This Thursday, the brand new Pike Place MarketFront officially opens to the public, and we are very excited to be part of that. Not only as a sponsor, but because we have been actively involved in community-wide conversations about what the entire Seattle Waterfront will be like. The MarketFront is actually the very first part of what will become the new Seattle Waterfront, an urban park and gathering place, that will run 26 blocks from Pioneer Square to Belltown.
When we talk about the ideas, institutions and individuals that will shape the Pacific Northwest in the next 50 years, the new Seattle Waterfront could well be among the Top 5. When completed, it stands to make Seattle’s downtown one of the world’s greatest urban spaces.
The thinking and planning behind the new Seattle Waterfront was the focus of our 2015 Thought Forum, attended by close to 300 people, in partnership with the Downtown Seattle Association. Our speakers were James Corner, the landscape architect for the new Seattle Waterfront, as well as the New York City Highline and many other urban projects wordwide; and Robert Hammond, co-founder and executive director of Friends of the NYC High Line. It was a fascinating evening.
Corner and Hammond talked about what would make the Seattle Waterfront truly Seattle – distinct from our friends in New York, but world-class in its own right. Watch videos from that event, the new Seattle Waterfront, and why parks are important here. Among those giving their thoughts on why parks and public spaces are key to the future of Seattle: Heidi Hughes, Executive Director of Waterfront Seattle, Jon Sholes, President of the Downtown Seattle Association, Jesus Aguirre, Superintendent of Seattle Parks & Recreation, Tony Mestres, President and CEO of the Seattle Foundation, and Seattle Deputy Mayor Kate Joncas.
Yes, Seattle is changing, along with our entire region. As more and more people move here to take part in the Seattle-area boom, the heightened activity can feel overwhelming. In Corner’s view, urban public spaces, like the Waterfront, will give Seattle a place to rest, our own “front porch.” What’s not to like about that?
Want to join and tell us what ideas, institutions and individuals you think will shape the next 50 years of the Pacific Northwest? Enter a comment below, email us or joining us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Make sure to tag your social media posts with #Future50NW so we can collect all your stories in one place.