470 hrs
Volunteer Hours
Outreach Meetings
Dollars Raised

U District Green Street on NE 42nd

Aided by our consultant team, we will host a series of three stakeholder workshops for: 1) understanding conditions, 2) exploring options, and 3) deciding direction, followed by a public open house to deliver a conceptual-10% design plan* to the City for the redesign of two blocks of NE 42nd Street in the walkable core of our U District neighborhood. 

As a ‘Green Street’, this adaptive street will address the five-acre deficit of public open space in our high-rise urban center and follow strategies from the extensive community engagement and planning documents over the past decade. The community-vetted conceptual plan will be leveraged to attract funding to transform this street to meet the community's vision.

Guiding Principles

  • Create places for people, centered on the pedestrian experience
  • Embrace superior & sustainable urban design best practices
  • Provide for the needs of local stakeholders & small businesses
  • Enhance the connection between campus & community

Why is the plan important?

Actually, this project is overdue as the community continues to realize the increased density charted-out by the 2017 rezoning of the district which allowed taller buildings. As these buildings begin to materialize, it’s critical to have a growth map that guides important investments in public space and other community assets to ensure that the U District remains livable, sustainable, and accessible to all. Now, as Seattle prepares to revise its One Seattle Comprehensive Plan, the U District is primed to realize its potential.

How to participate and provide feedback?

For more information on the project, and to subscribe for frequent updates, visit the website at: green.udistrict.org. You may also email us at green@udistrict.org. For project updates, subscribe now:

Who is the Steering Committee?

We are thrilled to have small business owners, property owners, residents, students, workers, and professors around the table to guide this project. Our project steering committee also includes participation by the following organizations: U District Advocates, U District Community Council, U District Partnership, and the City of Seattle

Project expertise is provided by our consultant team of Site Workshop and Mayfly Engineering.

How was the work funded?

Funding provided by the Neighborhood Matching Fund from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. You may also donate online. This is a project of U District Advocates, a 501c3 nonprofit, and donations to the project are tax-deductible.
City of Seattle
U District Advocates
4 Culture


* 10% design plan: Critical to the success of this project is its eventual implementation into the U District. Therefore, we structured our project deliverable, the 10% design plan, to integrate with the standard project flow of the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT). With a 10% design plan, SDOT can leverage the document to find funding to then proceed to the next key steps on the way to actual construction: 30%, 60%, 90%, 100%. We believe that with the goal of a 10% design plan, our project will be more likely to reach fruition.
Five acre deficit: The City of Seattle calculated a five-acre deficit of public open space in the University District in their 2015 U District Urban Design Environmental Impact Statement: On page 3.7-8, in Table 3.7-3, it states that the 2013 Deficit is 2.9 acres, while the 2035 deficit is 5.1 acres. Note that this determination was prior to the 2017 rezone of the University District to high-rise development up to 33 stories. 

Public comment received on the U District EIS: "While the adjacent University of Washington campus has open space, it serves the student and employee population of the University, and not the general public, and the DEIS correctly excludes the University of Washington from the analysis on open space.” 

Furthermore, in the 2015 University District Parks Plan Update, on page 12, it states: “While the District features a few excellent parks, along with access to active recreation in Cowen Park and attractive passive open spaces throughout UW’s campus, there is an existing shortfall of open space in terms of the City’s goals (as of 2013). The approximately 1,500 housing units under construction and the additional 4,000 more expected of the 20 years will exacerbate this issue. By 2035, the deficit is expected to grow unless the additional parks and open spaces can be provided.” 

The 2013 U District Urban Design Framework, page 13, states: “The University District Park Plan (2005), which addresses the existing and future open space deficit in the U District. It includes priorities for the Parks Department in terms of new open space investments.” 

The 2012 University District Urban Design Framework - Existing Conditions Report, page 56, states: “The Seattle Parks Department published the University District Park Plan in 2005. The plan identified an existing deficit in publicly-owned open space, as identified by Comprehensive Plan open space goals for the University District Northwest Urban Village.”

Stay in the loop!

Subscribe to receive our monthly newsletter.