During the last two decades, the City of Seattle has written and rewritten multiple planning documents for its South Lake Union Urban Center including a joint design charette with the Uptown neighborhood. In addition, a fairly comprehensive sustainability plan was produced by a local developer, and the city, working with Weber Thompson, received LEED for Neighborhood Development certification.
The challenge is that most of these documents made broad, generalized recommendations that gave guidance but had little or no teeth when it came to the specifics of design and implementation.
Recognizing this problem, Weber Thomspon worked with the City of Seattle to use past efforts as a foundation and facilitate a series of charrettes with neighborhood stakeholders to develop an Urban Design Framework (UDF) for South Lake Union. While the UDF stops short of being a comprehensive master plan, it establishes a shared urban design vision and, most importantly, an implementation strategy in the form of Development Standards, updated Design Guidelines, Right of Way Design and Management, and how public property in the neighborhood is used or reused.
Many of the elements of this UDF were used as the basis for the rezoning of South Lake Union to allow increased height and density, incentive zoning and the EIS mitigation.
South Lake Union certified as green neighborhood
April 27, 2011
Neighborhood Achievement: SLU soon to be certified as sustainable neighborhood by LEED
South Lake Union Community Council