johnson


With the Lake City Greenways group as the initiating stakeholder for UW Landscape Architecture’s Neighborhood Design Studio studio, 16 students (from landscape architecture, urban design and planning, and architecture) learned about Lake City and envisioned its potentials as a healthier neighborhood. Landscape Architecture Associate Professor Julie Johnson led the students through a participatory design process, such that the students gained insights about the varied places and needs of this neighborhood, as well as their own design responses, through community interactions. Greenways leaders gave students an overview and led walking tours. Students facilitated small group discussions at a community meeting, and some undertook a workshop with youth, to learn more about the neighborhood and potentials. Students undertook site visits and thematic analysis of the neighborhood to enrich their understandings. Two students participated in an event led by a Public Health class involved in the Little Brook neighborhood of Lake City, and one of these students created an online survey for Lake City residents.

As they developed conceptual ideas for particular places or connections, students received feedback from community members, a city staff member and designers in the design studio. Studio visits from agency staff and a designer also helped guide their design ideas. Later in the quarter community members and others returned to discuss students’ schematic designs with them, which informed the development of their final design work. This work was presented to a range of community members, agency staff, and faculty in March 2012.

The studio projects grow from the proposed network of greenways identified by Lake City Greenways. Students have extended these to make connections among civic and open space destinations, including schools and parks. Some students focused on new civic spaces, while others are revitalizing existing ones with ecological, cultural, agricultural, and play-oriented interventions. Wayfinding and identity are central to several projects, including one focused on the Lake City Way spine and another charting a loop trail system. Another offers typologies and places for urban agriculture throughout Lake City. These projects connect with one another to create a synergy of community places and connections. Eight interrelated themes that contribute to making a healthier Lake City are addressed among the projects: greenways wayfinding green infrastructure learning, urban agriculture culture play ecological systems

Special thanks to several people who shared insights with the studio, including:

Community & Greenways representatives
Ruth Anderson
Janine Blaeloch
Dave Morris
Tim Motzer
Phil Shack
Cathy Tuttle
Mark von Walter
all who participated in the January 17 Community Meeting small groups
youth who participated in the February 16 Design Workshop; Amber Trout who facilitated this workshop

Agency representatives
Dongho Chang
Rebecca Deehr
David Graves
Colin Drake
Gretchen DeDecker
Pam Emerson

Design professionals
Jason Breitling
Cameron Duncan
Betsy Jacobson
Jennifer Richter
Dave Rodgers
Kara Weaver
Benjamin Barrett
Elizabeth Umbanhowar

UW faculty and students
Dan Abramson
Marty Curry
Jeff Hou
Lynne Manzo
Nancy Rottle
Luanne Smith
Amber Trout
Daniel Winterbottom
Jack Thompson
Tiffany Sin and the rest of the Master’s in Public Health students working in Little Brook