Public Realm Perspective

Meet Sara:

Sara Pizzo, Public Realm Manager, tackles projects that improves the streets, parks, and public spaces. She diligently works to enhance the streetscape and coordinate construction along with anything else that is needed. Her efforts make the neighborhood a safer and cleaner place for everyone to enjoy and for businesses to thrive.  She enjoys connecting with the community and building relationships.

Singapore + Vietnam:

Sara recently took a two week-long trip to Southeast Asia as part of a vacation, stopping in Vietnam, Singapore, and briefly Japan. During that time, Sara visited numerous locations including Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Sa Pa and Osaka. During her trip, Sara was exposed to a variety of public realm features in both Vietnam and Singapore, including large parks, sacred temples, fascinating architecture, and the hustle and bustle of communities supporting their local economies.

Local Connections Aboard:

We caught up with Sara during her first full week back in the office. Sara’s trip spurred our conversation towards the Pioneer Square local economy. Pioneer Square is home to a unique and vibrant community of artisans, craftspeople, and makers. Around each corner, one can find specialized services for almost any need. “I bent one of my rings the other day,” Sara recalled. “I knew there was a metalsmith in the Good Arts building, so I walked over. Before I knew it, Peggy had fixed my ring!”

Sara also noted the uses of public space that she observed on her trip abroad. Sara observed the presence or lack of historic features in Vietnam and Singapore. “Singapore lacks the historic structures that one can find in Pioneer Square,” Sara says. Singapore is a highly modernized and geographically confined city-state where outdated buildings are demolished to create space for newer structures. “Witnessing the modern architecture provided a comparative perspective for the historical assets in Pioneer Square,” says Sara.

Unlike Singapore, Vietnam offers more historic structures. Sara quickly remembered a highlight from her time in the country where she visited a Hospital Cave on Cat Ba Island. Hospital Cave served as both a hospital during the Vietnam War. Sara states that, “Hospital Cave made me appreciate what we have in the neighborhood in terms of character.” A quick glance around Pioneer Square yields a panorama of unique and historic structures- an intentional design feature of the neighborhood maintained by the Pioneer Square Preservation Board’s design guidelines.

The public spaces in Pioneer Square are an essential ingredient of the neighborhood’s charm. Improving and tending to public spaces creates a welcoming environment to visitors and locals of all abilities. The public realm acts as a gateway and space for locals and visitors alike to experience the neighborhood. Sara says, “when I’m walking around the neighborhood, I have the opportunity to build community both with folks that I already know and have connection with, along with less familiar individuals.”

Sara this week:

Sara is back to work this week getting caught up on all things Pioneer Square!