Re-using A Leftover Urban Space

by Peter Johnson

Location: W Ewing St. & 3rd Ave. W.

The West Ewing Mini-Park is a small park space along the Lake Washington Ship Canal on the north side of Queen Anne Hill. It is part of a larger park space that runs along the canal. The immediate area is a transitional area from the residential north slope of Queen Anne to the Ballard-Interbay Industrial Area. As such the park is adjacent to a variety of land uses, including Seattle-Pacific University, numerous small offices and some industrial businesses. I visited there at about 4:00 pm on a Saturday afternoon. The weather was cool and sunny, though the area was still wet from rain from the night before.

The space itself sits directly underneath an electrical tower which raises electrical transmission lines above the ship canal. The mini-park consists of a square paved space, with the four footings of the electrical tower at the corners. Steps on the north side lead down to the ship canal. A concrete retaining wall forms the south side of the space with some landscaping behind it. In the space there are two benches facing the ship canal, and a picnic table.


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Micro Urbanism

The term “micro-urbanism” describes small-scale urban spaces and design interventions that enable a wide variety of activities, events, processes and functions to take place. It also involves ways to reinterpret the urban landscape. As a class project, the purpose for creating this Guide is to bring attention to aspects of our everyday environment that are important but often neglected parts of the urban experiences.

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