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.

Occidental Square Park:

Occidental Square Park is one of a few park spaces in Pioneer Square. Other neighborhood parks include Pioneer Park, City Hall Park, and Waterfall Garden Park. The Downtown Seattle Association manages Occidental Square Park and implements activation programming on a regular basis including live music and interactive activities such as ping pong and basketball. Sara notes Occidental Square Park is a place for social interactions facilitated through park programming. “Park activation occurring in Occidental Square Park connects a diverse crowd of people—in terms of age, gender, and socio-economic status, who work and live in and around the neighborhood.” Two new additions to the park, a play area and pavilion will continue to build Occidental Square Park’s positive presence in the neighborhood.

Play Area and Pavilion:

The play area at the northern end of Occidental Square Park is set to open on October 26th, as part of the Downtown Seattle Association’s Fall Festival activities. The play area represents a cross sector collaboration between the Downtown Seattle Association, Seattle Parks and Recreation, Seattle Parks Foundation, and the Alliance for Pioneer Square. The collaboration has produced an excellent addition to Occidental Square Park. The new play area will feature bench seating and a large play structure. The equipment in the play area is geared towards older children (7-12 years old), and will complement the existing play gear on the southern end of Occidental Square Park, which is meant for younger children (1-7 years old). The new play area emphasizes physical play, which Sara thinks is much needed in the neighborhood. Sara also believes the play area will have a positive impact on the neighborhood’s character. “The play area will affirm that Pioneer Square is welcoming to families, which may spur future residential development in the neighborhood,” Sara states.

The Pavilion and Kiosk Project will also be a great addition to the park. In late September, the project received its Certificate of Approval from the Pioneer Square Historic District Preservation Board, with wide support from the community. The pavilion and new kiosk, which is slated to be built between November 2019 and February 2020 in the southern portion of Occidental Square Park, will serve as another valuable addition to our neighborhood’s public spaces. “The pavilion will greatly benefit the Downtown Seattle Staff members who work in Occidental Square Park,” Sara observes. “The permanent nature of the pavilion will allow Downtown Seattle Association staff to focus on programming and activities instead of placing daily effort into setting up equipment, such as pop-up tents.” Keep an eye on Occidental Square Park over the coming months as the play area and pavilion projects come into fruition