Seattle Viaduct

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Original design High Line Park, New York, NY.

The redesign: Alaska Way Viaduct, Seattle, WA.

How: Owners of water front property purchase the air rights above the viaduct and collectively transfer the rights to a living trust or revolving fund.

Differentiation: The Viaduct would be an edible, waterfront park with collaborative opportunities with local businesses, urban agrarians and dedicated volunteers.

What? Why? Business owners below the viaduct were concerned about the loss of foot traffic.

Incentive: Aside from the write off (there’s always a way work with numbers), trustees of the  viaduct would be leaving a living legacy with living solutions.

Living Solutions? What if as an edible park the trust collaborated with Seattle’s Tilth and Farestart, both places that offer opportunities and placement program for homeless and disadvantaged individuals and at risk youth? What if, aside from carbon sequestration from the downtown traffic, the trees provided a temporary break; a bit of green from the color grey men and women downtown work through everyday? Or in a word: Biophilia.


Things to consider

Climate and environment. Seattle has a temperate climate making it a good place to grow things but, in regards to environment (location), Seattle sits on the Cascadia Subduction Zone. An active region where two tectonic plates or fragments of lithosphere earth move toward one another. So. Building a human park over an untested tunnel is item to consider. “Earthquake Sources of the PNW.” Pacific Northwest Seismic Network. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Apr. 2014. www.pnsn.org/outreach/earthquakesources.


The High Line The High Line is a public park built on a historic freight line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. It is owned by the City of New York, and maintained and operated by Friends of the High Line; a non-for-profit conservancy make up of community goers who sought to preserve and transform the historical structure at a time when its beauty was at threat for demolition. By working with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, Friends of the High Line make sure the High Line is maintained and continues to blossom as an extraordinary space for all visitors to enjoy. “Park Information.” The High Line. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Apr. 2014.  www.thehighline.org

Alaskan Way Viaduct State Route 99, Seattle, WA: The Alaskan Way Viaduct is elevated section of State Route 99 that runs along the Elliott Bay waterfront in the industrial district of downtown Seattle. Built in late 1940’s, the viaduct is currently being redesigned to modern seismic standards. “Alaskan Way Viaduct.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 04 Feb. 2014. Web. 05 Apr. 2014. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaskan_Way_Viaduct. “Viaduct Beginnings.” Alaskan Way Viaduct. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Apr. 2014. viaducthistory.com/history.htm.

Seattle Tilth is a nonprofit organic gardening and urban ecology organization.

FareStart is a nonprofit restaurant organization that helps homeless and disadvantaged men and women transform their lives through transferable skill sets through training, and preparing local food in a socially healthy environment.

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