South Park is one
of Seattle's most vibrant and diverse neighborhoods. Together, we're
tackling critical issues such as transportation, public safety and the
re-energizing a one step at a time.
The South Park Action Agenda is a community-driven partnership with the City of Seattle, which targets 162 different recommendations across 5 topic areas to improve the South Park community including:
- Environmental and Physical Improvements
- Business and Transportation
- Community Engagement
- Youth Development
- Public Safety
The strategies and recommendations are listed in particular order but have been divided into the following time categories based on size of request and availability of resources. The time categories are defined as:
- Short Term (1 -2 years)
- Mid Term (5 - 7 years)
- Long Term (7+ years)
In 2005, the shooting
of a 16-year-old boy left residents concerned about growing violence in the
neighborhood. That summer, the City of Seattle stepped up efforts to
build trust and partnerships in the South Park community. Beginning in
2006, community leaders, businesses, youth, non-profit organizations and the
City of Seattle came together to develop the South Park Action Agenda.
The Agenda was an
intensive community-driven effort with volunteers putting in more than a
thousand hours of their time to develop short-term and long-term plans for
their neighborhood. They envisioned South Park as a safe, diverse,
pedestrian-friendly, clean, well-maintained community. They also started
working toward a thriving retail core and neighborhoods with a sense of pride
and stewardship. Below is a list of what the South Park residents envisioned for their community:
We envision South Park as a community:
- With a thriving retail core surrounded by pedestrian-friendly residential and industrial uses that together create a welcoming and safe environment;
- Served by a sound South Park Bridge and characterized by clean and well maintained roads, sidewalks, and other public facilities;
- Where residents and businesses feel safe, secure, and comfortable on foot, bicycle, or utilizing the fast and frequent modes of public transportation available to them;
- Where children and youth feel safe and enjoy a broad array of recreational and scholastic opportunities, using a variety of public and private facilities;
- Where residents and businesses are encouraged to interact often and are fully engaged in community-level decision -making that is well served by a coordinated network of nonprofit and community organizations;
- That actively promotes and celebrates cultural and ethnic diversity, fosters new and emerging leadership, and deliberately cultivates a community environment that prioritizes acceptance and inclusiveness;
- Where residential, commercial, and industrial interests are considered on an equal basis to create a pleasant living environment, abundant job opportunities, and successful, environmentally responsible community;
- That takes pride as Seattle’s only riverfront village, practices responsible stewardship of the river, and supports a variety of commercial, industrial, recreational, and wildlife uses along the river;
- Where the detached family house is the dominant housing style and both owners and renters feel a sense of neighborhood pride and stewardship; and
- Where residents and businesses have a collaborative and positive relationship with fire and public safety departments and so are well prepared to solve problems and respond to emergencies as needed
In addition to this vision the South Park community also ascribed acceded to the following community goals and community priorities:
- Youth Development: Create and maintain a vibrant South Park community that provides unlimited opportunities for youth and families to thrive.
- Environment & Physical Improvements: Seek a variety of improvements designed to improve the quality of life in South Park, promote economic development, and protect public health and safety.
- Community Engagement: Create and maintain a neighborhood where all community members feel welcome, are informed and educated about the decisions impacting the neighborhood, and have a voice and vote in the decision making process. Educate and train community members and providers so they are able to outreach to residents in a language appropriate and culturally competent manner. Create and maintain an environment where the great diversity, culture, history and traditions of South Park residents are valued and appreciated.
- Business and Transportation: To create and maintain a neighborhood where frequently purchased items are available in the neighborhood; where there is robust access to mass transit or an alternative to driving into and out of South Park; and where there is a successful industrial sector.
- Public Safety: To ensure a neighborhood in which the community can safely live, do business, and interact with others, now and for generations to come. Must be founded on a cohesive community that is engaged, empowered, and focused on common goals and priorities.
- Replace the South Park Bridge. Government entities, elected officials, the community and business organizations work to obtain funding for the South Park bridge. Possible funding sources are King County, Puget Sound Regional Council, Regional Transportation Improvement District, Washington State Department of Transportation, City of Tukwila, City of Seattle, U.S. Federal Highway Administration, and private foundations.
- Build upon current efforts to combat crime by enhancing safety and security thereby encouraging the continued investment in our retail, industrial, commercial, high density, and residential properties.
- Implement the South Park drainage plan and improve substandard streets in the commercial, residential and industrial sectors.
- Increase capacity of existing facilities and add facilities to meet South Park’s educational, recreational, social and cultural needs.
- Sustain, enhance, and increase programs that support positive youth development and strengthen families. Strong community and provider partnerships combined with committed city resources are required for success.
- Continue to focus on and foster improvement of the environmental health of South Park.
- Create and maintain a neighborhood where all community members are informed and educated about the decisions impacting the neighborhood and they have a voice and vote in the decision making process. Educate and train South Park community members and providers so they are able to outreach to residents and businesses in a language appropriate and culturally competent manner.
- Engage community members and providers in formal planning processes and other civic engagement activities by providing interpretation services, translation of written materials, and creating welcoming environments appropriate to the cultures represented. Requests to have meetings provided in a group’s primary language should be responded to and honored whenever possible.
- Ensure diverse South Park resident representation on advisory boards, committees, and panels.
- Use the Community Engagement Committee’s vision statement to guide the execution of the implementation phase of the South Park Action Agenda.