Lisa has worn many hats on behalf of Pioneer Square. In her current role as Executive Director of the Alliance, she leads a collaborative team focused on business development, advocacy, marketing and the public realm. Lisa uses her strong relationships with city leaders and key organizations to advocate for the neighborhood and the issues that impact Pioneer Square at the city, county, and state levels. She tackles everything from long term goals to daily issues.
Occidental Square Park:
In 2014, Seattle Parks Foundation commissioned Dan Biederman-the visionary consultant behind the revitalization of New York’s Bryant Park-to assess conditions at Occidental Square in downtown Seattle and develop a plan to turn it into a more vibrant and welcoming gathering space for people of all ages and walks of life.
Biederman’s report has guided an effort to dramatically enhance public life in Occidental Square Park, leading to the creation of the Urban Parks Partnership (UPP). Comprised of the Alliance for Pioneer Square, Downtown Seattle Association, Friends of Waterfont Seattle and the Seattle Parks Foundation, the UPP created a vision to create quality public space that serves all people. The Partnership worked closely with Seattle Parks and Recreation to implement a public/private model and DSA has taken the lead programming role in the effort.
Occidental Square Park has been transformed into the lively heart of the Pioneer Square neighborhood, with colorful café seating, new planters, artwork, ping-pong tables and musical performances. The park’s newfound popularity and high attendance at regular free events has inspired donors to invest in two major capital projects:
- a graceful new wood and glass pavilion at the south end and
- a new play area at the north end of the square.
The play area will provide a new activity in the park and will increase ways that families can enjoy Occidental Square Park. The play area will feature climbing equipment, safety surfacing, and an attractive steel and timber bench where people can sit and enjoy the park and watch their children play. The play area complements the existing neighborhood by using timber play equipment and a timber bench that also functions as an enclosure for safety. The play area will be located at the north end of Occidental Square Park. Learn more about the current Occidental Square Park projects.
Lisa this week:
This week, Lisa looks forward to the future of the Square. “There is change throughout the neighborhood – and that process is hard,” Lisa states; “we are focusing on working to ease the pain points of construction projects including the play area to minimize the impact on the neighborhood. Our team works to prevent and address the issues that impact the stakeholders of the neighborhood.”
Across Pioneer Square, major shifts are occurring. The long awaited viaduct demolition is in its final stages, the waterfront is continuing to develop (featuring a rebuilt Alaskan Way, a promenade+bike path, a habitat beach, and an Overlook Walk), east/west streets are being reviewed for pedestrian improvements, and private development marches forward, and Chief Seattle Club is embarking on a vital project to redevelop Fortson Square. “We advocate for smart growth and well thought out phasing of the various projects impacting our neighborhood. Maintaining space for businesses to thrive and the district to maintain its authentic community cohesion is a top priority” says Lisa.
As the neighborhood continues to experience change, the Alliance for Pioneer Square will strive to foster effective means of communication with stakeholders. The Alliance for Pioneer Square is responsible for ensuring that the Pioneer Square community is informed about the small and large projects impacting the neighborhood. With so many projects underway throughout the district, the dissemination of knowledge to the Alliance for Pioneer Square’s stakeholders of knowledge is key. “We want to know what has helped folks stay informed during this dynamic time- be that emails or formal project outreach efforts. If something isn’t working we want to know so we can find a better way.” Lisa closes.
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