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D U WA M I S H PA L I M P S E S T : Exploring the Changing Natures of a River/Estuary/Waterway/Superfund Site

Jordan West Monez


DUWAMISH PALIMPSEST: Exploring the Changing Natures of a River/Estuary/Waterway/Superfund Site

Jordan West Monez

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of

Master of Landscape Architecture

University of Washington

2011

Program Authorized to Offer Degree: Landscape Architecture


In presenting this thesis in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a master’s degree at the University of Washington, I agree that the Library shall make its copies freely available for inspection. I further agree that extensive copying of this thesis is allowable only for scholarly purposes, consistent with “fair use” as prescribed in the U.S. Copyright Law. Any other reproduction for any purposes or by any means shall not be allowed without my written permission.

Signature_____________________________________

Date________________________________________


University of Washington Abstract

DUWAMISH PALIMPSEST: Exploring the Changing Natures of a River/Estuary/Waterway/Superfund Site Jordan West Monez Chair of the Supervisory Committee: Associate Professor Jeff Hou Department of Landscape Architecture

As Seattle’s only river, the heavily industrialized Duwamish holds layers of history and meaning, people and culture, contamination and habitat. The Duwamish is simultaneously a river beginning high in the Cascade Mountains, a straightened navigable waterway flowing into Elliot Bay, and a tidal estuary ruled by the moon and the seasons. Due to heavy contamination present in the river that threatens humans and wildlife, 441 acres of the the Lower Duwamish Waterway were named an USEPA Superfund Site in 2001, and several “Early Action Areas” have been identified for cleanup. Duwamish Palimpsest looks at the challenges through the lens of contemporary landscape theory of analysis, representation and design in conjunction with identifying various ways that the river has been viewed, depicted, mapped, and altered throughout it’s history. As a concluding project, I propose design interventions along the Duwamish that project potential futures for this manufactured landscape. Progressive site planning and design approaches are necessary to revitalize sites like the abandoned industrial parcels around the Duwamish Waterway in a way that involves the various stakeholders. These types of sites are known as “manufactured,” “post-industrial,” “toxic,” “waste landscapes,” and “terrain vague.” The seemingly disparate natures found on the Duwamish are found in urbanized areas throughout the world and, as we acknowledge the importance of cleaning up sites polluted by heavy industry, we must collectively deal with the problem of these sites, and rectify their danger to environmental and human health. Toxic cleanup is an important aspect of improving local, regional, and global ecologies. Landscape architects bring a unique viewpoint to the cleanup process, by thinking about the time-based potential of sites over time and designing places that have relevance to the layers of history and potential future uses of the site. Designers can act as activists, identifying issues, analysing, and reframing them in ways that are proactive and address various scales. By interpreting the layers of landscape through representation and experiential interventions, landscape architecture can affect how we look at Seattle’s only river during this point in the cleanup process and shape the actions that are taken toward a better future for the Duwamish River/Estuary/Waterway/Superfund site.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

LIST OF FIGURES

iv

GLOSSARY

x

PREFACE

xii

INTRODUCTION

1

LITERATURE REVIEW defining landscape architecture: scales, city, ecology

6

landscape urbanism: framework for creating the contemporary city

10

post-industrial practice: a call for transdisciplinary knowledge

14

experience of landscape: lenses of art + science, culture + nature

30

APPROACH AND METHODS designing for a post-industrial future

43

experience of place

44

mapping as operation

47

palimpsest

55

landscape as cultural image

57

community participation

62

ecological and eco-revelatory design

64

designing for the future

66

i


DUWAMISH PALIMPSEST framing the site analysis and design process by means of nine themes

73

altering: the history of the duwamish river

74

flowing: ecology of the duwamish river

80

accumulating: buildup of contamination

86

shifting: changing natures

94

concealing and revealing: understanding the past

100

spanning: time and geography

106

living: regenerative design

110

dwelling: community impact

116

opening imagination

123

DESIGN FOR THE FUTURE adding more layers: project objectives

131

finding the site: project scope

132

accumulating ideas: site analysis on the duwamish

135

site research: a palimpsest of images, data, maps, narratives

138

design at parcel scale: terminal 117/ palimpsest park

157

design challenges, limitations, and potentials for the future

171

BIBLIOGRAPHY

177

APPENDIX

188 ii


“An estuary demands gradients not walls, fluid occupancies not defined land uses, negotiated moments, not hard edges.� - Anuradha Mathur + Dilip da Cunha, SOAK: Mumbai in an Estuary


LIST OF FIGURES figure

description

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37

map of King County and regional waterbodies, showing site location photo of former Boeing Plant 2 factory from kayak mixed media collage mixed media collage images from on or around the Duwamish River multiple exposure photo of the Duwamish River on the water scales, city, ecology: plants in the concrete affecting change through visualization; Mississippi Floods diagram scale in landscape architecture goes beyond site boundaries; Fresh Kills from air landscape + urbanism: downtown Seattle from West Seattle looking across bay the Highline, a linear elevated park in NYC, designed by Field Operations Taking Measures Across the American Landscape collage of Colorado River view from Boeing Public Access Area four dimensional systems of flux: detail of cleanup timeline a post-industrial site: Terminal 117 Early Action Area on the Duwamish River one of the industrial structures at Gasworks juxtaposed with ground in mirror Gasworks Park today, with original train trestle armature in foreground photocollage of kite hill activity on a sunny, windy afternoon Gasworks Park cut-and-fill diagram by landscape architects Rich Haag Associates detail of Scape Studio’s rendering of the “Oystertecture” project the Ford Rouge River Plant greenroof bird’s eye view of the Ford Rouge River Plant photo of Nordhavn in 2010 with traces of train tracks and port cranes visible photo of Nordhavn in 2010 showing shipping industry environment COBE Architects vision for Nordhavn’s future development Nordholmene: six themes for redevelopment COBE Architect’s analysis of the site for Copenhagen City Duisberg-Nord Landscape Park from the Emscher River a park in the City of Oberhausen with repurposed gasometer map of major IBA Emscher Park projects and targeted areas section of stormwater system at Houtan Park via a linear constructed wetland boardwalk and phytoremediating plants at Houtan Park bird’s eye view digital rendering of Houtan Park perspective digital rendering of Houtan Park hand drawn perspective of Houtan Park detail phytoremediating and wetland plants line the pathways at Houtan Park a re-imagining of the Seattle Waterfront by Field Operations iv

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diagram of the Central Waterfront project aim to re-orient Seattle to water turboprop plane hotsprings at Yellowstone National Park mixed media image of Over the River artwork by Christo bird’s eye view image from Growing Urbanism competition entry digital perspective image from Growing Urbanism competition entry Lorna Jordan’s Waterworks Garden photograph of Robert Smithson sculpture Asphalt Rundown in Rome, Italy, 1969 drawing by Robert Smithson, Asphalt on Eroded Cliff 1969 Robert Smithson’s proposed huge revolving disk scupture in copper mine Robert Smithson sculpture, A NonSite Franklin, NJ 1968 “The Living Barge,” a temporary art installation on the Duwamish River drawing of Robert Smithson’s A Floating Island to Travel Around Manhattan Island drawing of Robert Smithson‘s “Dallas-Fort Worth Regional Airport Layout Plan” model of Robert Smithson‘s “Dallas-Fort Worth Regional Airport Layout Plan” photo of 2011 demolition of the Boeing Plant 2 factory unexpected sights, textures, and sounds await the explorer of a place USGS Topographic Map; Seattle quadrangle in 1897, 1906 and 1943 Situationist map, 19 sections of Paris aerial view of the Lower Duwamish River and surroundings the first image of Earth from space, taken by the Apollo 17 aerial view showing only the Green/Duwamish Watershed image series from Google Earth “film,” following the Duwamish image series from Google Earth “film,” following the Duwamish a 1944 depiction of the Mississippi River’s meanders detail of Raising Hollers screenprint USGS map of Duwamish and surroundings locations of important native sites graffiti and vegetation layered on the South Park Bridge ramp informative sign at Jack Block Park. view from the park of the port operations detail of informative sign at Jack Block Park billboards showing the utopian future of Field Operations’ design a portion of New York City’s Highline rendered a portion of New York City’s Highline actual post-industrial cleanup process, summarized for children the post-industrial cleanup process: signs at AMD+ART park in Vindondale, PN v

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figure

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Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition-led kayak trip down the Duwamish River temporary barrier at a restoration site Duwamish Valley Vision Map Sketchup model of a portion of the Duwamish River nine words that form framework for analysis of the Duwamish River multimedia image of Duwamish Projects 1851 Land claims map Kelly homestead on the Duwamish, 1850 topographical map of Seattle, 1909, showing old route of the Duwamish River topographical map of Seattle, 1909, showing projected rerouting sketch diagram sectional changes after the “Duwamish River Improvement” multimedia image: flowing view of mountains in fog in upper Green-Duwamish River Watershed stream flowing into the Green River in upper Green-Duwamish River Watershed water flowing over dam in upper Green-Duwamish River Watershed water diversion in upper Green-Duwamish River Watershed old growth forest in upper Green-Duwamish River Watershed aerial view of Herrings House Park view to river from Herrings House Park view of mudflat at low tide at Herrings House Park Tukwila Costco parking lot Green River and Green River trail Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) release point on the Lower Duwamish multimedia Image: accumulating diagrammatic map from the Feasibility Study: sediment diagrammatic map from the Feasibility Study: contamination methods for managing contaminated sediments: removal methods for managing contaminated sediments: containment methods for managing contaminated sediments: enhanced natural recovery methods for managing contaminated sediments: monitored natural recovery multimedia Image: shifting waves at Elliot Bay airplanes moving through the air overhead a hub for goods from all around the world metal recycling on the river Rising Tides Competition winner: “Failure! Bring Your Boots” Rising Tides Competition winner: “Folding Water: A Ventilated Levee” vi

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figure

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multimedia Image: concealing multimedia Image: revealing Aerial view Boeing Plant 2, concealed during World War II with a 3/4 scale model employee posing on roof of Boeing Plant 2 during WWII multimedia image: spanning ephemeral qualities and traces on the Duwamish: clouds ephemeral qualities and traces on the Duwamish: ripples ephemeral qualities and traces on the Duwamish: deposits on sand ephemeral qualities and traces on the Duwamish: mudflat multimedia image: living remediation techniques: field mustard phytoremediation remediation techniques: oyster mushroom mycoremediation remediation techniques: dredging remediation techniques: birch tree phytoremediation diagram of phytoremediation by youarethecity multimedia image: dwelling a house on an adjacent street to Terminal 117 Early Action Area a house on the Lower Duwamish, seen from the river South Park Marina diagram of the major stakeholders in the Duwamish Superfund cleanup Muckleshoot fisherman checking nets in the Lower Duwamish Waterway community engagement in the Duwamish River cleanup: shoreline restoration community engagement in the Duwamish River cleanup: kayak tours community engagement in the Duwamish River cleanup: upland restoration community engagement in the Duwamish River cleanup: community meeting community engagement in the Duwamish River cleanup: boat tour community engagement in the Duwamish River cleanup: visioning session community engagement in the Duwamish River cleanup: tribal performance community engagement in the Duwamish River cleanup: public art sketch: landscape + urbanism - future of the river photomontage of ecology and industry LDW in a statewide context aerial photo, showing project scope sketch: industry sketch: habitat aspects of the lower Duwamish Lower Duwamish from the water: tribal fishing net and shoreline habitat Lower Duwamish from the water: floating timber and barges vii

page 101 103 104 104 107 109 109 109 109 111 115 115 115 115 115 117 119 119 119 121 121 122 122 122 122 122 122 122 122 130 131 132 133 134 134 135 136 136


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Lower Duwamish from the water: 16th Ave S bridge Lower Duwamish from the water: remnants of piers Lower Duwamish from the water: metal recycling plant Lower Duwamish from the water: marina Lower Duwamish from the water: barge loading structure and tugboat Lower Duwamish from the water: salmon fisherman and shipping containers examples of current public access parks: Terminal 108 waterfront examples of current public access parks: Terminal 108 amenities examples of current public access parks: path to Boeing Public Access examples of current public access parks: Boeing Public Access view examples of current public access parks: path to Jack Block Park examples of current public access parks: Jack Block Park view examples of current public access parks: Herrings House path examples of current public access parks: Herrings House habitat area aerial view of the Green/Duwamish Watershed: multiple scales map: CSO outfalls and basins map: elevation and topography map: geology and water map: water and wetlands map: transportation routes map: buildings and street trees map: seattle zoning map: public lands and parks masterplan for the LDW: phases exploded masterplan for the LDW: plan view nine themes: observations + goals nine themes: methods + design EPA Superfund and Recovery cleanup timeline zooming in on a site: shifting scale mid-scale diagram: flowing + dwelling mid-scale diagram: revealing + spanning mid-scale diagram: accumulating + altering mid-scale diagram: concealing + living site map with context photos potential futures aerial view of Boeing Plant 2 during WWII parti plan overlayed on 2011 aerial aerial from 5000 feet: Boeing Plant 2 during WWII

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page 136 136 136 136 136 136 137 137 137 137 137 137 137 137 138 139 139 140 140 141 141 142 142 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 150 151 151 152 153 154 154 155


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Boeing Plant 2 in 2010 Boeing Plant 2 roof during WWII Boeing Plant 2 front during WWII Boeing Plant 2 roof during WWII information on Terminal 117/ Malarkey asphalt Superfund cleanup Terminal 117/ Malarkey asphalt Superfund cleanup site analysis photos Terminal 117/ Malarkey asphalt Superfund cleanup site analysis photos proposed Early Action Site Overview GIS site analysis history of Terminal 117 Parcel site diagrams site layout plan for Terminal 117/Palimpsest Park

200 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210

plant palette materials and site features collage perspective of Palimpsest Park wetland area diagrammatic section of Palimpsest Park wetland ponds collage perspective of Palimpsest Park evergreen “mutant” grove section of “tidal steps” sample sketches of parcel and mid-scale site analysis and design ideas working drawings for Terminal 117/Palimpsest Park site plan context board for thesis studio midreview February 2011 abstract accepted for paper presentations construction documentation for Terminal 117/Palimpsest Park

ix

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GLOSSARY

ACTIVIST Advocate of a cause or issue. COMPREHENSIVE ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSE, COMPENSATION AND LIABILITY ACT 1980 legislative act in the USA that established the Superfund program. DUWAMISH RIVER Lower 12 miles of the Green River, which flows into Elliot Bay in Seattle, WA. DUWAMISH RIVER CLEANUP COALITION/TECHNICAL ADVISORY GROUP (DRCC/TAG) Technical advisory group funded by the EPA and 501(c)3 non-profit organization, formed 2001. ESTUARY The tidal mouth of a large river. EARLY ACTION AREA (EAA) Areas of the Duwamish targeted for cleanup first because of high levels of hazardous waste. FEASIBILITY STUDY (FS) Analysis of cleanup alternatives for the Duwamish Superfund, Draft Final version published 2010. LANDSCAPE URBANISM A framework for practice that offers innovative perspectives on urban design and theory. LOWER DUWAMISH WATERWAY (LDW) The navigable waterway portion of the Duwamish River, from Elliot Bay to the Turning Basin. LOWER DUWAMISH WATERWAY GROUP (LDW) A partnership between King County, City of Seattle, Port of Seattle, and The Boeing Company. LOWER DUWAMISH WATERWAY SUPERFUND Superfund site encompassing 5.5 miles of the LDW; on EPA National Priorities List since 2001. MANUFACTURED/POST-INDUSTRIAL LANDSCAPE A place that has been altered by past or present industrial practices and activities. NATURE The phenomena of the physical world collectively and the forces causing that phenomena. SUPERFUND A US Environmental Protection Agency program that funds cleanup of toxic waste sites. x


The Possible’s slow fuse is lit By the Imagination - Emily Dickinson


PREFACE On a warm spring day I kayaked on the Duwamish River in Seattle, in the portion of the river known as the Duwamish Waterway, a former estuary, within the confines of the USEPA Superfund site. My trip was part of an event called “Duwamish Alive!� that was organized in order to help to remove garbage and invasive plants from the river and its banks, and plant new vegetation at restoration sites, as a part of larger restoration efforts on the River. In addition to the flotsam and jetsam of styrofoam, plastic objects, discarded metal and other trash on and alongside the water I saw two harbor seals, cormorants, kingfishers, seagulls, small black birds, crows, geese, and fish jumping out of the Muckleshoot tribe’s fishing nets. I made my way from the boat launch at Duwamish Waterway Park to Terminal 107 Park via the Turning Basin, the last stretch of the navigable part of the Lower Duwamish Waterway. I passed under the disconnected South Park Bridge, and it was clear from the rusting metal and cracked concrete why it had been rated a 4 out of 100 by the Federal Highway Administration before it was shut down. I speculated about what might be under the abandoned Boeing Plant 2 building, constructed on piers and in the beginning stages of total demolition. Paddling under large barges where the most collected, I stuffed all kinds of trash into a huge garbage bag and then headed to Terminal 107 Park. At the park I pulled up to a new boat launch and got out, joining hundreds of others including city government, native people, volunteers and community members, who had gathered for a ceremony during the event. Before my first kayak trip on the Duwamish I had only seen the river from the road and the air, and as it is an overwhelmingly industrial river it was hard to see the potential for rich experiences, sights, and life. By experiencing the place up close, on the water and along ever-changing shoreline, I saw the strange beauty of the industrial landscape in its functional forms, and the ways that flora and fauna find their places in the landscape in empty sites and abandoned structures. I began to comprehend the local to global networks that it was a part of as I watched the activity at the metal recycling plant and heard the sounds of the shipping containers stacking on top of one another. My thesis project attempts to understand the river, its problems and potential responses. Using research, personal experience, and contemporary methods of analysis and design to understand more about the river, and looking at the Duwamish as a continuum of past, present and future, I opened my imagination to possibilities for this terra incognita. xii


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Thank you first and foremost to my wonderful advisors: to Jeff Hou, for his enthusiasm, unique ideas, excellent theoretical and design guidance, and ability to inspire my project to take different directions of exploration; and to Thaïsa Way for her insight, expertise, constructive criticism and for exposing me to so many professional projects that have sparked my own design ideas. I would also like to thank Professor Julie Parrett for her guidance in the site design process and overall support of my work this year. I will continue to be inspired by their remarkable work and teaching throughout my career. Thank you to the following professors, for your insight, leadership, ideas, and informative classes that will continue to shape the way that I look at and practice landscape architecture and urban design: Nicole Huber, Nancy Rottle, Lynne Manzo, Manish Chalana, Steen Høyer, Sophie Sahlqvist, Benjamin Spencer, Daniel Winterbottom, Ralph Stern, Fritz Wagner, Luanne Smith, Kenneth Yocom, David Streatfield, Jan Whittington, Donald Miller, and midreview critics Kongjian Yu and Pierre Belanger. Thank you also to JoAnne Edwards, our wonderful program coordinator. To my family and friends: I could not have done this without your support, encouragement, advice, help, love, and the good times that I have when I take a break from school and spend time with you. I am so lucky to have you in my life and you are my inspiration for wanting to work to improve the world and our experience in it. A thousand thanks, I love you.

xiv


DEDICATION To my grandparents.

xvi


“Landscapes are made and remade.” – Peter Reed, Groundswell

The Duwamish River/Estuary/Waterway/Superfund site: on the water [author]

INTRODUCTION

As Seattle’s only river, the heavily industrialized Duwamish holds layers of history and meaning, people and culture, contamination and habitat. The Duwamish is simultaneously a river beginning high in the Cascade Mountains, a straightened navigable waterway flowing into Elliot Bay, and a tidal estuary ruled by the moon and the seasons. In 2001, 441 acres of the Lower Duwamish Waterway (LDW) was named an USEPA Superfund site, and several “Early Action Areas” (EAA) have been identified for cleanup. Duwamish Palimpsest explores the various past, present and future realities and visions of the Duwamish, and how landscape architectural methods of analysis, design, and representation at various scales can begin to create places that respect the layers of history on these sites while taking action today and imagining potential futures. The seemingly disparate natures found on the Duwamish are found in urbanized areas throughout the world and, as we acknowledge the importance of cleaning up sites polluted by heavy industry, we must collectively deal with the problem of these sites, and rectify their danger to environmental and human health. How do we initiate and guide these projects as a community, and what is the role of landscape architects and urban designers in shaping the future of these places? Duwamish Palimpsest looks at the


challenges through the lens of contemporary landscape theory of analysis, representation and design in conjunction with identifying various ways that the river has been viewed, depicted, mapped, and altered throughout it’s history. As a concluding project, I propose design interventions along the Duwamish that project potential futures for this manufactured landscape. Toxic cleanup is an important aspect of improving local, regional, and global ecologies. Landscape architects bring a unique viewpoint to the cleanup process, by thinking about the time-based potential of sites over time and designing places that have relevance to the layers of history and future uses of the site. Landscape architects are trained to see aesthetic and process-based qualities of place that those in other disciplines might miss. At its best, landscape architecture combines functional design and art, to solve problems and create comfortable spaces while also suggesting more questions and inspiring people to think more deeply about place. Duwamish Palimpsest explores ways to process information and work at various scales of geography and time to analyze, represent, and design for a place through landscape intervention, text, and image. Designers can act as activists, identifying issues, analyzing, and re-framing them in ways that are proactive and address various scales. The process of shifting our relationship to the post-industrial landscape has begun, but has not reached the mainstream, and we are dealing with myriads of sites across the world that need the attention of designers that understand this relationship and can address their environmental, social, political and economic futures. Through design activism landscape architects can assist people with the means of understanding the healing process of these contaminated sites through aesthetic and physical interactions. By interpreting the layers of landscape through representation and experiential interventions, landscape architects can affect how we look at Seattle’s only river during this point in the cleanup process and shape the actions that are taken toward a better future for the Duwamish. During the thesis writing process, I sought to understand the changing natures of the Duwamish River/Estuary/Waterway/Superfund Site. My research was driven by the question: How can the landscape architect/urban designer/landscape urbanist process information and work at various scales of geography and time to analyze, represent, and design a manufactured site through landscape intervention, text, and image? I sought to understand the role of the landscape architect in the regeneration of depleted landscapes, and how landscape architectural design can create a link between the historic past, present culture, and future uses of a waterway site. In addition to design strategies, I looked at various ways that information has been presented for a widely encompassing project like the Duwamish Superfund, and once that information was processed, how I could contribute to a wider understanding of the problems facing Seattle’s only river, propose ideas for the future of the river, and create a relevant site design for a contaminated site adjacent to the Duwamish.


“In mobilizing the new ecologies of our future metropolitan regions, the critically minded landscape urbanist cannot afford to neglect the dialectical nature of being and becoming, of differences both permanent and transient. The lyrical play between nectar and NutraSweet, between birdsong and Beastie Boys, between the springtime flood surge and the drip of tap water, between mossy heath and hot asphaltic surfaces, between controlled spaces and vast wild reserves, and between all matters and events that occur in local and highly situational moments, is precisely the ever-diversifying source of human enrichment and creativity.” – James Corner, “Terra Fluxus”


LITERATURE REVIEW


“Traditionally, landscape architecture is the art of incorporating functional and aesthetic concerns within the peculiarities of a particular location, inherently marking the character and specificity of the time and place.” – Steen Høyer, “Things Take Time and Time Takes Things”


scale, city, ecology: flower growing in concrete steps [author]

DEFINING LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE: SCALES, CITY, ECOLOGY Landscape architects create innovative and specific solutions for sites at many scales of analysis, planning, design, and stewardship, from a master plan for a waterfront to the design of a bench in a park. The Washington chapter of the American Society of landscape architects defines landscape architecture as: “The art and science of analysis, planning, design, management, preservation and rehabilitation of the land. The scope of the profession includes site planning, garden design, environmental restoration, town or urban planning, park and recreation planning, regional planning, and historic preservation. Practitioners share a commitment of achieving a balance between preservation, use and management of the country’s resources.”2 Duwamish Palimpsest investigates the role of landscape architects in the rehabilitation of toxic waterway sites, and why (or why not) landscape architecture is vital to reclaiming these sites as healthy places. With the landscape architect’s training and ability to see processes at many different scales, understand networks, bring different entities together, and formulate a site-specific future vision, landscape architects may be ideal candidates for leadership roles in projects like the Duwamish Superfund Cleanup. Yet, when landscape architects are involved with these projects it is usually as a designer of individual parcels of land as small-scale parks or recreational sites. JA Brennan and Associates, designers of one such site along the Duwamish, Herring’s House Park, explain their idea of the landscape architecture profession as it relates to rehabilitation of manufactured sites: “Landscape architecture encompasses a wide range of design issues. It not only integrates people and the landscape, but its theories can be instrumental in repairing the damage of past industrial practices. Landscape architects have the practical experience and knowledge to take science, interpret it, and implement it, thereby creating a living and sustainable environment. Elements integral to the success of projects include: Guiding Stewardship, Creating a Vision, Coordinating the Process, and Following Up.”3


8

An example of affecting change through visualization. [Anu Mathur and Dilip da Cunha, Mississippi Floods]

LITERATURE REVIEW

Coordinating the process is key to dealing with complex contaminated landscapes. The landscape architect and theorist James Corner categorizes the role of landscape architects as the “master choreographers” who are able to “see and shape enormously complicated phenomena into new organizations.”4 The idea of landscape architect as master choreographer is a good place to begin to look at the profession as it relates to projects like the Duwamish River cleanup. The massive amount of information available for a project like this, especially in the information age, coupled with the disparate communities that make up the area, varied spatial arrangements and building/landscape typologies, the palimpsest of historical layers, and the unknown future of both our city and the river make this project vast in scope. Landscape architects are educated to think holistically, at varying scales and within long timelines. With this framework, we can initiate what the landscape architects and writers Anu Mathur and Dilip da Cunha call “an activist practice.” They describe activist practice as a process to “affect change, from policy to pedagogy right down to how people image and imagine environments, both built and natural.”5 Visualizing landscape is limited to the information an individual has – their experience of landscape coupled with their previous assumptions and knowledge. However, as Olafur Eliasson notices, “contemporary culture has a tendency to objectify a vast quantity of systems relations, situations and ideas by depriving them of their temporal dimension.”6 In an activist practice Mathur and da Cunha

Scale in landscape architecture goes beyond site boundaries for individual projects: aerial view of Fresh Kills, a former landfill on Staten Island that will be turned into multi-use public space [Field Operations]

attempt to “prepare the ground” for potential projects by raising questions and creating new ways of visualizing places and their history, geography, politics, policies, design and planning approaches. Urban planner and author Kevin Lynch said, “At every instant, there is more than the eye can see, more than the ear can hear,


defining landscape architecture: scales, city, ecology

9

a setting or a view waiting to be explored. Nothing is experienced by itself, but always in relation to its surroundings, the sequences of events leading up to it, the memory of past experiences.�7 By creating new knowledge for people to process, we can change people’s experience of the Duwamish River. Boat and kayak tours by the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition are an essential part of why I first became interested in the Duwamish River, and now that I have more information I see the place very differently than when I first experienced it on the water or from the shore.


landscape + urbanism: downtown Seattle from West Seattle looking across bay [author]

LANDSCAPE URBANISM: FRAMEWORK FOR CREATING THE CONTEMPORARY CITY An offshoot of landscape architecture, architecture and planning, landscape urbanism is a modus operandi that landscape architects can use to act as choreographers of the contemporary condition and address complex projects such as Superfund sites. Landscape urbanism looks at landscape process over time and ecological networks spanning various scales as models for creating the contemporary city. Charles Waldheim, editor of the Landscape Urbanism Reader, defines landscape urbanism as, “a disciplinary realignment currently underway in which landscape replaces architecture as the basic building block of contemporary urbanism. For many, across a range of disciplines, landscape has become both the lens through which the contemporary city is represented and the medium through which it is constructed.”9 As the architecture collective Archigram stated in 1963, “Architecture is only a small part of city environment in terms of real significance; the total environment (i.e. the surrounding landscape, infrastructure, systems, etc.) is what is important, what really matters.”10 Landscape urbanism theories stress the importance of working with the total environment when making design decisions. James Corner outlines four themes for landscape urbanism practice: processes over time (systems instead of spatial approach, at multiple scales), staging of surfaces (surface as urban infrastructure supporting possibility), operational or working method (complex synthesis and representation at different scales), and the imaginary (motivation to create). He states that, “Apparently incoherent or complex conditions that one might initially mistake as random or chaotic can, in fact, be shown to be highly structured entities that comprise a particular set of geometrical and spatial orders. In this sense, cities and infrastructures are just as “ecological” as forests and rivers.”11 Urbanism is fluid, in motion, ever


landscape urbanism: framework for creating the contemporary city

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changing and applying to new configurations and ecologies – social, infrastructural, and ecological. This fluid urbanism – change and movement in the urban and ecological environment focusing on processes, flow, flux, and temporality – is seen at all scales of the Duwamish watershed. Landscape urbanism is not a theory of design, but rather, a framework for practice that one might call a praxis that offers innovative perspectives on theory and practice of urban design. The designer and theorist Christopher Hight points out that the urban environment has changed so much in the modern era that “objects of architectural and urban knowledge – such as the ‘city’ – no longer exist as objects accessible to (the fields of architecture and urbanism).”12 Colin Rowe and Fred Koetter’s depiction of the re-evaluation of the modern situation in their 1978 book Collage City is an interesting precursor to landscape urbanism, at a time when modernist ideals and methods were being recognized as failures. They speak about the “bricoleur,” which reads as similar in description to a contemporary landscape urbanist, in a world where “artistic creation lies mid-way between science and ‘bricolage’13 Thinking of a site as a palimpsest or bricolage prompts designers to use layers of history to reveal aspects and conceal other aspects of the site over time and within an expandable scale of geography. Collage and juxtaposition in design and representation allows this history to be understood not as a linear phenomenon but as a variety of situations that the place has experienced over time.14 Thus site is complex rather than linear. As the landscape architect and critic Julia Czerniak argues, “To think about landscape is to think about site.” She explains landscape

The Highline in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City is an example of James Corner field operations applying landscape urbanism theory to practice. I[highline.org]

In Taking Measures Across the American Landscape Corner used photography by Alex S. MacLean, collage, and text in an attempt to describe aspects of the American landscape. This image from the book depicts the Hoover Dam and the Colorado River in Nevada. [Corner and MacLean]


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urbanism stating, “The notion of site propelling landscape design work interfaces with the emerging amalgam of practices known as landscape urbanism, a phrase taken here to be the conceptualization of and design and planning for urban landscapes that draw from an understanding of, variously, landscape’s disciplinarity (history of ideas), functions (ecologies and economies), formal and spatial attributes (both natural and cultural organizations, systems, and formations), and processes (temporal qualities) impacting many scales of work.”15 The experience and the ephemeral are important factors that landscape architects address, in addition to scale, process, and time. What is site in the context of the Duwamish? Is it the parcel, the river, the region? How can design techniques incorporating bricolage and palimpsest incorporate this multi-faceted notion of site? What other methods can be used to put together or take apart site concepts in design practice? Since environmental design is eventually judged by experience of place, landscape architects and other practitioners of landscape urbanism need to effectively address designing for site experience, while being aware of and addressing challenges at several scales of time and geography. The landscape urbanism writers stress the importance of creating new methods and frames for working in this hybridized context in order to more fully understand the contemporary city. Implicit in these emerging alternative methods are new integrations between urbanism, architecture, and landscape in design practice. The interdisciplinary nature of working in the contemporary field is an important aspect of landscape urbanism. Hight remarks on what he calls the “transdisciplinary project of landscape urbanism” explaining the way that he believes each discipline thinks and acts: “Architecture traditionally operates through an ethics of stasis, truth, wholeness, and timelessness; urban planning operates via control, determinism, and hierarchy. In contrast, landscape design appears to offer an ethics of the temporal, complexity, and soft-control with a commensurable spatial and organizational repertoire.”16 In my experience in these disciplines, my observations echo those of Hight’s. The landscape architect is uniquely qualified to unite these disciplines in a large-scale project because we have training in landscape urbanism, using various methods of working to find solutions to design challenges through viewing the systems of ecology and society as constant and connected transformers of the landscape. 17 The shift in thinking includes seeing landscape as a way to deal with the placelessness, mobility, consumption, density, waste, spectacle, and information overload of the contemporary city by reading the systems that create it as “four-dimensional systems of flux,”18 constantly changing in time and space.


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Four dimensional systems of flux: detail of cleanup timeline (see “design for the future� chapter for complete image) [image by author based on EPA data]

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A post-industrial site: Terminal 117 Early Action Area. [author]

POST-INDUSTRIAL PRACTICE: A CALL FOR TRANSDISCIPLINARY KNOWLEDGE Progressive site planning and design approaches are necessary to revitalize sites like the abandoned industrial parcels around the Duwamish Waterway in a way that involves the various stakeholders. These types of sites are known as “manufactured,” “post-industrial,” “toxic,” “waste landscapes,” and “terrain vague.” The editor of Manufactured Sites, Niall Kirkwood explains, “Unlike past innovations in landscape design and city planning, which responded to economic change, or growing alterations to population or technological invention, this type of design work is a return to the productive use of exhausted and currently undervalued plots of ground – a tidying up of the past industrial environment.” The tidying up of the past industrial environment depends on the success of a range of site engineering and environmental reclamation technologies, including: dredging, cap-and-fill, soil cleaning, bioremediation, phytomediation, and other biological and engineered systems for remediation of contamination. After those systems are in place, relying on wastewater systems and environmental monitoring to prevent further contamination after cleanup is very important. Beyond remediating contaminants, one of the main tasks of a reclamation project for scientists, engineers and site designers together is to “find innovative ways to unite these activities with new site programs and uses.”20 Experimental mindsets and agendas are important for projects like the Lower Duwamish Waterway (LDW) cleanup, when there is no way of knowing exactly what is contaminating the riparian areas and how to deal with clean-


post-industrial practice: a call for transdisciplinary knowledge

up in a fluctuating environment. For example, one of the new ideas the EPA has used in this cleanup is using sugary soda, which feeds bacteria that then neutralizes contamination in a somewhat mysterious, creative, scientific way.21 To understand how one might approach the design of the Duwamish, it is critical to consider the breadth of projects that have established a range of design practices addressing toxic landscapes, waterfronts, and urban Superfund sites. In the following brief review of significant projects that have shaped the practice in the past thirty years, the need for transdisciplinary knowledge becomes clear. None of these sites can be addressed by merely designing away the toxic remains of an industrial past. Each project engages teams of professionals and academics that are committed to identifying better means and frameworks for re-designing the urban industrial past in order to serve as public and productive spaces. The following projects are not a comprehensive list, but suggest the breadth and depth of the transdiscplinary explorations. Gasworks Park in Seattle, designed by Richard Haag after the 1962 World’s Fair and opened in 1976, is one of the pioneer projects for post-industrial transformation through landscape architecture. Utilizing a design strategy that simultaneously addressed ecological cleansing and cultural experience, Haag originally proposed a design for a heavily programmed park that had opportunities for various activities described in the proposal as: mind play, fantasy play, kinetic sports, table sports, competitive sports, and social pleasures. These activities were proposed as a means of engaging the public in the potential of the site as a park while it retained its industrial architecture and served as a site of phytoremediation. Many of the activities such as sailing, sunbathing, kite flying, fireworks, parades, and

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Photograph of one of the industrial structures at Gasworks, juxtaposed with a mirror image of the grassy ground. Today the structures are surrounded by a high chain link fence to keep people off the structures and graffiti is scrubbed off or painted over. Haag’s original plans called for heavier programming of the park. [author]

Photograph of Gasworks Park today, with the downtown Seattle skyline in the background, across Lake Union; the gasworks in the middle; and the armature for a train trestle in the foreground. [author]


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photocollage of kite hill activity on a sunny, windy afternoon. [author]

others are possible and celebrated in the park but the final design is only lightly programmed for specific activities; and some of Haag’s proposed activities are notably absent, like structure climbing and (safe, allowed) swimming.22 As the design was developed, Haag and Associates chose to limit the number of specifically programmed areas to allow for more unprogrammed spaces, thus designing a programmatic resiliency into the site. The site that would become Gasworks Park had been vacant since 1956 after Seattle’s conversion to natural gas, and contained the last remaining gasification plant of the 1,400 once found in the United States. Before the gasworks were built the Olmsted Brothers recommended the location for a park. In 1903 they stated, “…the point of land between the northeast and northwest arms of Lake Union and the railroad should be secured as a local park, because of its advantages for commanding views over the lake and for boating, and for a playground.”23 In 1911 the civic master plan for Seattle targeted Lake Union for commerce and industry (as Lake Union was named in anticipation of the connection between Lake Washington and Puget Sound) and the Seattle Gas Light Company had already acquired the property that would house the gasification plant.24


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Haag recommended preservation of parts of the plant for its “historic, esthetic and utilitarian value,” however it was difficult to gain public support for the reuse of the structures because it was unheard of at that time to preserve industrial infrastructure. After some deliberation Haag’s idea was used and some of the remnants have been left as ruins, most have been removed, while others have been reconditioned and adapted. Features such as Kite Hill were added to create an experience of moving through space and time, as well as to contain the most contaminated material on site. The park uses bioremediation to clean the soil, which has helped to significantly reduce surface contamination (the groundwater remains minimally polluted although it poses no health risks). Contamination that was deemed impossible to be cleaned on site because of levels of toxicity was piled and capped, to become the large mound of Kite Hill. An original idea was to take the contaminated soil away to a landfill and Rich Haag fought that, choosing not to create problems elsewhere – i.e. passing the buck.26 This is something that I think the EPA should consider as a major aspect of the cleanup on the Duwamish. By shifting the contaminated soil to a landfill in Eastern Washington, we are merely shifting the problem, and therefore analysis should be done to find ways that soil can be cleaned or contained on site if feasible. 25

The symbolic nature of Gasworks Park is very important. Haag’s design is a “thick section,”27 with layers of history, ecology, and experience of the site. The story of the site is written on the land.

Gasworks Park designer Richard Haag was totally dedicated to his project, opening an on-site office and working hard to convince stakeholders that many of the industrial structures and contamination of the former gasworks should stay on-site. Haag and his associates made elaborate drawings, such as this cut-and-fill diagram, to figure out the logistics of treating and containing contamination on site, manipulating views, and providing space for activities. [Richard Haag Associates, Inc. for the City of Seattle]


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For example, large trees mark the edge of the contaminated soil, and the aforementioned Kite Hill shows the massive amounts of soil that were too contaminated to be bioremediated with available technologies, which is the process that the rest of the rolling landform of the park is undergoing to gradually heal the soil and purify groundwater. With the preservation of the hulking gasworks structures, the park tells a narrative of a past industrial landscape on Lake Union. The success of Gasworks Park as a toxic landscape that is able to become a public space demonstrates that public perception about preserving industrial landscapes can change with public access and site experience. Paul Goldberger of the New York Times recognized the importance of Gasworks Park even before the park was opened and wrote, “Seattle is about to have one of the nation’s most advanced pieces of urban landscape design. The complex array of towers, tanks and pipes of the gas works forms a powerful industrial still life … serving both as a visual focus for the park and as a monument to the city’s industrial past. The park represents a complete reversal from a period when industrial monuments were regarded, even by preservationists, as ugly intrusions on the landscape, to a time when such structures as the gas works are recognized for their potential ability to enhance the urban experience.”28 Haag’s unique approach to post-industrial sites through landscape design has influenced many subsequent projects and has changed the way that we approach manufactured landscapes. The Ford Rouge River Plant in Dearborn, Michigan, is an example of how a heavily polluted industrial site can be once again transformed into a working factory, but one that maintains a healthy environment for its employees and neighbors. This project, designed by William McDonough and Partners with DIRT studio (1999-2001), transformed a manufactured site that was first a marsh then a car factory, a disassembly line during the Depression, and one of the largest industrial complexes on the planet. 29 Strategies of phytoremediation were worked out, and negotiations were made with the EPA to clean the deeper layers of soil with experimental methods (phytoremediation, mushrooms, fungi, etc.), rather than trucking it off site. As McDonough explains, the health of the site should be linked to species diversity and aesthetic value rather than meeting government imposed standards. A stated goal for the redevelopment of the factory was to have a place where employees’ children could be safe.30 Julie Bargmann, principle at DIRT landscape architecture studio31 explains the designers’ goals for this new type of factory: “Ambitious environmental initiatives are to be employed with emerging technologies forming a new landscape of production. ‘Built Ford Tough,’ this landscape will manufacture vehicles along with clean water, air and soil. A future Assembly Building with industrial strength storm water channels lined with native species hedgerows, will return filtered water to the River Rouge. The Miller Road Corridor will create a public industrial heritage boulevard and welcoming entry for workers and families. Phytoremediation gardens, integrated with the historic Coke and ByProduct Operations, will also offer visible signs of regeneration.”32 Scape/Landscape Architecture has imagined a new productive future for the Gowanus Canal, part of an estuarine system in New York City that is plagued by similar problems to the Duwamish.


post-industrial practice: a call for transdisciplinary knowledge

Principal Kate Orff explains in a recent lecture about the project stating, “There are problems of sewage overflow and contamination, but I would also argue that almost every city has this exact condition, and it’s a condition that we’re all facing.”33 As designers, Scape studio has found a creative potential solution for creating a new ecology on the post-industrial, former mudflat, the Gowanus Canal, that they call “Oystertecture”. Using oysters for their ability to filter water, build reefs, and provide a potential food source while also accentuating the history of the local place in a city that Orff says was “built on the backs of oystermen;” offers one simple but comprehensive solution to a multi-layered problem. In Seattle, we are doing a similar project to revive the salmon industry by improving our salmon migration routes that have suffered with the re-plumbing of the regional rivers in the early 20th century. Creating safe areas for juvenile salmon to stop on their journey through the Duwamish is a crucial aspect of efforts to revitalize our regional fisheries.34 Designers have been involved in the restoration of some sites, but scientists do the majority of the work for the City of Seattle to “figure out what actions are most needed.” 35 The City states that improving salmon habitat is Seattle will improve the city for people as well, but do not include landscape architects as potential coordinators between the improvement of salmon habitat and improving the city for people, which could be more effective for both goals but is not part of the process as it stands now. In Copenhagen, the Nordhavnen project offers yet another framework. It is currently underway to alter a former heavy industrial area to mixed use in the Nordhavn neighborhood, with public entities and designers working together toward a new vision for the area. Although Nordhavn

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Detail of Scape Studio’s rendering of their “Oystertecture” project. The project, created for the MoMA Rising Currents Exhibition (2010), imagines a new future for New York City’s Gowanus Canal (a Superfund Site) and adjacent Upper New York Bay, with oysters providing ecological services.

The redesign of the Ford Rouge River Plant includes the largest greenroof in the world. On the redesign of this historic factory: “This is not environmental philanthropy; it is sound business, which for the first time, balances the business needs of auto manufacturing with ecological and social concerns in the redesign of a brownfield site,” said Ford Chairman Bill Ford, whose great-grandfather Henry Ford constructed the complex. “This is what I think sustainability is about, and this new facility lays the groundwork for a model of 21st century sustainable manufacturing at the Rouge.” [www.greenroofs.com]


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it is only 4 km from the city center and approximately the same size, it has been marginalized land due to the lack of connection to the city.36 With a focus on transportation infrastructure, ecology and quality of life, as well as the preservation of 70,000 sq m of existing buildings, project leaders COBE architects hope that this new development will retain some of the existing industry while recognizing that redevelopment will bring between 400,000 and 4,000,000 sq m of new floor space for new buildings for living and working in a prime location. The shift from the industrial to the knowledge-based economy is a trend that has occurred in Copenhagen, especially in the last ten years. Nordhavnen is intended to be a symbol of this shift as well as a solution to the changing needs of a society with a strong history of and cultural inclination towards preservation of the built environment, and COBE is working on a comprehensive plan to achieve the project’s lofty goals.

Above: Images of Nordhavn in 2010 and COBE Architects vision for its future, with integrated metro, bicycle, and stormwater infrastructure. [Top and middle photos by author, bottom image by COBE Architects]

The Nordhavnen site was created from land reclaimed from the sea and dates back to the 1880s. Now, about half of the area is used for harbor-related industries and businesses and about half is abandoned or unused. These areas are mostly overgrown with grasses and other plants. The potential of this landscape lies in the lack of management, which has created a rich habitat with a variety of plant and animal life. The designers hope to capitalize on this existing feature of the largely empty area as well as the proximity to the harbor and the experiential qualities of the water, including the ability to swim in it (perhaps one day this will apply to the Duwamish as well, considering that Copenhagen’s harbor was once also contaminated). The industrial past of the area has left it with a mixture of large- and small-scale buildings and a orthogonal grid, elements of the historical


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character that can be used by the designers to give the new area a special character connected to its past. The overall vision for Nordhavnen, according to the developers, the Copenhagen City and Port (København By og Havn) Development Corporation is “to create the sustainable city of the future.”37 To them, this includes environmental responsibility as well as social diversity and addition of value. To create this sustainable city, the use of renewable energy, optimizing resources, recycling, and low-impact transportation will shape the new development. The challenges of making the Nordhavnen area of Copenhagen as sustainable as the designers and developers intend is very difficult. 38 One of the keys to creating the “eco-friendly” city the designers and developers desire is to create a vibrant area, versatile because of a mix of activities and range of uses, open to everyone (with a variety of housing types and prices, along with public spaces), and accessible by a variety of sustainable transportation options. COBE’s Nordholmene: Urban Delta strategy includes six themes: Islets and Canals, CO2 Friendly City, Five-Minute City, Blue and Green City, Intelligent Grid, Identity and History. The standout elements of the winning entry are: divisions of the area into small local districts that form parts of an integrated whole, connection to the water as the main natural element, integration of the existing built and landscape fabric, renewable energy, and the “five-minute city.” The future of Nordhavnen remains unclear, as the design is just now being tested as

The designers of Nordholmene: Urban Delta, COBE Architects and their team, did extensive analysis of the area’s existing grid, buildings, and cultural heritage; and came up with six themes for redevelopment: Islets and Canals, CO2 Friendly City, Five Minute City (quick access for public transport and bicycles and longer routes for cars); Blue and Green City, Intelligent Grid; and Identity and History. [COBE Architects]


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development begins, but the promise of a “Sustainable City of the Future” and the ideas that the urban design plan puts forth, set an example of how to create a vibrant urban area for tens of thousands of people in a former industrial zone. Spanning geography and time, Nordhavnen’s designers have identified existing resources found in many former industrial zones and have come up with new strategies for analyzing and designing for the future.

COBE Architect’s analysis of the site for Copenhagen City and Port Development Corporation included figuring out how to incorporate existing structures, maximize public space, avoid wind tunnels, and allow for variations in shape, function, and size of new structures. [COBE Architects]


post-industrial practice: a call for transdisciplinary knowledge

One of the seminal projects in postindustrial transformation through landscape design is Duisberg-Nord Landscape Park in northwest Germany, by Peter Latz and Partners. Visiting this place is overwhelming. Transforming an enormous old industrial factory complex into a cultural center and park, the design uses the advantages of the defunct industrial structures – the size, uniqueness, and the spatial formations they create – to maximize the advantages of the new program. Duisberg-Nord Landscape Park is part of a comprehensive regional effort, International Building Exhibition (IBA) Emscher Park, to deal with the huge infrastructure left over from industry that has now moved overseas. The dismantling of the abandoned and rusting, iron and steel structures involves a great economic and environmental cost, and so IBA Emscher Park devised a reuse strategy that preserves the historic industrial fabric by re-envisioning them as cultural centers. Brownfield redevelopment on a large scale has been occurring in the region since the IBA program targeted this area in 1989. Emscher Park was once the center of steel and coal industries that have now been abandoned, leaving citizens out of work, the environment contaminated, and the enormous structures of industry standing abandoned and neglected – like many other places in the Western world such as the Lower Duwamish Waterway. The German International Building Exhibition (IBA) is a government program that targets various regions in Germany for redevelopment. Instead of a top-down regional plan, the IBA strategy uses targeted individual sites as the basis of redevelopment. The theme of

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Photographs of two IBA Emscher Park projects: Duisberg-Nord Landscape Park (top) and a park in the City of Oberhausen where the former gasometer, current exhibition hall and achor point of the European Route of Industrial Heritage, is visible in the background. [Images from archinform.net]


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53 CITIES, THREE RIVERS, ONE CURRENT, MANY PARTICIPANTS, DEPOSIT IN PIT, FREEDOM FOR THE RAINDROP, NATURE DEVOURS CITY, THE COAL GOES THE SUN COMES, CHANGE THROUGH CULTURE. Map of major IBA Emscher Park projects and targeted areas. [Image and caption text from www.mai-nrw.de]

the Emscher Park IBA created by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia is “Integrated Regional Development (IRD)” and their strategy consists of: re-utilizing land to prevent greenfield development, extending the life of buildings through preservation and renovation, using ecologically sound construction practices, and transforming the region’s productive structure towards environmentally friendly production methods. Another theme is “Baukultur,” or the culture of architecture. IBA recognizes that innovative building and site design is essential for environmental, social, and economic regeneration. In this case, architecture catalyzes urban planning rather than fitting into an existing plan. Approximately 100 projects have been made on five sites in the region, covering 800 square miles. Over ten years (which is how long since the Superfund declaration was made on the Duwamish), creative collaborative partnerships, workshops, new guidelines for spatial planning, and competitions were done to create building and landscape projects addressing the need to revitalize the area in the wake of its industrial past. The need to cleanup toxic sites emerged in the United States following the spread of knowledge and environmental concern in the wake of events occurring in the 1960s and 1970s, and legislative acts such as the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980, which established the Superfund, became regulatory catalysts for the cleanup of toxic sites. However, Superfund projects need to incorporate designs that bring these cleanup issues into light in a contemporary context to truly be successful on a sustainable level. A landscape architect who has worked on several Superfund projects with the EPA, Julie Bargmann of DIRT Studio explains, “by the time the


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landscape architects are on site, we’re usually involved in ‘cap and cover’ or ‘hog and haul’ operations… People want the problem to go away quickly.”39 According to Bargmann, a site is healed only when it becomes viable to the community again, and the industrial past should be exposed or recognized. She explains, “This process is a culturally significant act, which is completely foreign to the EPA. They never consider the site’s next use.”40 She considers her role as a landscape architect to be that of a catalyst, resetting a landscape of disturbance and revealing function and history along with formal appearance. The Early Action Areas (EAA) of the Duwamish Superfund seem to all suffer from this lack of vision for future uses. One of these sites, Terminal 11741, is the site of former asphalt manufacturing plant and contains a high concentration of PCBs42. Without a coordinated vision the site was paved over and fenced in, with temporary vegetation (thorny blackberry bushes) and stormwater collection system put in place. Now, the Port of Seattle (owners of the site) is finally deciding what potential uses the site might have, and will probably have a design for the new use in the works next year. In the meantime, money and space were wasted on temporary solutions when the site in flux could have been part of a wider vision to represent the optimistic future of the cleanup. Finding ways to deal with the contaminated sites along the Duwamish Waterway and return them to the public as new parks, new jobs in cleaner industrial facilities, and places to dwell should be part of a coherent vision for the river as a whole. In Minneapolis, a recent competition to find a design team to improve the riverfront was carried out by the Minneapolis Riverfront Development Initiative. The winner was Tom Leader Studio and Kennedy and Violich Architecture’s RiverFIRST which outlines the following four design principles: Go with the Flow (design with the river), Design with Topography, Both/And (erasing dichotomies), and Parks Plus (parks with multiple functions). The final teams in the competition made intricate videos of their ideas that can be seen on an interactive multimedia website. The use of social media in the Seattle Waterfront and Minneapolis River project allows more people to get information, comment on the plans, give their own input, and get involved with the project. By integrating technology with the public process to disseminate ideas through multimedia such as 3D renderings, maps, graphics, photographs, videos, tweets, phone apps, audio, etc., the process becomes open to everyone with access to the information. One of the finalists for the Minneapolis Riverfront was Stoss Landscape Urbanism. Stoss LU describes their practice as “a critical, collaborative design and planning studio that operates at the juncture of landscape architecture, urban design, and planning – in an emerging field known as landscape urbanism.”43 Another recent Stoss LU project, the Tanner Street Initiative, proposes a series of interventions for the Silresim Superfund Site in Lowell Massachusetts. The proposal offers an alternative approach to the typical way of planning for a contaminated site, rather than narrowly defining a goal for the site, the designers work to re-define the project by broadening the context, re-defining the reading of site conditions and contexts, embracing complexities, and initiating incremental change. In addition to the document prepared with the City of Lowell Department of Planning and Development, the designers


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have created a website that allows viewers to explore various aspects of the project.44 In 2001, around the time of the Duwamish Superfund designation, a major competition was announced for redeveloping the Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island, New York. Fresh Kills landfill is bounded on the west by Arthur Kill (a waterway), which separates the island from New Jersey. Arthur Kill is a heavily trafficked shipping lane, and huge oil tankers can be seen from the landfill. The Manhattan skyline is visible across the site, which was once covered by salt marshes. The landfill is 2,200 acres, and was opened in the mid-20th c. and finally closed in 2001, reopening after a previous closure to dispose of the debris from the September 11 World Trade Center attacks. The competition was won by Field Operations, with their project “Lifescape.” Lifescape emphasizes the processes of succession and habitat creation, along with extensive areas for recreation. Other competition entries looked at regeneration in a way that addressed contamination more, such as Rios Associates’ “RePark,” which emphasized recycling; and Mathur and Da Cunha’s proposal as a place for scientific and artistic research. As exciting as this project is for New York City citizens looking to get away from the city yet stay close, we have to remember that closing Fresh Kills has pushed problems of waste storage onto other sites, usually in other states, using lots of fossil fuel and pushing the problems of waste onto other communities.45 Turenscape’s Houtan Park in Shanghai is an example of an ecologically regenerative landscape on a former industrial site. The park, built for a Green Expo during the 2010 Shanghai Expo, includes a constructed wetland, ecological flood control, reclaimed industrial structures and materials, and urban agriculture. The recovery of this degraded waterfront is intended to happen over time, with aesthetically pleasing sights and education about green infrastructure along a network of paths for visitors to experience immediately. Houtan Park is a venerable design for ecological infrastructure, demonstrating that multiple services for society can coexist in one place. 46 Another waterfront project, Hargreaves Associates’ Crissy Field is a urban national park on the site of a former Army base in San Francisco. The design amplifies the natural landforms as well as the cultural past through reintroducing wetlands and dune fields, overlapping with new recreational features and historic elements. Both projects integrate the waterfront with the rest of the park through a series of pathways and frame natural features with clearly defined spaces for people.

Stormwater is cleaned on site at Houtan Park via a linear constructed wetland,-, designed to create a reinvigorated waterfront as a living machine to treat contaminated water from the Huangpu River. [www.turenscape.com]


post-industrial practice: a call for transdisciplinary knowledge

Turenscape uses many different methods and mediums of representing their design, which incorporates ecological and infrastructure systems, as well as cultural centers, places to socialize, and aesthetic pleasure. [www.turenscape.com]

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A re-imagining of the Seattle Waterfront, presented to the public by the designers at the Bell Harbor Conference Center in October 2011. [James Corner field operations]

A graphic depiction of the Central Waterfront project’s aim to re-orient our city’s connection to Elliot Bay, presented to the public by the designers at the Bell Harbor Conference Center in October 2011. [James Corner field operations]

LITERATURE REVIEW

Similar to other cities, Seattle is attempting to establish a larger vision that includes dimensions of experience, economics, and environment. The master planning process has begun for the area just around the corner of Elliot Bay from the Duwamish, the Central Waterfront. Led by James Corner Field Operations landscape architecture firm, the Waterfront Seattle project is in the middle of the visioning process for a master plan to revitalize the Waterfront along 26 North-South blocks between Belltown and Pioneer Square. The project aims to “reorient our city’s connection to Elliot Bay, and reclaim our waterfront as a public asset that the entire city and region can enjoy for generations. The project will set a new standard for public access and participation during the decision-making process, with the goal of delivering a ‘Waterfront for All.’”47 James Corner and his team are working to design a master plan for a new public realm at the same time a controversial automobile tunnel and necessary seawall replacement project is happening, and the various projects are working to coordinate efforts. The design attempts to conflate ecology and infrastructure (and make a “really cool” place, as James Corner put it in the October 2011 public presentation), and the highly animated renderings of design elements show new connections to the water and uphill city, new activities, and new transportation routes. Their hyper-realistic vignettes and their reworking of the map of the city allow citizens to envision themselves on the new waterfront, which is helping to smooth the public participation process. Despite criticism that the project is not adequately addressing the city’s spatial, temporal, social, and ecological contexts,48 the process is attempting to bring together the


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varied constituencies involved and affected by redevelopment and change, something that is needed on the Duwamish at this time of great change and financial investment. In addition to these aforementioned projects, there are hundreds of other similar projects that attempt to cleanup former industrial waterway sites. All around the world, industrial sites have historically been located along waterways, needed for many industrial processes including power and transportation. Today, despite modern power sources and new technologies, many industries still need proximity to the water as an essential aspect of their operations. We have also found that pollution needs to remedied and controlled, and that people also want to use waterways for non-industrial purposes, such as recreation, transportation, and views. Former industrial sites abound that can be reused for industry, or converted to parks, mixed-use development, and other uses. Connections between industrial areas and urban centers in most cities can be made stronger, as most are within close proximity to each other but psychologically may seem far apart because of a lack of links between their transportation, use, and vastly different urban form. Working with professionals in various disciplines in a position of choreographer, the landscape architect can see the layers of issues that are present on manufactured sites and coordinate appropriate responses. By working together, a more holistic vision of what is needed to move toward a healthier and more vibrant future for industrial waterways that are in transformative stages of cleanup and development will be achieved. Landscape architects can create a creative vision for the future but need experts from a wide array of other disciplines to work with stakeholders, see potential problems and challenges, calculate specific solutions, bring additional points of view and expertise in their field, in order to inform, evolve, and make a creative vision happen.


experiencing place from an airplane is vastly different than experiencing it on the ground [author]

EXPERIENCE OF LANDSCAPE: LENSES OF ART + SCIENCE, CULTURE + NATURE The traditional city – with a dense urban core and its periphery – has given way to a complex and fragmented matrix of various land uses, the landscape an imprint of the dynamic city and design processes that develop over time. The dualism that we apply to our view of the world (human vs. natural, environmental restoration vs. design, etc.) however, challenges that complexity. The practice of landscape architecture must widen our scope and treat design problems as a holistic enterprise encompassing all shades of the human experience of landscape. 50 This enterprise encompasses urbanization, public policy, development, urban design, and environmental sustainability.51 By looking at “nature” and “culture” as separate and distinct, we miss an understanding of landscape as it is experienced by humans and animals. Can we really answer whether we are living in one continuous landscape or a series of landscapes? Does it matter? Our experience of the world as individuals is always cultural – so does that mean there is no natural? Especially in this day and age when we can view almost anywhere on the globe in Google Earth in seconds, we need to rethink how art, science, and technology effect society, politics and commerce. In Ecological Aesthetics, museum consultant and curator Jochen Boberg explains that art, science and technology represent “an organic system that cannot be injured with impunity, an ensemble to be thought of ecologically, whose preservation all technology must serve first and foremost.”52 Boberg argues that the idea of culture as man and nature as one, formed by man, has been forgotten.


experience of landscape: lenses of art + science, culture + nature

31

Landscape is inherently aesthetic, and the eyes may trick us into thinking that a scene like Yellowstone National Park is Nature, when it has actually been engineered, preserved, altered, and displayed to visitors as almost a sublime large-scale work of art (brought to us by the railroad companies).53 A recent example of this is Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Over the River art project, begun in 1992. In 2011, after a long environmental review process Christo has been given permission to construct the Wilderness at Yellowstone National Park. [author] piece. The site is the Arkansas River, and when the short-term project is completed will consist of 911 panels of shimmering silver fabric suspended between the sides of the gorge that the river flows through. The main objections to the project, which is anticipated to bring many tourists to the area during the weeks that Over the River is up, are environmental concerns, of building something in what they believe to be a pristine wilderness.54 Yet, the fact that the river is a site of contamination from mining, along a road and railroad track, upriver from a massive lock system, makes the Arkansas in this region of low population no more natural than the city. The Over the River project’s public outcry from different groups and lack of understanding among groups becomes a commentary on the idea of wilderness. Geographer William Cronon describes the wilderness as representing “one of the deepest paradoxes of the western environment,” and the “natural” aesthetic of places like the Arkansas River create ideas of wilderness and its opposite, urbanism, in Christo, Over the River 2009. This representation in mixed mediums our minds.55 Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s The shows the project with river rafters underneath the silver fabric. [Photograph of original artwork by Wolfgang Volz] Gates project in Central Park brought this to light with people thinking that the large swathes of orange fabric highlighted a natural landscape,


32

LITERATURE REVIEW

when in fact Central Park is entirely engineered. Today, landscape urbanism challenges the hiding of infrastructure with “natural” aesthetics and advocates creating hybrids of infrastructure and ecology that expose both together; bound by aesthetic plus functional elements.

Images from Growing Urbanism, the zeroplus architects team’s re-imagining of Seattle in the year 2036 for the Living City Competition. [Image by zeroplus architects]

Lorna Jordan’s Waterworks Garden. To complete the project, the artist worked as design and concept lead with Jones & Jones Landscape Architects, and Brown & Caldwell Consulting Engineers. [Image from sculpture.org]

Two recent local projects that attempt to collapse the nature and culture divide are Zeroplus Architects’ Growing Urbanism, an envisioning of Seattle in the year 2036; and Lorna Jordan’s Waterworks Gardens, a stormwater treatment plant and public park. Growing Urbanism, created for the International Building Institute’s Living City Competition is “a strategy for ecological urbanism…based on the principles of self-organization and soft engineering and is the foundation for an adaptive and robust urban condition that ultimately reverses our current state of environmental degradation.” The project won the “Images that Provoke Award” in the competition for renderings of a dramatically re-imagined Seattle in a world that has already felt the extreme effects of climate change. Their images are a powerful way of demonstrating an idea of Seattle as a “Living City,” in which there is “no longer a distinction between natural and un-natural.”56 Their vision brings natural systems into the urban fabric, with ecological solutions such as a “spongious ecozone to buffer rising tides” and “biosynthetic construction materials.” By creating a representation of the utopian future of Seattle, the team offers new ideas about how a city can react to future conditions of uncertainty and flux. Lorna Jordan’s Waterworks Gardens, “an environmental artwork and earth/water sculpture…naturally treats stormwater, enhances an on-site wetland, provides five garden rooms, and creates eight


experience of landscape: lenses of art + science, culture + nature

acres of new open space for public use.”57 The experience of the purification of water is an attraction that performs layers of function – stormwater treatment, creation of public space, education, and aesthetic pleasure. By convincing those in charge of the project to combine the budgets for stormwater control for the impervious surfaces at King County’s South Treatment Plant and the One Percent for Art Program, Jordan combined art with infrastructure and created public access for this normally hidden public water treatment plant. By doing so, the work that the water treatment plant does is made more visible. As Jordan says, “A lot of infrastructure projects are functioning, but people don’t have any connection to them. People need to make contact and understand the mysteries of water.”58 Inquiry into how nature, culture, and art might be explored can also be identified in the land art movement. Environmental artist Robert Smithson believed that earth art could be politically and economically integrated into society, especially by reclaiming land such as former mine sites for large-scale artistic interventions.59 His work – visual, experiential, and literary – has been a huge influence on designers of the built environment grappling to deal with post-industrial sites. In his essay “A Tour of the Monuments of Passaic, NJ” he writes about his experience of an industrial area, and categorizes these “monuments” as fitting into the following types: “memorials to exhausted meanings” (aka “what-the-man-in-the-street-considers-to-be-a-monument”), “Old Suburbia”, “New Suburbia”, “Dead spots” (empty sites), and “the Ruin in Reverse” (new construction yet to be completed). Although he did not publish it,

33

Robert Smithson Asphalt Rundown Rome, Italy, 1969. In the late 1960s Smithson did a series of site-specific pours with oozing industrial materials of concrete, asphalt, and glue on manufactured sites. [Image from robertsmithson.com]

Robert Smithson Asphalt on Eroded Cliff 1969. [www.robertsmithson.com]

Smithson proposed a huge revolving disk in the largest open-pit copper mine in the world in 1973. HIs idea was to have a place to watch nature slowly reclaim the industrial over time. The project was never realized, Smithson died later that year in a plane crash. [Image from robertsmithson.com]


34

LITERATURE REVIEW

along with this essay Smithson composed an advertisement in which he appoints himself the “official” guide to Passaic and its monuments, saying, “What can you find in Passaic that you can not find in Paris, London, or Rome? Find out for yourself. Discover (if you dare) the breathtaking Passaic River and the eternal monuments on its enchanted banks…”60 Although Smithson is being ironic, there is an important lesson here for the Duwamish River. By transforming the idea of this “elsewhere” of the industrial zone of the New York City region to a tourist destination, he opens up ideas about how to see these types of places for their own inherent aesthetic and symbolic qualities.61 Smithson’s work challenged the notion that culture and nature were opposites. He argued that human intervention on the earth is as much a part of natural processes as an earthquake. Smithson believed that it was inappropriate to disguise the post-industrial nature of a site and advocated that technology and human use is acknowledged when designing for manufactured sites, engaging nature’s processes of growth and decay.62

Robert Smithson A NonSite Franklin, NJ 1968. In his essay “A Provisional Theory of Non-Sites” Smithson explains that the Non-Site or indoor earthwork is a three dimensional logical picture, an abstracted image of a place that actually exists. [www.robertsmithson.com]

In April 2006, Sarah Kavage and Nicole Kistler created “The Living Barge,” a temporary art installation on the Duwamish River, planting a barge with native vegetation. Their goals for the project were to “create a lasting, positive dialogue about the history and future of the Duwamish and the neighbors and businesses that surround it, and raise citywide awareness.” [image: danbennett.blogspot.com; text: www.livingbarge.com]


experience of landscape: lenses of art + science, culture + nature

35

The Duwamish needs advocates that not only try to clean the contamination in the river but also those who believe in the beauty63 of the industrial Duwamish as an essential part of our culture to make it a destination for recreation and other pursuits that connect people to place. To engage people as well as nature’s processes landscape architects should conflate nature with culture in designs for landscapes along the river, and use experience and communication to educate the community about what has happened and what is happening on the Duwamish. On the river today, activists like the technical advisory group the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition, events like the restoration and cleanup day Duwamish Alive, and new public access to the river like Herring’s House Park contribute to connecting people to the Duwamish. Once more people are connected and begin to care about the Duwamish; more people will become involved in the activation, stewardship, and sustainable use of the river. Revealing the industrial legacy of sites that line the banks of the Duwamish Waterway takes the connection a step further, reminding us that although the site is undergoing change to a new use – whether it be a park, habitat, commercial, residential, or even new industrial – it has held a polluting past that should not be repeated. Rather than designing with a tabula rasa,64 the future Duwamish can hold a palimpsest of meaning, linking people to the past – a past that includes habitat, forest, agriculture, industry, residences, marine commerce, and many other uses and forms throughout its thousands of years of occupation by people.

Robert Smithson’s A Floating Island to Travel Around Manhattan Island was conceived of in 1970., and produced in 2005 by Minetta Brook and the Whitney Museum of Art. [Image from robertsmithson.com]


36

LITERATURE REVIEW

Left: Robert Smithson’s “Dallas-Fort Worth Regional Airport Layout Plan: Wandering Earth Mounds And Gravel Paths” (1967, charcoal blueprint) Right: “Aerial Map-Proposal For Dallas - Fort Worth Regional Airport” (1967, mirrors) Smithson created proposals for the future Dallas-Fort Worth Regional Airport that emphasized the view of the art from the air.


ENDNOTES: LITERATURE REVIEW 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.

15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21.

22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33.

Høyer, Steen A. B. Things Take Time and Time Takes Things. Copenhagen: The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts School of Architecture, 1998. Print. WASLA. “The Washington Chapter American Society of Landscape Architects”. 2001. 2011. <http://www.wasla.org/>. Nack, Christine and Tanja Wilcox, J.A. Brennan Associates. “Environmental Metamorphosis on the Duwamish.” Environmental Outlook (2001). October 28, 2010 <http://www.djc.com/news/enviro/11123739.html>. Corner, James. “Landscape Urbanism in the Field: The Knowledge Corridor, San Juan, Puerto Rico.” Topos: the international review of landscape architecture and urban design.71 (2010): 25-29. Print. Sen, Nicholas Pevzner and Sanjukta. “Preparing Ground: An Interview with Anuradha Mathur and Dilip Da Cunha”. 2010. Interview published online. Ed. Group, The Design Observer. 11/3/2011 2011. <http://places.designobserver.com> Olafur, Eliasson, et al. Olafur Eliasson : Your Engagement Has Consequences ; on the Relativity of Your Reality ; Published on the Occasion of the Following Exhibitions by Olafur Eliasson: The Light Setup, Malmˆ Konsthall, Malmˆ, September 10, 2005 - January 22, 2006; Notion Motion, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, October 8, 2005 - January 8, 2006;Your Light Shadow, Hara Museum for Contemporary Art, Tokyo, November 17, 2005 - March 5, 2006. Baden: Muller, 2006. Print. Merleau-Ponty calls this “phenomenological reduction”. See Merleau-Ponty, Maurice. Phenomenology of Perception. New York: Humanities Press, 1962. Print. Lynch, Kevin. The Image of the City. Cambridge [Mass.: Technology Press, 1960. Print. missing Waldheim, Charles. The Landscape Urbanism Reader. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2006. Print. Pg 33. Cook, Peter, and Archigram. Archigram. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1973. Print. Pg 20. In Waldheim, Charles. The Landscape Urbanism Reader. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2006. Print. Pg 29. Mostafavi, Mohsen, Ciro Najle, and Association Architectural. Landscape Urbanism: A Manual for the Machinic Landscape. London: Architectural Association, 2003. Print. Rowe, Colin, and Fred Koetter. Collage City. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1978. Print. Bricolage is defined as: “construction or creation from a diverse range of available things” The origin of “bricoleur” (someone who engages in bricolage) is French, mid-20th c. meaning ‘handyman’. New Oxford American Dictionary. Kate Nesbitt summarizes Peter Eisenman’s notion of proposing the site as palimpsest, by using “rhetorical figures to reveal a repressed text (or self-conscious “fiction”) of site-specific meanings. The site is thus analogous to a manuscript with visible traces of previous texts.” She explains Eisenman’s work as building on the site as layered by using superposition – a key to Eisenman’s “challenge to the notions of beginning and end, origin and destination.” Nesbitt, Kate. Theorizing a New Agenda for Architecture : An Anthology of Architectural Theory, 1965-1995. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1996. Print. Julia Czerniak in Waldheim, Charles. The Landscape Urbanism Reader. “Looking Back at Landscape Urbanism: Speculations on Site” Mostafavi, Mohsen, Ciro Najle, and Association Architectural. Landscape Urbanism: A Manual for the Machinic Landscape. London: Architectural Association, 2003. Print. Waldheim, Charles. The Landscape Urbanism Reader. Richard Weller states that the “discipline of landscape architecture realizes that through Its ability to deal with large-scale dynamic systems it may be best equipped to deal with many of the problems’ planners and architects have unsuccessfully struggled with in designing cities.” Waldheim, Charles. The Landscape Urbanism Reader. Kirkwood, Niall. Manufactured Sites : Rethinking the Post-Industrial Landscape. London; New York: Spon Press, 2001. Print. Ibid. Blocker, Shawn. USEPA. Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition Boat Tour. Duwamish River, Seattle. 30 Oct. 2011. Lecture. Legacies of Richard Haag and Gasworks Park Exhibit. April 8-20, 2011. Drawings and notes. Suyama Space, Seattle. Comp. Thaisa Way and Tera Hatfield. Haag proposed a plethora of potential activities, grouping them into the following categories: mind play, fantasy play, kinetic sports, table sports, competitive sports and social pleasures. “Mind Play” includes: sketching, music, people-watching, and promenading. “Fantasy Play” includes sun bathing, sunset watching, exploring, and fishing. “Kinetic Sports” include sailing, kayaking, kite flying, structure climbing, swimming, and dancing. “Table Sports” include cards, eating, and billiards. “Competitive Sports” include: bocce, croquet, judo and fencing. Last but not least, “Social Pleasures” include: shopping, art, flea markets, opera, conferences, theatre, fireworks, parades, and multi-media rock festivals. The numerous ideas for program were suggested to get the public on board and appeal to everyone. Seattle Park Commissioners. Park Playgrounds and Boulevards of Seattle, Washington1903. Print. U.S. Report of the Municipal Plans Commission. Seattle. Municipal Plans. By Virgil G. Bogue. Municipal Plans Commission, 1911. City of Seattle. City of Seattle, Master Plan. 1971. Print. Hou, Jeff, and Kristina Hill. Natural Processes Studio. University of Washington., Seattle. 2005. Lecture. Introduced the phrase “thick section” Way, Thaisa. “A Landscape of Industrial Excess: Is the Tabula Rasa the Only Option?” Column 5 Forthcoming (2011). Print. Goldberger, Paul. “Gas Works Is Centerpiece of Seattle.” New York Times 30 Aug. 1975. Print. DIRT Studio. “Centennial Mills Portland, Camilla Superfund Site, Ford Rouge River Plant,Vintondale Reclamation Park.” Dirt Studio. Web. <http://www.dirtstudio.com/>. McDonough, William, and Michael Braungart. Cradle to Cradle. New York: North Point Press, 2002. Print. “D.I.R.T. Stands For,Variously: Design Investigation Reclaiming Terrain; Doing Industrial Research Together; and Dump It Right There.” Dirt Studio. Web. “Revitalizing the Rouge: Dearborn, Michigan.” Dirt Studio. Web. Orff, Kate. “Reviving New York’s Rivers - with Oysters!” Lecture. TED Talks. TED Talks. 2010. Web. Shared Strategy for Puget Sound. “Puget Sound Recovery Plan.” National Marine Fisheries Service, 2007.Vol. 1. Print.


34. “Salmon Friendly Seattle: Working Together to Recover Salmon.” City of Seattle, 1995-2011. Web. 35. Monez, Jordan. Personal Travel Journal. Copenhagen. In 2004 I lived in Østerbro, the adjacent neighborhood to Nordhavn, riding the train from the Nordhavn S-tog (S-train) stop daily to the city center. The lack of connection is very much planning- and perception-based. The district is just in the other direction of my former Østerbro apartment, yet the landscape features, foreboding change of scale and lack of connection to the other side of the train tracks make it difficult to get to Nordhavn physically and mentally, despite the proximity to the train station. In 2010, living and going to school other parts of Copenhagen, I seldom visited; however, I took visitors there on bike tours, and they were surprised to find that they enjoyed experiencing that as much as Dyrehavn, the pastoral landscape park. 36. “Nordhavnen Strategy.” København By Og Havn Ørestadsselskabet (Copenhagen City and Port Development Corporation). 2009. Web. Oct. 2010. <http://www.byoghavn.dk/>. 37. COBE Architects. “Lecture for Department 1: Architecture, City, and Landscape.” Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Architecture School, Copenhagen. 2010. Lecture. ‘Sustainability is easy to aspire to but really hard to achieve.’ His frankness in speaking about the difficulty of implementing a vision of maximum sustainability and quality of life demonstrated an understanding of and reflected the complexity of manufactured landscapes, waterfront sites, conflicting interests of stakeholders and citizens, and other challenges in working on a largescale project with high goals such as this one. 38. Evans, Loriee D. “The Dirt on Phytoremediation.” IJSW Journal of Soil & Water Conservation 57.1 (2002): 12A-5A. Print. 39. Milgrom, Melissa. “Industrial Strength.” Metropolis May 2003. Print. 40. Monez, Jordan. Duwamish Palimpsest. Thesis. University of Washington, 2011. Print. “Design for the Future” focuses on design for this parcel. 41. “Terminal 117 Cleanup.” Port of Seattle. 12 Oct. 2010. Web. 42. “Stoss Landscape Urbanism.” Stoss LU Firm. 3 Oct. 2011. Web. 43. Stoss Landscape Urbanism. “Tanner Street Initiative”. 2011. 44. Krinke, Rebecca. “Fresh Ideas?” Landscape Architecture 92.6nd ser. (2002): 76-85. Print. 45. ASLA. “Shanghai Houtan Park: Landscape as Living System.” ASLA Professional Awards 2010 (2010). Print. 46. “Experience the Waterfront.” Waterfront Seattle. 2011. Web. 47. Robertson, Lain. “Waterfront Designers Need a Reality Check.” Crosscut. 2011. Web. 48. Sorkin, Michael. Variations on a Theme Park :The New American City and the End of Public Space. New York: Hill and Wang, 1992. Pg 8 49. Two opposing views – environmental sustainability vs. design and art – usually separate themselves by concentrating actions at different scales, with ecological/environmental planning at a regional scale and design-focused projects on individual sites. This is what we are currently seeing on the Duwamish River. Landscape urbanism’s engagement of interdisciplinary groups is a potential method of making new hybrid ecological system designs that acknowledge the inherent “unnaturalness” of the landscape, and bring together ecology and design. As Michael Sorkin explains, “The emergence of disciplinary hybrids such as “landscape urbanism” is both an acknowledgement of this communion and a demand for the necessity to model at scales from patch to planet. We cannot exist without the embodiment within us of all such voluntary evolution.” 50. Waldheim, Charles. The Landscape Urbanism Reader. Print. 51. Elizabeth Mossop, “Landscapes of Infrastructure” Pg 165. 52. Prigann, Herman, Heike Strelow, and Vera David. Ecological Aesthetics : Art in Environmental Design:Theory and Practice. Basel; Boston: Birkhauser, 2004. Print. Pg 7 For more insight into the role that railroad companies have had in creating the images of the American West and our National Parks see Rothman, Hal K. “Selling the Meaning of Place: Entrepreneurship, Tourism, and Community Transformation in the Twentieth-Century American West.” The Pacific Historical Review 65.4 (1996): 525-57. Print.; Klein, Kerwin L. “Frontier Products: Tourism, Consumerism, and the Southwestern Public Lands, 1890-1990.” Pacific historical review. 62.1 (1993): 39-72. Print.; and Shaffer, Marguerite S. “”See America First”: Re-Envisioning Nation and Region through Western Tourism.” The Pacific Historical Review 65.4 (1996): 559-81. Print. 53. Christo, et al. Over the River : Project for the Arkansas River, State of Colorado. Hong Kong; Los Angeles: Taschen, 2008. Print. 54. Milner, Clyde A., Carol A. O’Connor, and Martha A. Sandweiss. The Oxford History of the American West. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994. Print. 55. “Growing Urbanism - Seattle.” Zeroplus Architects. 2010. Web 56. Jordan, Lorna. “Waterworks Gardens: An Environmental Art Project at the East Division Reclamation Plant”. <lornajordan.com> 57. Blankinship, Donna. “Waterworks Gardens: King County,Wa, Makes the Public Aware of Stormwater Infrastructure in an Unexpected Place.” Stormwater (2004). Print. 58. Smithson, Robert, and Jack D. Flam. Robert Smithson, the Collected Writings. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996. Print. 59. Reynolds, Ann Morris, and Robert Smithson. Robert Smithson : Learning from New Jersey and Elsewhere. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2003. Print. 60. See the Center for Land Use Interpretation for more unlikely destinations <http://www.clui.org/>. The CLUI is a research and education organization “dedicated to the increase and diffusion of information about how the nation’s lands are apportioned, utilized and perceived. Among other activities the Center organizes public tours and has an online database of places – including the Duwamish Cement Plants. 61. Smithson, Robert, and Jack D. Flam. Robert Smithson, the Collected Writings. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996. Print. 62. “Beauty”: [noun] 1 a combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, esp. the sight: I was struck by her beauty | an area of outstanding natural beauty; a combination of qualities that pleases the intellect or moral sense; [as adj.] denoting something intended to make a woman more attractive: beauty products | beauty treatment. 2. a beautiful or pleasing thing or person, in particular a beautiful woman; an excellent specimen or example of something: the fish was a beauty, around 14 pounds; ( the beauties of) the pleasing or attractive features of something : the beauties of the Pennsylvania moun-


tains.; [in sing. ] the best feature or advantage of something : the beauty of keeping cats is that they don’t tie you down. PHRASES: beauty is in the eye of the beholder [proverb] beauty cannot be judged objectively, for what one person finds beautiful or admirable may not appeal to another; beauty is only skin-deep [proverb] a pleasing appearance is not a guide to character. “The New Oxford American Dictionary, Third Edition.” Ed. Lindberg, Christine A. and Angus Stevenson: Oxford University Press, 2010. Print. 63. Simpson, J. A., and E. S. C. Weiner. The Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford: Clarendon, 1989. Print. Tabula rasa is defined as: “an absence of preconceived ideas or predetermined goals; a clean slate.”


“Landscape begins with the ground. The ground level in our cities and landscapes is no superficial, two-dimensional given. It has material depth, determined by the amalgam of its geological layers. It is subject to the natural dynamic in which land, water and wind affect one another. It has a three-dimensional relief, even in the apparently flat delta landscape (of the Netherlands). Dikes and dams, embankments, canals and ditches, tunnels, bridges and fortifications have appeared through human interventions. The ground has been distributed among owners as a result of interitance and sale. It has a physical and historical layeredness, an economic value and a cultural significance.” – Frits Palmboom “Drawing the Ground, Layering Time”


APPROACH AND METHODS


the 2011 demolition of the Boeing Plant 2 factory leaves an open-ended future to be determined. [author]

DESIGNING FOR A POST-INDUSTRIAL FUTURE A design requires accumulation of data and ideas. Landscape, as shaped by humans, is a representation or reflection of forces such as economics, power, community action and desires, geology, geography, and history. Space, the physical place that we experience, reveals those forces in aesthetics, function and use. This accumulation happens over time, as the designer collects information about the site, the project or program, the neighborhood, the desires of citizens, and the history of the place. The designer using various methods that may be standard or may be experimental, usually using a combination of both, determines the way that data is collected and interpreted. This accumulation of data and ideas will lead the project in a intrinsic direction in some ways and sparks creativity. The designer then chooses what to conceal and what to reveal. For example, should the toxic history of the site be covered up or exposed? What pasts should be revealed (the meandering or straightening of the river, native people, industry, etc.)? Should information be interpreted and represented through mapping, graphics, data, stories, paintings, drawings, etc. and what information is important to present? How can information be broken down to be more easily understood by the layman? How can changing modes of operation and scale change the designerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s or the laymanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s perception? These questions guide the design and influence the understanding of place.


unexpected sights, textures, and sounds await the explorer of a place [author]

EXPERIENCE OF PLACE Landscape is experienced in time and space. Endless processes and influences produce landscape, as it exists in the world at various scales of time. These influences include geological forces like the slow moving glacier that formed a space for the lahar that quickly surged from a volcano into what is now the Duwamish Valley, ecological forces such as the constant flow of water from mountain springs, streams, parking lots, and CSO outfalls, and social forces such as agriculture and industry have shaped the land and its use to varying degrees. Geological processes have been in force for millions of years. Ecological processes have shaped the landscape and its systems and networks for similar time periods. Even social and cultural forces have been inscribed into the landscape for at least a thousand years. Given all of these forces shaping and layers of time on the landscape, how should designers go about reading landscapes to understand a site on the ground in addition to the archival research on history and land use that can be done in the office? One can begin by considering a variety of approaches to knowing the site â&#x20AC;&#x201C; to â&#x20AC;&#x153;readingâ&#x20AC;? the landscape. For this thesis I have combined and overlapped several approaches in order to explore how reading and knowing the site contributes to designing the landscape. These approaches are examples of how one can go about understanding a site on the ground, which I have identified in studies of landscape architectural theory and used during my site research process.


experience of place

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Landscape architect Christopher Girot offers “four trace concepts” or techniques for assessing a site by focusing attention on the site as it exists in situ. Those concepts are: Landing, Grounding, Finding, and Founding. Landing, “the first act of site acknowledgement” involves passing through the states of unknowing to knowing, intuitively reading the site and registering first impressions. This is the point in time when “a designer reacts to the difference between his or her preconceived idea of a place and the reality that appears during the first steps of a visit.” The second step, grounding, involves reading the site over and over, through repeated visits and site studies. These studies may include photographing the site, making sketches, and mapping. It is a process of grounding one’s impressions in the data of the site. The third step, finding, is both the process of discovering and the thing discovered – “both an activity and an insight.” Relationships are there to be identified and discovered. Several things may be uncovered at this point in the assessment of a site, however the main discovery in this step is finding the “je ne sais quoi ingredient that conveys a distinct quality to a place.” The final step, founding, is “the moment when the prior three acts are synthesized into a new and transformed construction of the site.”65 By bringing something new to a place the designer adds to the palimpsest that was discovered in situ in the first three steps. A designer founds new relationships and altered experiences. The Situationists, an international group of critics, artists, and writers, formulated many theories and practices to begin the process of understanding the world around them. One of these practices is the dérive. The dérive is a way of moving through various settings, moving not with motivation to reach a place but instead be drawn to what is found in those places, their terrain and character. During this movement of the dérive, the protagonist is aware of the effects of the geographical environment.66 In Guy Debord’s “Theory on the Dérive” he emphasizes the fact that landscape is always seen from an individual, cultural perspective, that the landscape is alive because we are reacting to it.67 The method of participating in a dérive follows: • A person can dérive on their own but it is recommended to have several groups of two or three to cross-check impressions for more objective conclusions. Groups should change for different dérives • The average duration is one day (considered as the time between two periods of sleep, noting that the night is usually not a good time to dérive). • Variations on time range from a few hours to days (although in the case of long derives it is hard to tell where one ends and one begins – like a series of landscapes). • The “spatial field” depends on the goal (to study terrain, or emotionally disorient oneself?) and therefore may be delimited or vague. • The spatial field is the area explored – starting with a point of departure. • Exploration of the area includes establishing bases and finding directions to move towards – this is where the study of maps comes in (ordinary maps, ecological maps, and psycogeographical maps). • A variation on the dérive is a “possible rendezvous,” in which a person is invited to meet someone at a place that they then explore until they meet the person, or not. • Using experience of the dérive assisted by maps and aerial photographs, the participant can draw up new maps68


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APPROACH AND METHODS

The Situationists use of spatial activity to understand place can be recreated to learn about an unfamiliar place through random exploration. Changing the mode of moving to and the direction of moving through a site also helps to understand a place at different speeds and from different angles. Moving on a boat versus a kayak, or by land versus by water, one’s perception of place changes as the experience shifts. Recording the experience can take a visual or narrative form. The interplay between story and place is how we understand sites, it is never objective. One can never separate oneself from past experiences, impressions, knowledge, and understanding (although we can change our minds, have new experiences, gain new knowledge, etc.). In “Landscape Narratives” landscape architects Matthew Potteiger and Jamie Purinton explain, “we come to know places because we know their stories...Narratives are already implicit in landscapes, inscribed by natural processes and cultural practices.”69 Structuring sequences through text and landscape design records and influences experience of space, shaping the dialog between people and the environment around them. Mapping, on the other hand, gives spatial information about a place to the viewer all at once, on a two-dimensional plane, and shapes the relationship between perception and landscape in a different way.

Situationist map, 19 sections of Paris [artofmapping.blogspot.com]

USGS Topographic Map; Seattle quadrangle in 1897, 1906 and 1943 [www. burkemuseum.org/static/waterlines/]


â&#x20AC;&#x153;The world figured through mapping may thus be material or immaterial, actual or desired, whole or part, in various ways experienced, remembered, or projected. In scale, mapping may trace a line or delimit and limn a territory of any length or size, from the whole of creation to the tiniest fragments; notions of shape and area are themselves in some respects a product of mapping processes. Acts of mapping are creative, sometimes anxious, moments in coming to knowledge of the world, and the map is both the spatial embodiment of knowledge and a stimulus to further cognitive engagements.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Dennis Cosgrove, Mappings

aerial view of the Lower Duwamish River and surroundings [Google Earth]

MAPPING AS OPERATION

Mapping is a process of accumulation, a method of reading as well as creating and reflecting meaning for and of sites. Maps are acts of visualizing, conceptualizing, recording, representing, and creating spaces graphically and in two dimensions, that provide communication between people, spaces or times; documented, remembered and imagined. The form that maps can take and the information that they can tell us is unlimited. Mapping involves complex cultural issues, especially since the map travels through various circuits of use that change its meanings.71 Maps highlight specific phenomena and conceal others, giving significance to certain elements (that the map designer deems important) and can obstruct other, potentially important elements or characters (that the map designer intentionally or unintentionally leaves out). 72 Visual styles reflect the time and culture in which the map was made, as well as the preference and skill of the designer. The structures of signs and language of maps may change, obstruct, or reveal meanings depending on how the mapmaker uses them. For example, coasts or tidal estuaries are zones, not lines, but the cartographer fixed a certain point as being the coastal line using arbitrary criteria. Analyzing various maps of the Duwamish helps us to better understand its past, present, and fu-


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The first image of Earth from space, taken by the Apollo 17 mission on December 7, 1972. The title of the photograph is The Blue Marble. [Image from Wikipedia]

APPROACH AND METHODS

ture, and give us a glimpse of the meanings that people have attached to the river over time. Maps and plots help to shape readings of the river and to reveal biases and assumptions of the Duwamish. The creative interpretation of the map as art or a part of design work can be an intervention “within broader discourses of space and the ways that it may be inhabited.”73 Gathering and processing data in a world of information overload is difficult and it is necessary for design activists to frame issues in a new way that begin to get at their solutions. As the only certainty being uncertainty, the contemporary city and its global reach is in a constant state of flux. Landscape architects can merge science and art to weave the disparate elements of the city together through an “ecological art of instrumentality”74 – merging data analysis and place to make partial interventions and strategic moves. Mapping is one technique for creating potential from the complex layers of landscape, politics, information, and ecology of the Duwamish. An influential tool in mapping and design work is the aerial image. In “Our Common Future, From One Earth to One World”, the World Commission on Environment and Development makes the observation that, when humans were able to see the Earth from space as if it were an organism it had a great impact on the way that we understand our connectedness to nature.75 Looking at aerials is one way that the divisions and connections between architecture and landscape can be seen as an image, although that distance erases many of the complexities of the human-engendered landscape. The widespread use of aerial imagery, with applications like Google Maps available to


mapping as operation

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Aerial view of the Green/Duwamish Watershed. [Image from GoogleEarth, manipulated by author]

the masses, has become a replacement for conventional maps, but do not tell us information that maps are capable of conveying. James Corner’s book, Taking Measures Across the American Landscape demonstrates one way that a landscape architect has combined those aerial views with constructed drawings or maps that begin to explain places and the processes creating those places. Not only are prior knowledge and records used to map a place (field observations, notes and sketches, terrestrial and maritime surveys, statistical collections, imaginative doodles, contemplative icons, preparatory studies, etc.) but also once a map is made it enters a new world where it is interpreted and disseminated. The difference one finds in viewing the landscape from above and from within holds opposing implications for understanding a site. Taking Measures Across the American Landscape attempts to understand the continent via the aerial view. In The Practice of Everyday Life, scholar Michel de Certeau gives an account of Manhattan from the 110th floor of the World Trade Center, arguing that the view is disembodied. He sees the city from above as, “a wave of verticals…a gigantic mass…a texturology in which extremes coincide…”76 On the ground Certeau observes a tangible, qualitative character to the city, where one can view traces left, positions and locations related to one another, where appropriation of space is possible, possibilities can be discovered and missed, trajectories affirmed and transgressed from, style embodied, and spatial practices expressed.


Images from Google Earth â&#x20AC;&#x153;film,â&#x20AC;? following the Duwamish from Harbor Island at the mouth of Elliot Bay to near its origins in the forests of the Cascade Mountains.


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A depiction of the Mississippi River’s meanders from the Geological Investigation of the Alluvial Valley of the Lower Mississippi River, Harold Fisk, 1944. [Mississippi Floods by Mathur and da Cunha]

Detail of Raising Hollers screenprint. The designers created a series of screenprints depicting various aspects of the Mississippi River as palimpsest. [Mississippi Floods by Mathur and da Cunha]

APPROACH AND METHODS

Through activities such as mapping, writing, advocacy, and other forms of communication; designers begin to project their visions of opportunity to improve place to the people, and begin a dialog with communities that addresses multiple visions for the future.77 In the book Mississippi Floods, the authors use interpretive mapping, textual analysis, and other imagery to frame the Mississippi River in a way that they hope will engender new visions for the future of the river. By reframing the issue of the Mississippi River’s devastating floods through acts of mapping, graphic and textual communication, it changes the way that some of us see the issue of flooding on the Mississippi River, a frequent occurrence that was later brought to national attention when it nearly destroyed one of the oldest and most interesting cities in the United States after Hurricane Katrina. At the beginning, in light of the Great Flood of 1993, they ask the question, “Were we witnessing a “natural” disaster exacerbated by the wettest June and July since 1895 or a “cultural” tragedy caused by the constricted flow of this continental drain?”78 To understand the river, they re-map based on four “terrains”: meanders, flows, banks and beds, assigning these conditions to specific sites. Using various types of documents such as: maps, surveys, engineering drawings, newspaper reports, and books, as well as field analysis of sites with varied material terrain; they create their own vision and maps, of the Lower Mississippi. They explain the importance of re-mapping the terrain, stating, “Professionals pay little attention to what is really at stake in the Lower Mississippi. It is not just money, life, economy, or ecosystem, but the openness of imagination necessary to inhabiting an enigmatic landscape, a landscape


mapping as operation

USGS map of Duwamish and surroundings [United States Geological Survey via WAGDA]

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0

0.5

1

Miles 2


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APPROACH AND METHODS

very much in doubt not for lack of proof of what exists but because what constitutes proof is subtle and difficult. As the war between settlement and river continues, perpetuated as much by extremists as by mediators and moderates, other ways of seeing and inhabiting the Lower Mississippi will emerge. They will not begin with flood but with flux.”79 Flux is the inherent condition of all rivers, estuaries, and waterways, including the Duwamish. Imagination, the ability to think and deal with an unseen reality in a creative way,80 is an essential quality for the designer and design process. James Corner explains the process of drawing (including but not limited to mapping) as a generative, “eidetic”81 activity, with the engagement in drawing allowing a joining of the body and mind. However, he notes the disconnection between drawing and landscape, and the difficulty of representing certain aspects of landscape, especially: landscape spatiality, landscape temporality, and landscape materiality.82 This disconnect is because landscape is all encompassing in scale (both physically and spiritually); it is subject to often unknown forces over various time scales (geologic to immediate); and landscape materials are experienced by all senses. Designing for the future not only means using new and old technologies of construction in innovative ways but also by challenging our thinking of what our contemporary problems are, what causes them, and how they might be solved. The latter can be accomplished through creative mapping which looks toward a new future.

NATIVE AMERICAN SITES ON THE LOWER DUWAMISH

[mapped after Dorothy Faris-created map]


Graffiti and vegetation layered on the South Park Bridge ramp [author]

PALIMPSEST “Palimpsest” is defined as: writing material (as a parchment or tablet) used one or more times after earlier writing has been erased, and, something having diverse layers or aspects apparent beneath the surface.83 The latter concept of palimpsest is seen at many levels along the Duwamish. The physical remnants of human and environmental forces are palimpsests, the result of the cumulative effect of urbanization along and within the waterway/estuary/river. In addition to these physical characteristics, the ideas that have built up over time surrounding the Duwamish affect the way that we look at it today. There is an overwhelming amount of information about the Duwamish, looking at the place in a myriad of ways. Data and other information, stories, articles, and visual representation such as maps, art, and photographs contribute to this layering of ideas in our minds. In the book Landscape + 100 Words to Inhabit It, Michael Conan defines palimpsest as a “creative attitude towards landscape in an open, multicultural society, permitting a plurality of interpretations in the one place.” Palimpsest landscape, according to Conan is based on five major principles: inhabitability; cultural diversity (with cultural attitudes expressed creatively and with nature); expression of contraries, fragmentary engagement (with the objective to restrict professional interventions and allow the spectator freedom to interpret); and maillage, or enmeshing.84 As D.W. Meinig explains in “The Beholding Eye”, there are several different ways of looking at landscape. They include: landscape as nature, landscape as habitat, landscape as artifact, landscape as system, landscape as problem, landscape as wealth, landscape as ideology, landscape as history, landscape as place and landscape as aesthetic;85 and the way that different people view landscape is comprised of “not only what lies before our eyes but what lies within our heads.”86 Landscape is a cultural image, shaped by narrative and representation and interpreted by individuals and societies.


Above: Informative sign at Jack Block Park. Below: View from the park of the port operations the sign is depicting [author]


Detail of informative sign at Jack Block Park, which lies between the bay and the port [author]

LANDSCAPE AS CULTURAL IMAGE The etymological root of the “scape” in “landscape” is from the Greek skopein, meaning “to behold, contemplate, examine, or inspect.”87 In German, the word landschaft means the nature of a space as well as its representation.88 Viewing is not merely the transfer of a scene through the eyes, after which particles of light assemble in the brain to create an image, but also the act of processing a complex physical, psychological, and cultural conditions. James Corner states in Recovering Landscape, “Never is the landscape idea underestimated or severed from physical space.”89 Landscape and vision are embodied experiences, and what registers by the senses changes with movement through the landscape, viewing static or filmic images, and experience the aesthetic qualities of place. The production of landscape and its representation is made through a combination of physical, psychological, and cultural conditions. As James Corner describes, “Landscapes are thus the inevitable result of cultural interpretation and the accumulation of representational sediments over time.”90 “Landscape” is a cultural image that helps us to place ourselves in the world, different cultures see the world differently. In that light, a park is “no more real, nor less imaginary, than a landscape painting or poem?”91 Landscape transforms meaning through interpretation. The Duwamish Waterway will continue to take on new meanings, as the environment around it changes, and it will gain a richer palimpsest of data, image, and experience over time. Landscape is a situated phenomenon both in space and in our minds. The representation of landscape has always been a central aspect of the making of landscape. Today, methods of landscape urbanism have transformed thinking about how landscapes are repre-


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APPROACH AND METHODS

sented and made by landscape architects. Although attempting to redefine the fields of architecture and landscape architecture, the landscape urbanist is working within a specific ideological framework of landscape that has roots in the pastoral and sublime. Landscape urbanism suggests methods for addressing contemporary conditions such as dealing with post-industrial sites to the canon of landscape history, and moving beyond traditional ideas of beauty by changing the design process.

For the Fresh Kills project, which promises to transform a closed landfill into a vibrant public park, James Corner field operations proposed a way to represent the utopian future of the project to the public by creating billboards showing their design. [Image by James Corner field operations]

Images of a portion of New York City’s Highline, as imagined (top) and as built (bottom) [www.highline.org]

The fact that an image, or drawing, comes before the landscape is built has implications for transforming a society’s vision about landscape.92 As MoMA curator Peter Reed noted in 2005, “Nearly every significant new landscape designed in recent years occupies a site that has been reinvented and reclaimed from obsolescence or degradation as cities in the postindustrial era remake and redefine their outdoor spaces.”93 The Duwamish Superfund cleanup is both unique and part of a greater network of postindustrial sites that are being repurposed for new uses such as recreation and wildlife habitat.94 Changing ideas of beauty is one way to gain interest in marginalized sites for cleanup and new uses. Art, such as Joel Sternfeld’s photographs of the Highline in New York City and Robert Smithson’s Sites/NonSites can be one way of doing this. Books highlighting specific issues in new ways, such as Mississippi Floods and Jane Wolff’s Delta Primer give a greater depth to problems rooted in landscape. Wolff’s book uses a combination of text, photographs, and diagrammatic drawings to paint a picture of the California Delta.95 Creating landscape experiences are one of the landscape architect’s tools, in addition to other types of representation such as maps, data, working drawings, models, photographs, media, painting, writing, poetry and folklore. Understanding that ecology, creativity, and


landscape as cultural image

landscape architecture are metaphorical and ideological representations, cultural images or ideas, allows us to see the changes that these ideas have on the world, and to use them ourselves to affect change in physical, theoretical, and experiential ways.96 In Regenerative Design for Sustainable Development, landscape architect and theorist John Tillman Lyle explains the origin of the term “sustainable development”, which came into use in the late 1980s after widespread resource depletion and environmental degradation.97 Sustainable development was defined as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future to meet its own needs” by the World Commission on Environment and Development.98 Industry, states the author, is inherently unsustainable as practiced and therefore, must be re-envisioned. The global landscape has been changed drastically to accommodate one-way flows. This one-way system depletes the resources from the landscapes that it depends on, and waste outputs can be greater than inputs. Lyle promotes the idea that to change the negative outputs we must radically shift the way things are made. He asserts, “Sustainability depends primarily on environmental design,” and offers his ideas for making “regenerative systems” that create a loop of resource, product, and waste rather than a one-way chain toward the landfill. These regenerative systems are central to Industrial Ecology (IE), an emerging field that focuses on economic development and environmental quality, which seeks to close the loop and eliminate one-way flows from resource to landfill. Instead, industrial ecological systems optimize the materials cycle (includ-

59

A Cleanup Story

Terminal 117 Cleanup Port of Seattle and City of Seattle

Old factories created pollution and dirtied the soil and water.

Workers will clean up the pollution.

Once it’s done, it will be a clean place for people, plants and animals.

The post-industrial cleanup process as imagined by the Port and City of Seattle, summarized for children. [Port of Seattle and City of Seattle]


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APPROACH AND METHODS

ing resources, energy, and capital) and find creative ways to integrate aspects of ecology and industry in the local environment.99 Using regenerative systems to remake an ecosystem that includes industry is a utopian ideal for the future of the Duwamish. Unfortunately, the idea of regenerative design is not addressed adequately in the Feasibility Study for the Duwamish Superfund cleanup process. However, citizens and governments can change this by collaboration with landscape architects, urban planners and others who have the perspective of seeing whole systems. As John Tillman Lyle explains, “Regeneration has to do with the rebirth of life itself, thus with hope for the future.”100 This idea seems to be at the core of the larger goals for cleaning up toxic sites – hope for the future health of our ecosystems and communities. Regenerative design combines natural processes with modern technologies – as seen in the in situ cleanup options previously addressed – letting nature do the work by powering the cleanup process by solar energy and microorganisms. With a strong overall vision for the future of the Lower Duwamish, regenerative design as industrial process will begin to make its way into the industries still surrounding the Duwamish River, and we can begin the process of re-creating industry to be part of a healthy, natural, ecological system.

Rebirth of a toxic site: the post-industrial cleanup process at AMD+ART park in Vindondale, PN. Signage placed adjacent to wetland ponds that are cleaning orange liquid discharged from an old coal mine into water. educates visitors and helps them to appreciate the strange aesthetic of the ponds as a functional landscape [Image from AMDandART.info]

In The Future of Life, Edward O. Wilson explains, “Science and technology are what we can do; morality is what we agree we should or should not do.” His philosophy rests on the idea that species are all intertwined, having come from a common single-celled organism, and are also intertwined with their environment, having co-evolved with it over eons. He believes that a “sense of genetic unity, kinship, and deep history are among


landscape as cultural image

61

the values that bond us to the living environment” and that stewardship is the natural moral sense that comes out of that bond. Knowledge is key to biophilia, a bond between humans and other life. Health is directly related to connection with the natural environment.101 Now that we have, as a society and in federal and state laws, agreed that the chemical use, dumping, and other practices of the industrial past that have created the conditions for Superfund on the Duwamish are wrong, how can we re-organize industry not to do less wrong but to do more right? How can we change how we relate to natural systems in urban environments? One way that landscape architecture can effect change is through the use of aesthetics in design. Elizabeth Meyer has written a manifesto in support of the idea that aesthetic qualities should be better integrated into the sustainability agenda. She notices that aesthetics and beauty are usually talked about in regard to sustainability as superficial concerns, but that the messages that the designed landscape can convey are very important to moving toward a sustainable world, and longevity of designed outdoor spaces is increased through the performance of appearance. How can we begin to see the industrial landscape of places like the Lower Duwamish Waterway for their aesthetic qualities? Despite the foreboding size, rigid orthogonals of building outlines and shorelines, and of course, the legacy of toxic chemical contamination, the Duwamish is a habitat for a wide variety of wildlife, and is one of the most unique landscapes in Seattle. How can we change public perception of the Duwamish to reveal the sublime beauty of the strange place? Will a changed perception of beauty begin to pique more interest and widen the scope of the Duwamish community?102 Time will tell, and places for people like Gasworks Park and AMD+ART Park in Vintondale, Pennsylvania help to change that perception.103 The “performance of appearance,” as landscape historian Elizabeth Meyer calls the important role of aesthetics in landscape, has been a central concern to landscape architects throughout the profession’s history. Frederick Law Olmsted believed that the combination of physical characteristics and sensory qualities of landscape changed the physical and mental state of those who experienced it. Meyer believes that “immersive, aesthetic experience can lead to recognition, empathy, love, respect, and care for the environment,” according to her, “The experience of beauty, a process between the senses and reason, an unfolding of awareness, is restorative,”104 and the performance of beauty in a designed landscape is as important as the performance of ecological services. Although some influential landscape architects such as Ian McHarg, (who gave us the precursor of GIS mapping using layered maps to make important land use decisions) believe that “the profession of landscape architecture has a client, the earth and its creatures,”105 it is human experience that propels the design and determines its future impact and longevity. By changing our relationship with the environment – combined with cleanup of the past contamination – we can begin to engage in sustainable urbanism in industrial areas.106


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APPROACH AND METHODS

A Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition-led kayak trip down the Lower Duwamish River [author]

COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION People experience landscape in social, economic, political, and cultural frameworks – from their individual point of view. As a designer, the ability to see multiple points of view is very important for creating a place that people will want to use and make a part of their communities. Community participation is a way that we can gain understanding of what the people of that community want and need, and give the future users the power to shape design and programmatic decisions. In 1974, landscape architect Randolph Hester outlined policies and practices that would encourage the design profession to act in more socially responsible ways, since community spaces should reflect the users’ values, which are often different from the designers. Community participation in the design process is key to creating equitable spaces that reflect the community’s understandings of place, their desires, what the neighborhood issues are, what the neighborhood character is like, and to be influenced and inspired by their ideas for design and programmatic features. The policies Hester outlines to achieve a successful design participation process include: clarifying stakeholders, input of users’ values in the neighborhood design process, and guaranteeing increased user involvement throughout the design process. He advocates for a “holistic, process-oriented methodology.”107 Means of participation include presentations, dissemination of printed information such as flyers and plans, public meetings, workshops, and various forms of multimedia. Participatory planning has helped to democratize public decision-making, however, as Jeffrey Hou points out, it creates challenges of complexity especially in diverse communities, and is limited by institutional practices.108 In Environmental Dilemmas, environmental psychologists Lynne Manzo and Robert Mugerauer remind us that environmental decision-making always involves different people and therefore, social


community participation

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relationships. Local people need to be involved in the decision-making process for the place where they live, and there may be multiple scales that people and nature are affected by those decisions. Here, “environmental dilemma” is defined as a concrete situation where a decision has been made, and there is no win-win scenario, “so it is a matter of choosing between one set of sacrifices or another,” goals and actions are contradictory to each other and/or our values, and last, dilemmas have important consequences.109 This is an apt description of the Superfund cleanup. As design critic Peter Hall explains, “Decisions arise from a complex process of interactions among actors. All these people think themselves rational, and are trying to behave rationally for much of the time; but their conceptions of the rational differ. They have different goals, and different ways of achieving those goals…No outcome is ever decisive, since it can be reversed or can wither away due to nonimplementation. Thus the process of decision making is not discrete, but is part of an ongoing complex of interrelated acts; and non-decisions may be as important as decisions.” 110 The Superfund cleanup is an environmental dilemma because there is no perfect solution, high expectations, and an issue of funding. The ability of the landscape architect to imagine potential futures is very important in this case, since the best solution will most likely be one that is not immediately obvious or with precedent. By engaging the community and working with them through the design process, and listening to their ideas and concerns, designers can find new ways of working through environmental dilemmas and help to clarify goals and make connections between stakeholders.


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APPROACH AND METHODS

Temporary barrier at a restoration site along the waterway. [author]

ECOLOGICAL AND ECO-REVELATORY DESIGN “I believe that works of landscape architecture are more than designed ecosystems, more than strategies for open-ended processes. They are cultural products with distinct forms and experiences that evoke attitudes and feelings through space, sequence, and form. Like literature and art, images and narratives, landscape architecture can play a role in building sustained public support for the environment. ” – Elizabeth Meyer, “Sustaining Beauty”111 Toxic site cleanup is an important part of improving local, regional, and global ecologies. This process can be done in a more sustainable and relevant way than most current practices. Landscape architects can bring an important viewpoint to the cleanup process, by thinking about the time-based potential of these sites over time and designing projects that are site-specific plus have relevance to the layers of history and future uses of the site. Landscape architects have a vision for the aesthetic and process-based qualities of sites that other disciplines lack. Collaboration is key to the remediation of brownfield sites because, as Steven Rock notes, landscape architecture and remediation engineering are closely related fields, yet “…have strikingly different languages, techniques, and habits of thought. A professional from each discipline may stand at the same place, view the same site, and describe the site in different words that express a vastly different experience and professional perspective. While the landscape architect may interpret particular qualities of the land shaping the site through its contours and artifacts, the remediation engineer is concerned with the groundwater flows and soil contaminant concentrations, human health and the environment.”112

Non-traditional methods of site cleanup are usually undertaken when it is deemed to be a


ecological and eco-revelatory design

65

lower-cost alternative to cleanup, and cleanup itself is usually undertaken because it is mandated by government regulation. In Manufactured Sites, the authors note the larger issue: “Regulations and incentives alone will not create healthy ecosystems – they have to be a priority of a culture’s value system.”113 As technology and people’s conceptions of remediation change, a “new normal” may begin to arise with innovative practices are adopted by the masses, and form may be designed to shape the process of revitalizing contaminated sites for new uses.114 Contaminated sites should be cleaned up for present and future health of ecosystems and communities – but how? Several ways have been identified in the Duwamish Superfund cleanup Feasibility Study, both on and off site. What methods are most effective, not just for cleanup but also for the transparency of the cleanup process and the understanding of what happened at the site in the past that created the situation? This is the question that the public should ask themselves after reading the Draft Feasibility Study.115

One way that the remediation of contaminated sites can become part of a culture’s value

system is through the landscape design process. Ecological and eco-revelatory designs not only mimic or encourage natural processes but also make them visible. As Elizabeth Meyer notes, “aesthetic values may no longer be isolated from ecological ones,”116 therefore the use of landscape-based solutions in cleanup may afford opportunities for people to understand the ecological implications and ideas of contamination and cleanup on site, in addition to being a lower-cost solution than traditional cleanup methods. Phytoremediation could “change the paradigm”117 of the typical process for a brownfield site, creating a dual use for a site that is going through regeneration. However, to change the paradigm, landscape architects and remediation engineers would have to work together from an early stage in what could be a frustrating process. Planting a site can be a first step to habitat creation, soil enhancement, erosion control, and other benefits, alongside contaminant reduction and progressive design, but needs to be done in a framework of a larger interdisciplinary project.118 There are many potential approaches embedded within discussions of remediation and ecological rehabilitation. Designers can use phytoremediation planting as well as the changing topography and displacement that occurs with traditional methods like dredging and capping as a basis for designing for the future of these sites. This idea could have major implications for landscape architects as we experiment with designs for in situ remediation. In experiencing the new designs that may be generated in the Duwamish Superfund Cleanup, there is potential for people to change their idea about beauty and aesthetics, that “new forms of beauty will be discovered, as new techniques and approaches for reclaiming, remaking, and reforming a site’s natural processes are invented.”119 Changing the language used in the process could be another forward step. As McDonough and Braungart explain in regard to the process of designing the Ford Rouge River Plant (an important precedent for “green” industrial architecture) from “conception to implementation on the site, the approach is framed in positive, proactive terms – not “clean up” but “create healthy soil” for example.”120


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DESIGNING FOR THE FUTURE With contemporary discourse about the future of the urban environment rooted in pessimism, designers and artists can take an optimistic role in reimagining the city. From exercises like the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition’s Future Map to thesis projects and the work of environmental designers, the re-imagining of the Duwamish with a positive future, although difficult to imagine given dire present circumstances, has the potential to be looked at in positive terms. As Sorkin notes, “A utopian argument always includes the idea of construction, some series of human measures to bring about the “ideal” thing itself, however vaguely, provisionally, or fictitiously described. The condition of utopia is that it proposes its own realization, a deliberation with an outcome: Without its topos – the idea of place – utopian thought would simply lapse into some other style of ethical, metaphysical, or political speculation. And this is why it is so important – utopian thought is the only way of speculating concretely about a projective connection between architecture and politics.”121 The unpredictable urban industrial and post-industrial environments of the contemporary city create new opportunities for designers and citizens to envision a utopian future. For example, in a workshop run by the Duwamish Cleanup Coalition participants were asked to imagine a future Duwamish in 2035, post-cleanup, and describe it to a mock reporter. The group I was in, Combating Apathy, described a Duwamish that incorporated the existing industrial landscape (with new green industry), recreation, and habitat. We thought about the ways that citizens could experience this unique landscape and begin to read its complex layers, and how the river could become more noticeable for people interested in recreation. The DRCC representative (pretending to be a reporter) acted surprised that we would still have industry, yet that is the largest contributor to economic value in the area and also the most interesting thing about it while taking part in an activity like kayaking or biking along the river. The utopian version of this vision is to green industry along the Duwamish by changing the built environment. For example, Delta Marine, a Yacht builder located on the banks of the Duwamish Turning Basin, renovated its building to enclose their operations after learning more about contamination of the river.122 Their education came via a restoration project next door, a physical reminder of the stewardship responsibility we have as humans for the Duwamish. Another interesting vision was one I found in a Port/City of Seattle created coloring book, depicting the industrial past, cleanup (with bulldozer), and future vision of typical suburban fabric. I envision a place that supports industry, recreation, and residential living – mixed use, a vibrant mixture of activities, times occupied, and people living in proximity and connected by infrastructure.


designing for the future

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The Duwamish Valley Vision Map represents input from neighborhood workshops, interviews with business leaders, children and teens, fishermen and river users; and Cambodian, Vietnamese, and Spanish-speaking residents of the Duwamish Valley. It was compiled by the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition for a 2009 report. Four â&#x20AC;&#x153;priority themesâ&#x20AC;? were identified: Community Amenities, Economic Development, Environmental Features and Transportation. Workshops stressed the need to clean up pollution in the Duwamish River, restore habitat, improve air and water quality, and increase outdoor recreation opportunities in the Duwamish Valley. Residents would like to maintain the diversity, sense of community, affordibility, and eclectic and mixeduse character of the neighborhoods bordering the river. A majority of the participants of the Duwamish Valley Vision Project value the mix of industrial, commercial, residential, green space, and habitat in the Duwamish Valley. Most people recognize and appreciate the economic base that industry provides in the South Seattle area, and would like to see it and the jobs it provides, preserved. Participants also expressed their desire for industry and business to be more environmentally friendly and sustainable, and envision the Duwamish River Valley as a future hub for green industry in the region. [Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition]


ENDNOTES: APPROACH AND METHODS 64. Corner, James. Recovering Landscape : Essays in Contemporary Landscape Architecture. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1999. Print. 65. In “A Critique of Urban Geography” (1955), Guy Debord states, “Of all the affairs we participate in, with or without interest, the groping quest for a new way of life is the only thing that remains really exciting. Aesthetic and other disciplines have proved glaringly inadequate in this regard and merit the greatest indifference.” The term psycogeography was coined by Kaybyle, and Debord explains, “Geography, for example, deals with the determinant action of general natural forces, such as soil composition or climactic conditions, on the economic structures of society, and thus on the corresponding conception that such a society can have of the world.” Psycogeography thus is the study of the geographical environment as it relates to the effects on specific individuals.” Knabb, Ken, and Collection Paul Avrich. Situationist International Anthology. Berkeley, Calif.: Bureau of Public Secrets, 1981. Print. 66. Knabb, Ken. Situationist International Anthology. Berkeley, CA: Bureau of Public Secrets, 1981. Print. 67. In “A Critique of Urban Geography” (1955), Guy Debord states, “Of all the affairs we participate in, with or without interest, the groping quest for a new way of life is the only thing that remains really exciting. Aesthetic and other disciplines have proved glaringly inadequate in this regard and merit the greatest indifference.” The term psycogeography was coined by Kaybyle, and Debord explains, “Geography, for example, deals with the determinant action of general natural forces, such as soil composition or climactic conditions, on the economic structures of society, and thus on the corresponding conception that such a society can have of the world.” Psycogeography thus is the study of the geographical environment as it relates to the effects on specific individuals.” In “Theory of the Derive,” Debord quotes Marx: “Men can see nothing around them that is not in their own image; everything speaks to them of themselves. Their very landscape is alive.” 68. Ibid, “With the aid of old maps, aerial photographs and experimental derives, one can draw up hitherto lacking maps of influences, maps whose inevitable imprecision at this early stage is no worse than that of the earliest navigation charts.” Guy Debord 69. missing 70. Cosgrove, Denis E. Mappings. London: Reaktion, 1999. Print. 71. Pg. 12 Cosgrove explains the importance of maps: “All the resources of visualization and graphic communication are combined in mapping; the map is perhaps the most sophisticated form yet devised for recording, generating, and transmitting knowledge.” 72. Cosgrove, Denis E. Mappings. Print. Pg 19. 73. Richard Weller’s “An art of instrumentality: thinking through landscape urbanism” article in Waldheim, Charles. The Landscape Urbanism Reader. 74. World Commission on Environment and Development. Our Common Future. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 1987. Print. 75. de Certeau, Michel. The Practice of Everyday Life. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984. Print. Pg 91. 76. ASLA Blog:The Dirt. Web. <http://dirt.asla.org/2011/04/20/visualizing-the-dangers-of-toxic-brownfields>. In addition, communication can help people to understand the problems at hand. The ASLA blog The Dirt recently posted several links to social media websites that can educate the public about toxic brownfields. The Duwamish River Cleanup coalition website also contains many informative links and a plethora of information on the Superfund project: <http://www.duwamishcleanup.org/> 77. Mathur, Anuradha, and Dilip da Cunha. Mississippi Floods : Designing a Shifting Landscape. New Haven:Yale University Press, 2001. Print. 78. Ibid. 79. Burden, Ernest E. Visionary Architecture : Unbuilt Works of the Imagination. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2000. Print. Pg v. 80. Ehrlich, Eugene. Oxford American Dictionary. New York: Oxford UP, 1980. Print. “Eidectic” (adj): relating to or denoting mental images having unusual vividness and detail, as if actually visible. 81. James Corner, “Representation and Landscape” (1994) in Swaffield, Simon R. Theory in Landscape Architecture : A Reader. Penn Studies in Landscape Architecture. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002. Print. 82. “Palimpsest.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, 2011. Web. 20 October 2011. 83. Colafranceschi, Daniela. Landscape + 100 Words to Inhabit It. Barcelona: Editorial Gustavo Gili, 2007. Print. This reading of the Duwamish encompasses several of the categories, but the focus in on landscape as history, an “accumulation” of the past peoples and processes that have created it. 84. Meinig, D. W., and John Brinckerhoff Jackson. The Interpretation of Ordinary Landscapes: Geographical Essays. New York: Oxford University Press, 1979. Print. Pg 34. 85. Harris, Dianne Suzette, and D. Fairchild Ruggles. Sites Unseen: Landscape and Vision. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2007. Print. Pg 6. 86. Ipsen, Detlev, and Holger Weichler. Landscape Urbanism. Kassel 2005. Print. Pg 43. 87. Harris, Dianne Suzette, and D. Fairchild Ruggles. Sites Unseen: Landscape and Vision. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2007. Print. 88. Corner, James. “Representation and Landscape” in Swaffield, Simon R. Theory in Landscape Architecture: A Reader. Penn Studies in Landscape Architecture. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002. Print. Pg 144 89. Corner, James in Cosgrove, Denis E. Mappings. Critical Views. London: Reaktion Books, 1999. 90. Corner, James. “Representation and Landscape” in Swaffield, Simon R. Theory in Landscape Architecture: A Reader. Penn Studies in Landscape Architecture. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002. Print. 91. Ibid. 92. Reed, Peter, and Art Museum of Modern. Groundswell: Constructing the Contemporary Landscape. New York: Museum of Mod-


ern Art, 2005. Print. 93. In extreme cases like nuclear fallout (Chernobyl) and Demilitarized Zones, habitat has been reclaimed from urban areas without restoration work or cleanup being undertaken by people. In Chernobyl, dense forests have reclaimed built areas and animals that are rarely seen in Europe such as moose are living there, but many have genetic damage and radiation-induced illnesses. This observation has been argued by some who believe that it is a thriving environment for wildlife – one US Department of Energy researcher goes so far as to state that the “environment created by the Chernobyl disaster is better for animals.” [Birch, Douglas. “Contaminated Zone near Chernobyl Nuclear Plant Becomes Wildlife Haven, Intriguing Biologists.” Environmental News Network June 8, 2007 2007. Print.] 94. Wolff, Jane. Delta Primer : A Field Guide to the California Delta. San Francisco; Santa Monica, CA: William Stout Publishers ; Distributed in North America by RAM Publications and Distribution, 2003. Print. 95. James Corner, “Ecology and Landscape as Agents of Creativity,” in [Ecological Design and Planning. 1997. John Wiley. Print. Pg 82 96. Lyle, John Tillman. Regenerative Design for Sustainable Development. New York: John Wiley, 1994. Print. 97. World Commission on, Environment, and Development. Our Common Future. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 1987. Print. Pg 3 98. Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. “Center for Industrial Ecology”. December 2011. <http://cie.research.yale. edu/>. 99. World Commission on Environment and Development. Our Common Future. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 1987. Print. Pg 11 100. Wilson, Edward O. The Future of Life. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2002. Print. 101. One way could be through art: Robert Smithson dealt with residual space in his work…(see 1967 “A Tour of the Monuments of Passaic, NJ” in which he explores what he calls “nonsites”.) Smithson, Robert, and Jack D. Flam. Robert Smithson, the Collected Writings. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996. Print. 102. In the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the issue of dealing with post-industrial sites started to become evident. For example in Paris, Parc des Buttes Chaumont was built in the late 19th century on the site of a former quarry. This quote from Uvedale Price in 1810 sums up the gradual change of post-industrial landscapes over time: “The side of the smooth green hill, torn by floods, may at first very properly be called deformed; and by the same principle, though not with the same impression, as a gash in a living animal. When the rawness of such a gash in the ground is softened, and in part concealed and ornamented by the effects of time, and the progress of vegetation, deformity by this natural process, is converted into picturesqueness; and this is the case with quarries, gravel pits, etc., which are at first deformities, and which in their most picturesque state, are often considered as such by a leveling improver.” 103. Meyer, E. K. “Sustaining Beauty: The Performance of Appearance.” Landsc. Archit. Landscape Architecture 98.10 (2008): 92-131. Print. 104. McHarg, Ian L., and Frederick R. Steiner. To Heal the Earth : Selected Writings of Ian L. Mcharg. Washington, D.C.: Island Press, 1998. Print. 105. One way to do this is to change how we see and understand landscape through representation and communication. 106. Randolph Hester “Community Design (1974) in Swaffield, Simon R. Theory in Landscape Architecture : A Reader. Penn Studies in Landscape Architecture. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002. Print. 107. Hou, Jeffrey and Isami Kinoshita. “Bridging Community Differences through Informal Processes: Reexamining Participatory Planning in Seattle and Matsudo.” Journal of Planning Education and Research 26(3) (2007): 301-13. Print. 108. Mugerauer, Robert, and Lynne Manzo. Environmental Dilemmas: Ethical Decision Making. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2008. Print. 109. Hall, Peter Geoffrey. Great Planning Disasters. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1982. Print. 110. Meyer, E. K. “Sustaining Beauty: The Performance of Appearance.” Landsc. Archit. Landscape Architecture 98.10 (2008): 92-131. Print. 111. In Kirkwood, Niall. Manufactured Sites : Rethinking the Post-Industrial Landscape. London; New York: Spon Press, 2001. Print. Pg 52 112. Kirkwood, Niall. Manufactured Sites: Rethinking the Post-Industrial Landscape. London; New York: Spon Press, 2001. Print. Pg 41 113. From Larc 561 lecture and discussion, “Regenerative Design” October 18, 2010. 114. During one community meeting regarding the Superfund progress that I attended, a survey was given to us by the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition (DRCC), asking citizens what their preferred cleanup options were. 115. Meyer, E. K. “Sustaining Beauty: The Performance of Appearance.” Landscape Architecture 98.10 (2008): 92-131. Print. 116. Kirkwood, Niall. Manufactured Sites : Rethinking the Post-Industrial Landscape. London; New York: Spon Press, 2001. Print. pg 57 117. Ibid pg 58 118. Ibid pg 8 119. McDonough, William, and Michael Braungart. Cradle-to-Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things. New York: North Point Press, 2002. Print. (pg 162) 120. Sorkin, Michael. “Eutopia Now!” Harvard Design Magazine 31.Fall/Winter 2009/10 (2010): 6-21. Print. Pg 7. 121. Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition et. al., “Haunted Halloween Toxic Tour.” Seattle 2011.


palimpsest n.1. A manuscript, typically of papyrus or parchment, that has been written on more than once, with the earlier writing incompletely erased and often legible. 2. An object, place, or area that reflects its history


DUWAMISH PALIMPSEST


Above: Sketchup model of a portion of the Duwamish River showing only lines Opposite: Graphic representation of nine words that form framework for analysis of the Duwamish River


FRAMING THE SITE ANALYSIS AND DESIGN PROCESS BY MEANS OF NINE THEMES Site research spans various scales of geography and time, making connections between events and places. Taking time to dwell on things that are uncovered with the research, and getting to know the site and the neighborhood is an essential part of the process. The Duwamish, like every other site or landscape, is a dynamic system of networks and ecologies. Thinking about this system and the siteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s place in it is necessary. The landscape architectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s palette includes vegetation, but giving life to a site also includes creating living soils as well as activity and habitat, networking the site as a node in a larger system of ecology, economy, and society. Altering the site allows the landscape architect to use tools of changing landscape, through moving ground or cutting into it, changing the course of water flow, building structures, and projecting alternative futures, among other modifications. To study the past, experience the present, and imagine a new future for the Duwamish as a designer, it was necessary to identify a framework that could organize the plethora of information available to research on this multi-layered landscape, to contemplate a point of view, and to invent ideas for solving problems and activating place. To categorize my findings and interventions, I developed a framework of nine guiding words: Altering, Flowing, Spanning, Concealing, Revealing, Dwelling, Living, and Accumulating. The following section outlines the challenges and opportunities inherent in the Duwamish, exploring the site layer by layer through these words.

flowing shifting

accumulating

dwelling spanning

concealing altering

revealing living


alter v. To change or make different; modify


“With salmon gone and industry moved in birds don’t bite the water. Once this river brought a cascade color to the sea. Now the clouds are cod, crossing on the prowl beneath the dredge that heaps a hundred tons of crud on barges for the dumping ground” -Richard Hugo, “Duwamish Head” 1965


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ALTERING: THE HISTORY OF THE DUWAMISH RIVER Through this lens we read a long history of land use and inhabitation. Fifty million years ago the area we now call Seattle was warm and humid, and the mountains in what is now Idaho drained west in a wide delta, forming boundaries between land and water with sediment. Fourteen million years later the Cascades were pushed up through violent volcanic activity. The weather began to cool and conifers and other landscape features we associate with the Pacific Northwest began to take shape, and about 25 million years ago volcanic activity changed the direction of the rivers so that they flowed toward what was to become the Pacific Ocean and Puget Sound. Until the river was straightened in the early 20th century, the last major changes to the Duwamish Valley were around 5000 years ago. After retreating glaciers shaped the valley for a couple of millions of years, the Osceola Mudflow (lahar from Mount Rainier â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2,000 feet of mountaintop) brought sediment from the White River and the Green River into the valley in a violent and noisy landslide. The eventual movement of the mud by the forces of water caused the delta to creep north over time, where it met the sea in saltwater marshes. Upland, forests of sitka spruce, willow, red alder, black cottonwood, wild roses, spirea, and blackberry provided habitat for bears and deer. At one time, the Black River drained Lake Washington into the Duwamish.

Top: 1851 Land claims map [historylink.org] Bottom: Kelly Homestead on the Duwamish, 1850 [Seattle PI]

Native people probably moved to the area around 7,000 years ago. They hunted, gathered, timbered, and raised crops along the meandering river. When the tide went out, blue


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mussels, butter clams, basket cockles, bent nose clams, limpets, horse clams, oysters, whelps, barnacles and crabs provided people and birds with a feast.123 In 1855 a treaty was signed that made the tribes relinquish their right to their land, and soon after the Indian War broke out. Around this time, after the 1850 Oregon Donation Act124 that gave settlers hundreds of acres homesteaders along the Duwamish were claiming land and constructing dikes to keep the water back from fields during floods. At this time, most of the soil along the Duwamish was deemed good or excellent by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and land was used mainly for agriculture, hunting, and foraging. In the last few decades of the 19th century hops brought wealth to the valley, shipping this main ingredient for beer throughout the United States and to England. After the Klondike Gold Rush boom in Seattle, industrialists began to think about major changes to the Duwamish, to fill tidelands for development in the guise of doing something to control the floodprone river. In 1906 a major flood occurred that prompted a movement to straighten the river and a meeting of about 300 landowners and other interested people created a committee to hire Major Hiram Chittenden from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to fix the problem. In 1910 riverside property owners voted to create the Duwamish Commercial Waterway District and dredge and straighten the river, shortening it by over half its original, meandering length. Imagine the incredible power of this project, the noise it must have created. As Mike Sato explains, “The steam shovels, drag lines, and suction dredge obliterated the river delta and estuarine habitat that had taken 10,000 years to build.”125 Politicians decided how to divide the rivers based on political boundaries. The Port of Seattle was created the following year, and at this time other measures to change the flow, location, and direction of the region’s rivers were underway, along with the canal and locks opening Lake Washington to Puget Sound. The river was straightened by the Army Corps to ease navigation and divert floodwaters to the sea. Ironically, the flooding that the straightening was supposed to fix was exacerbated by the work to separate water and land; however the politicians, industrialists and waterfront land owners who were leading the project had convinced the wary public that dredging and straightening the Duwamish to channel floodwaters to the sea was an “exceptional” project that justified “exceptional measures for carrying it into execution.”126 Many were against the project, especially the people that were using the land already for farming and hunting. The Pacific Sportsmans Group was one of the more vocal entities against the project, stating publicly in 1906 in an attempt to counterbalance the media campaign by the people who were in favor of straightening the Duwamish, “If you didn’t know the west coast country and read newspapers alone, you would think that the mountains were tumbling down and the whole country being swept into the Pacific Ocean. The drainage amounts to very little, and the flood itself left behind a gift for farmers and wildlife alike: river mud, which is the best fertilizer for land that the world holds.”127


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Topographical map of Seattle, Washington, 1909, showing the old route of the Duwamish River. Also predates Lake Washington Ship Canal. Original caption: “Seattle Harbor 1909” [www..w.ikipedia.org]

DUWAMISH PALIMPSEST

Topographical map of Seattle, Washington, 1909, showing the projected rerouting of the Duwamish River, route for the Lake Washington Ship Canal, and other shoreline proposals. Original caption: “Seattle Harbor after the completion of The Lake Washington Ship Canal and Duwamish River Improvement”. [www..w.ikipedia.org]


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The progress and profit brought by industry and one of the busiest ports on the west coast came at a cost: “a daily life cut off from the waters that nourished the land and its people” and by “cutting the trees, clearing the banks, filling the wetlands, dredging the shallows, and flushing our wastes into the river’s waters, we have made the migratory highway of the mighty salmon a repository for our pollution.”128 Harbor Island, the home of the port today, was built using the dredged tidal flat mud. During WWI, Seattle gained prominence as a shipbuilding city, and the waterfront was full of warehouses, wharves, and cold-storage facilities. During WWII, after nearly all of the tidal swamps and wetlands had disappeared, the Boeing manufacturing plant Boeing Plant 2 made warplanes. It was concealed with a ¾ scale model of a typical suburban neighborhood to hide it from Japanese planes during the war. Today, in 2011, the factory is being demolished and plans are to restore what was once a massive structure built over the river on piers back to tidal wetland. Many of the industrial buildings on the Duwamish today were built in the modern era. Modernism as an urban movement attempted to compartmentalize the city, separating disparate uses and get rid of uncertainty. This partially destroyed the multilayered, multifunctional, and often conflicting nature of cities that had been characteristic of them. The modern city, “emphasized regularity more than fantasy and imagination, and order rather than tumult… The temporality of landscapes renders them forever incomplete, and this incompletion can be seen as an antidote to the implicit finitude of zoning.”129 Architects during the modern era often worked on a grand scale – usually forgetting about or erasing landscape experience, community, and history with their grand urban design gestures. The LDW is a product of this tendency to compartmentalize uses in urban areas through zoning that began with modernism, with the river getting formed and reformed, “from that of an undisturbed natural watershed to the modern highly urbanized and industrialized community we have today,” as state fisheries biologists wrote to the Army Corps of Engineers in 1967.130 In 2001 the Lower Duwamish Waterway was declared a Superfund Site, due to unsafe levels of contamination in the riparian area, sediment, and water, brought about by the effects of heavy industry (point source pollution) and stormwater (non-point source pollution). Goals of the cleanup are still being discussed, after the publication of a Feasibility Study document that outlines various levels of cleanup goals and methods of achieving those goals. Again, the flow of the Duwamish will be significantly altered, to undo some of the damage to humans and wildlife brought about by massive changes made over a century ago to Seattle’s only river.

Sectional changes after the “Duwamish River Improvement” [author]


flow v. To move or run smoothly with unbroken continuity, as in the manner characteristic of a fluid


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FLOWING: ECOLOGY OF THE DUWAMISH RIVER Flowing suggests both the river as well as the ecological and geological processes that comprise the site. The Duwamish is a tidal Estuary formed by the confluence of the Black and Green Rivers, which drain a large area from the Cascade Mountains to Elliot Bay in Puget Sound. The Duwamish River is Seattle’s only river, beginning in the Cascade Mountains and meandering over 93 miles of varied terrain as it makes its way to sea level and Elliot Bay. In the last seven miles, the river is channelized into the Duwamish Waterway and is the center of the largest concentration of industry in the Puget Sound Region,131 with various businesses and the Port of Seattle. Before the Duwamish was straightened in the early 1900s, the area that is now the Lower Duwamish Waterway was an estuary of intertidal mud and sand flats, estuarine marsh, forested wetland, and meandering shallow river channel. This extensive habitat area was approximately 5,300 acres. In 1906 the beginning of a major re-plumbing of the region’s rivers began with the diversion of the White River into the Puyallup River for flood control. Later, in 1916 the Cedar/Black River was diverted into Lake Washington to support movement through the new Ship Canal. These changes diverted around 70 percent of the watershed out of the Green/Duwamish Watershed.132 High in the mountains the water that will eventually flow into the Duwamish begins to flow in a landscape of forests that from above has a checkerboard pattern, due to the way that land was allocated to the timber companies. The Green River’s headwaters are at 4,300-foot elevation on Blowout Mountain. The headwaters are formed by rain, runoff and snowmelt from Tacoma, Pioneer, Twin Camp, Sawmill, and Sunday Creeks and gain velocity as the water drops through 13 miles of steep, narrow gorge. The Upper and Middle Green subwatersheds comprise most of the land of the Green/ Duwamish Watershed. Between the two upper subwatersheds lies the Howard Hanson Dam, one of the major obstacles for natural waterflow and salmon migration along the Green/Duwamish River. In 2004 a fish ladder and trap-and-haul system was completed to allow fish to migrate upstream over the dams,


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and this project was done after a 2001 report by the Trust for Public Lands naming the Middle Green â&#x20AC;&#x153;one of the best river reaches for salmon remaining in Puget Sound.â&#x20AC;?133 Migration of fish and other animals add another type of flow to the Duwamish. Despite the channelization of the river horizontally, tidal changes vertically can reach between -3.4 feet and 12.8 feet.134 This type of change has very different implications depending on the type of shoreline present. Today only about one percent of the original mudflats and eleven percent of the tidal marshes remain in the Duwamish. Saltwater wetlands and 7 out of 200 acres of freshwater wetlands are gone.135 Changes to the shoreline by flood control structures isolated 90 percent of the historic floodplain from the Duwamish itself. Only 8 percent of the spawning habitat for salmon and other migratory fish remains.136 EPA cleanup combined with a habitat strategy for the former estuary aim to improve habitat to approximately 30% of the historical area.137 Herrings House Park is an example of a recent project designed to improve aquatic habitat along the Lower Duwamish. Designed by JA Brennan Associates, Herrings House Park contains a manufactured tidal estuary created by a process of removing 16,000 cubic yards of fossil fuel contaminated soil along with creosote pilings, broken rock, asphalt, brick, concrete and metal debris, followed by bringing in new soil to construct 900 linear feet of shoreline and 1.8 acres of intertidal estuary. The landscape architecture firm worked with a team of scientists (including an estuarine ecologist, wetlands ecologists, and a fisheries biologist),

Photos taken at a protected area of the Green Watershed, the place where water is diverted into a pipe that heads to the City of Tacoma. [author]


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permit specialists, and tribal and agency representatives.138 An adaptive management plan was created for the project to monitor ecological function. However functional this park may be ecologically, it suffers from a lack of interest for humans beyond walking on paths and looking at views of the created estuary. By programming the park a little more and perhaps adding feedback from people who have used the park, it could be a more successful and memorable park. Joan Nassauer explains why this is important in her article “Messy Ecosystems, Orderly Frames.” She argues that people cannot see ecological quality directly, but that they do so through a complex cultural framework; and that “we must design to frame ecological function within a recognizable system of form,” if we are to assist people to see ecological quality. By showing traces of the tides, for example, would help someone visiting Herrings House Park at a low-tide moment to understand that the middle of the estuary is not just an unprogrammed mud pit, but a place of ecological action over time.

Herrings House Park from the air and on the ground. The top photo shows the park and surroundings from the air at high tide, the bottom, on the ground at low tide. Views to neighboring industry are highlighted with benches and a clearing in the trees. {Top image by SPU in Seattle Municipal Archivess. Middle and bottom photos taken by author]

Between the Green River’s source in the mountains and the Duwamish Waterway lies a complex amalgamation of nature and culture – or nature and technology – with meandering mountain streams flowing through cliffs and then into a large pipe that brings the water supply to Tacoma, under railroad and auto bridges, through dense forest and golf courses, by houses and levee-protected farms, warehouses, and parking lots. One of the main issues facing the Superfund cleanup is facing the fact that pollution today is not like that of the time when factories released the byproducts of their manufacturing into the Duwamish River.139


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Waterfront development and the growth of the City of Seattle into the Duwamish Watershed has cleared much of the mature forest vegetation and replaced it with impervious or compacted surfaces, reducing the infiltration capacity of the landscape (and thus creating more opportunities for flooding and stormwater runoff.140 Today, stormwater containing non-point source pollution is the biggest obstacle to water quality. How can the EPA and the community decide what level to clean the Duwamish Waterway if the upriver strip malls, golf courses, and other small-scale pollutants are going to continue to contaminate the water? How do we (and who gets to) decide on the balance of ecological restoration and economy-generating industry at this point in the River/Waterway/Estuary’s lifespan? A major issue with the Lower Duwamish Waterway Superfund Site is the movement of sediment in a tidal estuary like the Duwamish. An estimated 100,000 metric tons of sediment are deposited in the Duwamish every year, mixing with the existing contaminated sediment, and almost all of the new sediment originates in the Green/Duwamish River upstream (with about 1% from storm drains, CSOs, and streams). Mixing of sediment occurs when disturbances like ship-induced bed scour, high flow events, and dredging create processes of bioturbation, resuspension, and redeposition.141 Chemical concentrations of LDW sediments “are expected to be reduced as a result of remedial actions and then to gradually lower over a period of decades to concentrations close to those found in upstream sediment and suspended solids.”142 At one time, before the Duwamish was straightened, those sediments were allowed to flow freely onto the land in flood events, accumulating as and rejuvenating the existing soil.

Big-box stores and accompanying parking lots are a common sight along the Middle Green River. Top: Tukwila Costco, which lies on the banks of the Green River [Image from winnrichey.com] Above: The Green River and Green River trail (Costco lies just off the page) [Image by Joe Mabel from commons.wikimedia.org]

A Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) release point on the Lower Duwamish. CSO’s occur when the capacity of Seattle’s drainage system for stormwater and sewage is exceeded and raw sewage pours into our waterbodies. Overflows were around 190 million gallons in 2010, down from 30 billion in 1970 (seattle. gov) [Image by author]


accumulate v. gather together or acquire an increasing quantity of; gather or build up


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ACCUMULATING: BUILDUP OF CONTAMINATION Accumulating is a means of gathering, overlapping, and intersecting- where layers upon layers become enmeshed in one another. In addition to the accumulation of history around the Duwamish, there are considerable toxins built up in the riverine soils and sediments over time. The main chemical contaminants of the LDW are: polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins/furans, arsenic, carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (cPAHs), and phthalates, among many others.144 Due to high concentrations of these dangerous contaminants, a portion of the Duwamish River was named Superfund on September 13, 2001, setting into motion what Mark Purcell calls “a complex mixture of federal, state, and local procedures that are shaped to a significant degree by the political, economic, and cultural specifics of the Seattle context.”145 Superfund is a federal program run by the USEPA that formed under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERLA) of 1980,146 and originally was based on a tax on industry that could help pay for the cleanup process of decades of contamination by chemicalbased industries. Superfund has two purposes: imposing liability on “Potentially Responsible Parties” and to authorize the government to collect money for cleanup through tax on industry.147 Superfund liability is imposed on the current owners of a site, despite who was originally at fault, which discourages property transfers. This is changing, with barriers to redevelopment being lifted. The change will be beneficial to brownfield sites, usually deemed too expensive to clean up and build on but are also the most connected to infrastructure, and will encourage the preservation of greenfield sites. Financial incentives and reduction of liability risk is key to the development of manufactured sites. Other key factors in cleanup are the standard to which the final result is held. Acceptable levels of contaminants in relationship to human safety must be determined, which affects cost of cleanup greatly. The Lower Duwamish Waterway Superfund site is a 5.5-mile stretch of the Duwamish River at the edge of Elliott Bay. Here, an industrial corridor and the residential South Park and Georgetown neighborhoods flank the Duwamish. Because of the contamination, state and local health departments warn against eating resident crab, shellfish, or bottom-feeding fish (but not salmon, which move quickly through the waterway) from the Lower Duwamish. 148 This is an issue of environmental justice, considering that most of the people fishing in the Duwamish are doing so for subsistence. There is also danger in contact with sedimentation/soil, and the water itself; and all of these risks are related. Soil is a complex conglomeration of inorganic minerals and organic matter (including decaying things, microorganisms, plants, and animals). 149 The balance of this complex ecosystem is in danger when contamination is present, especially in levels found at the Duwamish Superfund Site; and contamination flows through the water, up through plants, and into the bodies of animals, usually compounding effects toward the top of the food chain. In 2010 a Feasibility Study was submitted to the USEPA and the Washington State Department


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of Ecology (WADE) by the Lower Duwamish Waterway Group, a partnership between the City of Seattle, King County, Port of Seattle, and the Boeing Company to help guide decisions of the Superfund cleanup, with goals being to reduce carcinogens and other risks to people and wildlife along the LDW. The areas that the Superfund addresses include the river itself along with several Early Action Areas that have been identified because they are the most contaminated sites along the waterway. These areas encompass 29 acres of the 441 acres and once cleaned up, is projected to reduce contaminants by about half. These sites were mainly former chemical-heavy industries. In addition to removing toxic sediment, source control is one very important aspect of the cleanup, since so much money is being put into reducing contamination in the last few miles of a 93-mile river. The Washington State Department of Ecology (WADE) is addressing the 32 square mile drainage basin that surrounds the waterway, but it is not part of the Feasibility Study for cleanup of the Duwamish. The bureaucratic nature of the Superfund, the difficulty of coordination when various landowners are involved, and the fact that borders are usually not along environmental boundaries are factors that contribute to a disjunction between cleanup now and the future contamination level of the site. The present cleanup plan (Feasibility Study) seems to focus only on toxins, leaving out other important factors such as land use, history, landscape, and people. When I spoke to some of the engineers who had worked on the document, I understood that this was done intentionally. Due to the political nature of the Superfund cleanup, the scope of work and cost of implementation, the huge number of stakeholders and timeline of their involvement, and the inability to predict the future, it was necessary to focus only on toxins in the LDW and find strategies for cleanup using tested methods that were acceptable. Toxic site cleanup is important to the health of our ecosystems and communities. Lots of money (hundreds of millions of dollars), effort and energy are being put into the

Lower Duwamish Waterway maps from the Feasibility Study. The upper map shows detailed measurements of sediment concentration, the bottom, contamination. [Maps by Windward Environmental LLC]


METHODS FOR MANAGING CONTAMINATED SEDIMENTS EXPLAINED IN THE USEPA DUWAMISH SUPERFUND FACT SHEET

REMOVAL

Physical removal or dredging of contaminated sediments. Options to deal with the dredged material after removal include: treatment and disposal; on-site (e.g. in contained in-water disposal facility) or off-site disposal (e.g. in a permitted landfill)

REMOVAL CONTAINMENT

Containment or capping (covering with clean material) of contaminated sediments, typically using layers of sand, gravel, and rock designed to contain and isolate the pollution.

CONTAINMENT ENR

Using a thin layer of sand to cover the pollution and speed up natural recovery.

ENHANCED NATURAL RECOVERY MNR

Relies on natural flow of cleaner sediments from upriver to cover contaminated sediments, in the lower waterway, and includes long-term monitoring. [LDWG/AECOM]

MONITORED NATURAL RECOVERY


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cleanup of the Duwamish Superfund Site and other similar sites. The scale that the Duwamish Waterway Superfund’s influence extends to is massive, especially since it is a continuously flowing river. Water flows into Puget Sound (and from an upper watershed) and distributes toxins throughout the region causing far-reaching effects. In The Granite Garden, Anne Winston Spirn explains strategies for finding solutions to environmental and quality of life problems like the Duwamish contamination through coordinated, small-scale changes: “Disregard of natural processes in the city is, always has been, and always will be both costly and dangerous…The cost of disregarding nature extends also to the quality of life…Incremental change through small projects is often more manageable, more feasible, less daunting, and more adaptable to local needs and values. When coordinated, incremental changes can have a far-reaching effect. Solutions need not be comprehensive, but the understanding of the problem must be.”150 Understanding that the Duwamish is a palimpsest is critical to finding solutions that support efforts to frame a healthy future for the Duwamish. As citizens and designers we need to turn a critical eye to the Superfund cleanup and especially its scale, and expand the scope of thought to the entire watershed, and also focus on details of particular places. Through the world there are “emerging efforts to address the legacy of contaminated and derelict lands that have been left by past industrial activity”151 The restoration and reuse of industrial land in the urban landscape is an important part of many city plans and as Niall Kirkwood describes their varied natures and potentials, “Thousands of manufactured sites are now to be found in major metropolitan centers…a mere listing of these places does little to describe the extent of this industrial legacy nationwide. Nor do the sites themselves suggest any single pattern for their future regeneration – they appear initially too haphazard in their nature, size, location, and extent of environmental degradation. The pressures for redevelopment are immense, the factors of ownership and contamination are significant, and the visions for a site’s reuse are as numerous as there are interested parties.”152 There were 500,000 brownfield sites in the United States as of 2001 (the year the Duwamish was declared Superfund). Brownfields, according to Kirkwood, are defined as, “abandoned or underused industrial and commercial sites where redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived contamination,” but “the term is more commonly associated with land that has immediate potential for redevelopment.” The most important issues surrounding brownfields are: hazardous substances left in soils, ground water, and buildings, and the motivation and physical means to return these sites to productive use. Manufactured sites include: sites found in older manufacturing towns which reflect past industrial use, sites that are “environmentally challenged” and the processes and techniques used to clean them up, and an interdisciplinary approach to reclaiming sites that have been altered by industrial activity.153 These sites are easily recognizable, and many have huge, non-monumental buildings left over from industry. In Drosscape, Alan Berger points out that the term “postindustrial” causes problems for re-


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making what he calls “drosscapes” or “waste landscape.”154 By calling a site “postindustrial” it becomes difficult to rethink solutions, view the site as a place of ongoing processes (rather than a static, finished one), and think about sites as having a relationship to other places and systems. Berger’s reframing of the concept of these sites as being embodied with more than just their industrial past and doing away with preconceived notions of what “postindustrial” means is an important first step in reclaiming them for new uses. He claims that “Deindustrialization is most interesting when considered in terms of production and geography” and I have to agree with this in terms of the Duwamish, especially when looking at the production of the myth or image of the Duwamish compared with its role in the global economy; and with its set-in-place geography as a tidal estuary originating in the Cascades, and flowing eventually into the Pacific Ocean. The change in mindset of the landscape architect as providing “respite from urban congestion and the pollution created by industrialization” must be replaced by a practice that conflates industrialization (and its legacies) and environmentally and socially forward-thinking processes and designs. The expansion of the urbanized area of Seattle into the Duwamish River Valley and the mix of industry, residential, commercial, and contaminated sites creates opportunities for the paradigm shift for land use planning strategies that Berger mentions, considering sites that contain environmental health risks as having potential for redevelopment, rather than simply being fraught with liability. His reasons for this shift in thinking – federal government policies, local planning for tax revenue benefits, and the relaxing of public attitudes towards contamination due to public relations campaigns are all relevant for the Duwamish Superfund Site. However, he ignores a fourth dimension: the spatial complexity and phenomenon embodied in the actual place. The Duwamish River is a palimpsest of history, building, landscape, and culture that cannot be separated from place, and this place has multiple meanings for Seattle residents and their ancestors or predecessors. Berger also argues that it is possible to have diverse ecological environments in contaminated sites, even in comparison to native landscapes nearby. This point is certainly true in the Duwamish, where seals, raptors, seabirds, and a variety of fish and other aquatic animals can be found living amongst the industrial infrastructure and contamination of the waterway. Of course, this causes serious problems. A high level of contaminants such as PCBs are found in Puget Sound’s orca whales,155 that have moved up the food chain, causing health problems that could lead to the whale’s extinction. Revitalizing ecological health is not only important for the health of humans and animals, but also could lead to expanded nature-based tourism in the unique and diverse landscape of the Duwamish. Reframing the image of the Duwamish through various techniques based in place (program, community, environment, etc.) has the potential to change the image of blight to an image of a fascinating, sublime, and vibrant place. Experimental design and remediation can find a place on brownfield sites. Berger notes, “Because of their contamination, industrial contexts, and secured perimeters, brownfield sites offer a viable platform from which to study urban ecology while performing reclamation techniques. These sites have the potential to accommodate new landscape design practices that concurrently clean up contamination during redevelopment, or more notably where reclamation becomes integral to the final design process and form.”


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Potential experimental remediation techniques that landscape architects can utilize in design include bioremediation, phytoremediation, and mycoremediation, along with experimenting with innovative ways to use or highlight traditional techniques like cap-and-fill and dredging. Traditional cleanup of industrial sites involves the movement of contamination and the soil it is in to a landfill, or the capping of the contaminant under asphalt or concrete on site. New technology “opens up opportunities for landscape architects, engineers, and biologists to work together to create new environments in formerly industrial settings.”156 Kirkwood’s Manufactured Sites looks at both “Sites of manufacture”: sites whose former activities have been industrial and manufacturing processes; “manufacture of sites”: environmentally compromised nature of these sites that has resulted from earlier periods of manufacturing, and also refers to technologies that clean up the site (like treatment of soil and groundwater, etc.). The dynamic nature of the existing site conditions and integration of technology with design can inform aesthetics and program in the re-imagining of a manufactured site. As Kirkwood explains, “Spatial, experiential and aesthetic clues can be drawn from technologies and these in turn can begin to inform design proposals. In short, site technologies are not viewed as physical constraints but as means of inspiration. At manufactured sites during the process of integrated redevelopment, designers look to the spatial and systematic form of remediation technologies introduced onto the site and the interaction of these technologies with progressive landscape design practices in the systematic production or “manufacture” of future sites. Project proposals and redevelopment strategies are no longer seen as the means to impose further changes or enlargements to the site area, rather they are integrated into a more holistic view of contaminated land reuse.”157 Sites can become public-private partnerships. Many groups are interested in and involved with such sites, from journalists to politicians to community groups, lawyers, lawmakers, developers, planners, engineers, designers, etc. In addition, new laws and federal attention to support revitalization – such as President Clinton’s 1997 State of the Union Address asserting that we should clean up “so that our children grow up with parks, not poison”158 – change public understanding, attention, and involvement in local brownfields. Several documents guide planning efforts for the Duwamish. They include: The Lower Duwamish River Remedial Investigation/Feasibility study outlining cleanup options for the Superfund Cleanup by the Lower Duwamish Waterway Group; the Lower Duwamish Habitat Restoration Plan by the Port of Seattle to look at potentials for habitat restoration on their properties along the Duwamish; the Lower Duwamish River Draft Restoration Plan and Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, a partnership between the Lower Duwamish River Natural Resource Trustees with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); the Duwamish Valley Visioning Project, a future visioning project and map made by the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition with Duwamish Valley residents and other stakeholders; the City of Seattle and City of Tukwila Shoreline Master Program Updates; and the WRIA Salmon Habitat Recovery, a partnership between 15 cities to work to improve the aquatic ecosystem of the region and revitalize the endangered Chinook Salmon population.


shift v. tr. 1. To exchange (one thing) for another of the same class 2. To move or transfer from one place or position to another. 3. To alter (position or place).


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SHIFTING: CHANGING NATURES By engaging the concept of shifting, I am able to consider both the actual land and its shifting ecologies, the shift of time, and the shifting that mapping and my reading might engage in changing understandings of place for others. Viewing a map of the Duwamish River made in the era before it was straightened is to view a mapmaker’s idea of what the river was like at a given time, but does not reflect the constant changing of the river’s boundaries and path through the landscape. The river course and level shifted with the tides, when encountering obstacles, and with the weather. Borders and boundaries were constantly shifting, a phenomenon that is not easily represented, especially in the 19th century. Understanding of a riverine landscape is difficult because the ground and water are constantly changing – shifting ground through flow of water and liquid flow through solid obstacles. As historian Kevin Starr states in landscape architect Jane Wolff’s Delta Primer, “Thinking about water is a complicated activity.” The experience of landscape and its representation are always different, and the way that people process their experience varies widely between different cultures and throughout time. The Duwamish tribe and the settlers of the turn of the century had completely different views on controlling and representing nature, and the farmers, fishermen, and hunters had very different views than the engineers. Through the dissemination of information through newspapers, the engineers who wanted to straighten the river were able to convince people that their representation of the Duwamish River – a wild, destructive force standing in the way of progress – trumped other views, such as being the provider of nutrient rich mud for farming and a source of life and food. Varied scales of time and geography are essential to understanding a site/place. Understandings of these ideas, and countless others, are cultural. Since Seattle was settled there have been huge conflicts between whites, natives, and other cultures of people who lived, used, and altered the Duwamish. In the early 20th century, when the Waterway was created the industrialists’ views of what the river was good for were completely different than the hunter, forager, fisher or farmer. Today in the information era our understandings of the Duwamish are equally, if not much more, fragmented. Some believe that the Duwamish should remain as it is – a polluted, industrial corridor. Others think that the river should be returned back to habitat, “restored” (as if at this point we could go back). Still others think that the river should be transformed into commercial office space, shifting our industrial base completely out of our region and to far-flung places like Asia (whose people will have to deal with the types of pollution the EPA Superfund is currently trying to manage here, but Seattle will not). Native tribes like the Muckleshoot want to be able to retain their fishing rights and increase the number of salmon in the river. The Duwamish people want to be able to fish in the river but need to first be recognized by the federal government before they are allowed. Fishermen want to be able to eat resident fish without being subjected to contaminants such as heavy metals. I believe that the future Duwamish can be a mixeduse place: worked in (both industrial and commercial jobs as it is today), lived in (by diverse people, in diverse living situations as it is today), and visited for recreation (such as kayaking, fishing, and spending time in parks). These land uses can all be designed and retrofitted to be clean, energy efficient, and


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have unique and positive experiential qualities. Superfund is a chance to begin with a clean(er) slate toward my vision, but it also requires additional funding, creativity and action by community members, government, and businesses beyond Superfund cleanup activities. Defining borders and boundaries of landscape, similar to defining ecological footprint, is difficult and perhaps impossible to comprehend. The elements of the landscape – in the sky, on the ground, and mediating inbetween – are ephemeral and therefore constantly changing. Perhaps the idea of ecological borders and the boundaries of landscape are irrelevant.159 The landscape architect works between scales and questions boundaries. Although designs concentrate on a specific parcel of land they are part of a network of sites, flows, and ecologies. During the design process for a site on the Duwamish, it is necessary to question and change boundaries – of parcels, of water and land, of neighborhoods – and to work across time scales and tides. Urbanism and globalization and the relationship between the Duwamish and its banks are in constant states of flux. In addition to the past and present conditions of shift, climate change is causing major shifts in climate already, and future rising sea levels threaten the Duwamish, with the potential to cause dramatic flooding of the region. It is imperative to create more places for water to collect and disseminate along the river through the planting of vegetation, especially trees, and creation of wetlands and sites such as parks that can be flooded to take some of the burden off of the more constructed

Images of a shifting landscape. From top: Waves at Elliot Bay; Airplanes moving through the air overhead; a hub for goods from all around the world; metal recycling on the waterway [author]


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environments, such as industrial areas, on the river. Along with this landscape change, new technologies to improve efficiency and lower greenhouse gases through changing industry and infrastructure will be needed, and with the right social, economic, and political conditions the industries along the Duwamish could lead the way in this necessary change. It is estimated that if greenhouse gases continue to increase the Earth could become warmer by 3.2 to 7.2 degrees F above 1990 levels by 2100. This will cause melting of icecaps and glaciers, thus causing rising sea level of up to two feet and subsequently, the loss of 10,000 square miles of land in the United States.160 This will threaten much of our industrial land and ports, and by inserting areas for water to go and vegetation to soak up water in waterfront industrial areas like the Duwamish will not only help to lessen these climate change-induced effects but will also make use of abandoned industrial sites for people and habitat. Landscape architects can become advocates for future green industry such as tidal and solar power generation, tourism, factories integrated as an industrial ecology system (with a closed loop waste cycle and sharing of inputs and outputs), small-scale manufacturing, and other future industries that will rely on a successful cleanup like agriculture and aquaculture. The commonly used term “postindustrial” implies that the site is static and in isolation; defined by its pre-industrial past rather than an ongoing process.161 Deindustrialization is, according to Alan Berger, “most interesting if it’s considered in terms of production and geography,”162 fluid qualities of urbanism that I am investigating here. He talks about the shift from a landscape architectural view that landscapes should be designed as a “respite from urban congestion and the pollution created by industrialization,”163 toward a broader understanding of the processes (local and global) that create waste landscapes that will in turn propel landscape-based adaptive reuse of these sites, “one of the twentyfirst century’s great infrastructural design challenges.”164 To meet these challenges, landscape architects must look at individual sites as part of a larger network of sites, flows, programs, ephemeral and static qualities, humans, industries, communities, topography, animals, hydrology, pollution, the sun, the moon and the tides to begin to design for fluid urbanism. Inventive new ways of conflating our need for new infrastructure and improving the old (like the LDW) can lead to the reworking of our cities to function as ecologically healthy whole systems. This is not going to happen on a massive planning scale, but with incremental changes, catalyzing processes that are “active, dynamic, and complex, each tending toward the increased differentiation, freedom, and richness of a diversely interacting whole. There is no end, no grand scheme for these agents of change, just a cumulative directionality toward further becoming.”165 Traditional views of landscape do not address our industrial and deindustrializing areas of our cities and therefore new cultural images, metaphorical and ideological representations, and ideas of landscape must be imagined for designers to effect change.


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Examples of the entry boards of two winners in the Rising Tides Competition, an ideas competition to address the sea level rise in the Bay Area. Sponsored by: San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), American Institute of Architects San Francisco (AIASF), BPS Reprographics, Ferry Building Marketplace (Equity Office), and Port of San Francisco; 130 entries from 18 countries were submitted. [www.risingtidescompetition.com; http://www.archdaily.com/29258/rising-tides-competition-results/]

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conceal v. To keep from being seen, found, observed, or discovered; hide


reveal adj. Permitting an elucidating glimpse or a perception of something intimate or concealed


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CONCEALING AND REVEALING: UNDERSTANDING THE PAST Juxtaposed against one another, concealing and revealing suggest that they are always simultaneous- as we conceal one element, we reveal another, and in doing so reveal our positions regarding the landscape. The Duwamish Superfund cleanup is being guided by the Feasibility Study (2010), a document prepared by the Lower Duwamish Waterway Group, a partnership between the City of Seattle, King County, Port of Seattle, and the Boeing Company. The Feasibility Study identifies several options for cleanup: dredging, capping, natural recovery, enhanced natural recovery, and treatment, along with monitoring.166 Enhanced Natural Recovery (ENR) refers to the application of thin layers of material, usually sand, to a sediment area targeted for remediation. Enhanced natural recovery reduces the time it takes to achieve the Remedial Action Objectives (RAOs), or goals of the chosen remedial action. Monitored Natural Recovery (MNR) is a passive technique, for places where the site conditions support natural recovery and assessed for whether progress is made in achieving RAOs. When Remedial Action Levels (RALs) are identified on a site, active remediation (dredging, capping, or enhanced natural recovery) is needed. RALs depend on the concentration of chemicals in sediment. Physical removal (dredging) of contaminated sediments presents two options for processing – treatment and on-/offsite disposal in a permitted landfill. Containment, or capping, using engineered layers of sand, gravel or rock, is another option. The various methods listed above are combined in different configurations and presented as alternatives in the Lower Duwamish Waterway Feasibility Study.167 The different cleanup options have one thing in common – the concealment of the contamination. Toxins that have been building up in sediments are not visible, but their greater effects on the landscape can be seen – from dead zones along the waterway to signs warning people not to eat the

Boeing Plant 2 was concealed during World War II with a 3/4 scale model of a suburban neighborhood with homes built of canvas, trees and shrubs made of board and mesh and streets of oil and dirt., to hide the factory (which made thousands of bomber planes during the war) from the air. Left: aerial view; Right: a Boeing employee posing on the roof. [Seattle Times]


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resident fish. The cleanup options reveal that dredging will remove the greatest amount of contamination, however the information about where the contamination will go is not so easy to find. Newspaper articles from 2003 and 2004 report that the contamination is being shipped to the Rabanco landfill in Klickitat County, approximately 300 miles away across the mountains in Eastern Washington. At one time the dredged sediment, full of PCBs and other toxins, was possibly going to be shipped to the Port of Tacoma at Commencement Bay but met widespread opposition from the public, environmentalists, and Tacoma city leaders.168 After a poorly executed dredging operation at the Duwamish/Diagonal Early Action Area in 2004 that released PCB-laden sediments into the flow of the river, county officials reprimanded the hastily working dredgers to work only during the day and inspectors were brought in. Watchdog environmentalists and the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition brought this to the public’s attention, revealing the complex and sensitive nature of undergoing a project such as this. 169 Cap and cover is another option to transporting dredged sediment and soil over 300 miles away. DIRT Studio founder Julie Bargmann describes “cap and cover,” the burial of toxic materials, as “putting lipstick on a pig,” and basically leaves the problem for the next generation to deal with.170 Richard Haag’s Gasworks Park attempt to show the highly contaminated soil as a massive hill but it is lost in translation for most. Designers can present cap and cover as a hill to try to articulate the volume of contamination, and other representation such as signage can potentially tell the greater story of cap and cover to an audience. As landscape historian Thaisa Way asks, “what if we were to consider such excesses of toxicity and destruction as a valid, perhaps sublime, element in our urban landscape?” She advocates for a new engagement with waste to change our relationship to industrial pasts.171 Concealing the past of manufactured sites causes them to lose their inherent qualities, that sense of time that people feel when they are in a place that has been altered by humans for centuries. Standing on sites like Terminal 117 that have been capped with a sheet of asphalt gives no indication of its history beyond the fact that it was the site of a former asphalt manufacturing plant – and in this it is ironic because there is little connection between its being capped with asphalt and its former use. Boeing’s Plant 2, now being completely demolished, will eventually be several acres of wetland. Will the owners choose to reveal its industrial past, including its appearance during WWII when a ¾ scale model of suburbia was built on top of it? I hope that in remediation they will employ artists and designers who keep in mind the ideas that land artist Robert Smithson talks about here: “Processes of heavy construction have a devastating kind of primordial grandeur. To organize this mess of corrosion onto patterns, grids, and subdivisions is an aesthetic process that has scarcely been touched. Art can become a resource that mediates between the ecologist and the industrialist. Ecology and industry are not one-way streets; rather they should be at crossroads. Art can help to provide the needed dialectic between them. I am convinced that the future is lost somewhere out in the trash heaps of the non-historic past.”172 Intervention into the forgotten spaces of the industrial Duwamish by landscape architects, architects, artists, and others who work to find creative solutions to problems of a place can begin to recognize and present what is actually a rich historic past, obscured by layers of public perception, contamination, and other ravages of time.


span n. 1. The extent or measure of space between two points or extremities, as of a bridge or roof. 2. The distance between the tips of the wings of an airplane. 3. Something, such as a railroad trestle or bridge, that extends from one point to another. 4. A period of time: a span of life.


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SPANNING: TIME AND GEOGRAPHY The span of time and the span of geography frame a larger perspective that takes one from the immediacy of site and moment to the simultaneous experience of the future and past. Seattle is situated in its local environment and a global context, with goods, services, ideas, history, and other aspects of the urban shifting between the two scales, a fluid urbanism. The idea of “fluid urbanism” means the change and movement within the urban environment, focusing on processes, flow, flux, and temporality. The evidence of fluid urbanism can be seen at all scales of the city and its situational context. Urbanism is in motion, ever changing and applying to new configurations and ecologies – social, infrastructural, and ecological. On first glance of the Duwamish it is natural to focus attention on a large scale – the movement of goods and waste between sites, and the movement of water from mountains to ocean. However, the large scale is composed of many individual elements – the drops of water that make up a river, the boxes and items stacked inside the large shipping containers and the parts of a car that is no longer used and now in a heap of scrap metal. These elements in flux are the components of larger networks that, at least for a period of time, are situated in the place, the Lower Duwamish Waterway in the city of Seattle. The place absorbs the cumulative effects of fluid urbanism in the structures and landscape of the built environment. Spanning time and geography connects places – global to local. Places need to be connected at various scales to be part of the same network, and locally, new connections need to be made both across the river, and between the river and the rest of the region through transportation routes and ecological corridors. These connections are networks they are not linear. In “Terra Fluxus” James Corner explains the role of ecology in conceptualizing the spanning of networks across landscape, “In conceptualizing a more organic, fluid urbanism, ecology itself becomes an extremely useful lens through which to analyze and project alternative urban futures. The lessons of ecology have aimed to show how all life on the planet is deeply bound into dynamic relationships. Moreover, the complexity of interaction between elements within ecological systems is such that linear, mechanistic models prove to be markedly inadequate to describe them. Rather, the discipline of ecology suggests that individual agents acting across a broad field of operation produce incremental and cumulative effects that continually evolve the shape of an environment over time. Thus, dynamic relationships and agencies of process become highlighted in ecological thinking, accounting for a particular spatial form as merely a provisional state of matter, on its way to becoming something else.”173 Dynamic processes leave traces on the landscape, which can then be seen and experienced, photographed and shared, written about in the newspaper and talked about by the community, changed and built upon. Italo Calvino paints a view of fluid urbanism and it’s cumulative effects on the city in the fantastical Invisible Cities. He writes, “You walk for days among trees and among stones. Rarely does the eye light on a thing, and then only when it has recognized that thing as the sign of another thing: a print in the sand indicates the tiger’s passage; a marsh announces a vein of water; the hibiscus flower, the end of winter.”174


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These cumulative effects, or traces, are seen in a large scale on the Duwamish, comprised of small-scale elements. The river coursing through the valley describes the movement of water from mountains to sound and the accumulation of runoff from surrounding pavement; hills of smashed cars indicate the cycle of waste and consumption; boats with makeshift structures on top and around them show signs of dwelling on the river despite no ownership of the water; and containers are signs of a global movement of goods originating, ending, or en route in Seattle.175 Despite these unique sights along the LDW, those unfamiliar with its intricacies would most likely see (especially from the road) a very typical industrial area, one that could be found in any city, yet there are very specific sights to see. The elements of the landscape that stick out to the individual can begin to reveal an understanding of the nature of the place. For example, the containers are both ubiquitous and unique – there are thousands of them accumulating in places along the river and on barges, yet no one is the same or is holding the same (mysterious) contents. Or are they? The LDW can be studied, mapped and diagrammed but to be understood at all it must be physically and intimately experienced – by foot, bicycle, transit, car, sitting, observing, participating in events, etc. – thus spanning time and scale.176 It is difficult to understand the ephemeral in an object-based world. Calvino writes,“However the city may really be, beneath this thick coating of signs, whatever it may contain or conceal, you leave Tamara without having discovered it. Outside, the land stretches, empty, to the horizon; the sky opens, with speeding clouds. In the shape that chance and wind give the clouds, you are already intent on recognizing figures: a sailing ship, a hand, an elephant...”177 Viewing the Duwamish River’s ephemeral qualities is a task, with the plethora of large-scale objects – factories with strange appendages for putting things on ships and moving viscous material (asphalt, concrete, etc.) around; bridges; forklifts; boats; ships; etc. – blocking our senses of the tidal change; the weeds growing in cracks; the clouds moving overhead; and the water moving under or alongside us, shifting with light and shadow. I believe that fluid urbanism (which produces a state we can call terra fluxus) encompasses these and other ephemeral qualities of the built environment. By thinking in a process-oriented framework we can see these qualities more clearly. The scale of these fleeting aspects of the environment that can be called ephemeral run from the precious to the sublime (a plant peeking out of a crack in the pavement, the sky changing over a body of water). More “instances of rupture and illumination” and attention to the loose space of the industrial urban fabric on the Duwamish can begin to bring people to the river, reclaiming vacant or underused land and inserting human scale among the big warehouses.

Ephemeral qualities and traces on the Duwamish. Sky and water are constantly changing, and tidal motion leaves traces of its path and mudflats for birds to forage on (the far right photo has dozens of birds in it). [author]


living adj.1. Possessing life: 2. In active function or use: a living language. 3. Of persons who are alive: “events within living memory.” 4. Relating to the routine conduct or maintenance of life: “improved living conditions in the city.” 5. Full of life, interest, or vitality


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LIVING: REGENERATIVE DESIGN By helping community leaders to see industrial sites in a new way, accept their history and deal with problems toward a new future through design, landscape architects can begin the process of regeneration in a holistic way. Landscape architects have a unique toolkit to transform places through design, including using vegetation to create spaces that will also creating habitat for animals and fungi. One way to transform post-industrial sites is through living remediation. “Beyond remediation” is the term Lucinda Jackson, Environmental Scientist for Chevron Corporation, uses to define the combination of phytoremediation with site design and planning.189 Technology for phytoremediation is developing in order to identify plants for their potential to clean up contaminants in situ, and with collaboration between designers and phytoremediation technicians, species are more diverse, aesthetic qualities are enhanced, and habitat is more functional than traditional phytoremediation techniques (which are usually monocultures). Cleanup on site is a complex process with many benefits and drawbacks. Benefits include cost, aesthetics, lower energy used, and less disruption of an ecosystem. Some drawbacks include the risk to wildlife attracted to a restored (but still contaminated) site, and regulatory setbacks. When deciding on a remediation plan, an environmental benefit analysis must be undertaken to determine if more contaminant cleanup with greater disturbance, or minimal remediation with money toward restoring an ecosystem, is the right choice for the site in question. Creation of habitat on site should be undertaken with an understanding of the larger scale landscape systems (such as climate, terrain, vegetation, and water) and regional ecosystems.190 The collection of site-specific data is crucial to the success of the remediation process. In “From Laboratory to Landscape” Jackson explains, “Rather than being called in at the end of a project to “landscape” the site, landscape architects are the ideal professionals to evaluate the site from a variety of perspectives and effectively design the mixed use scenario (if appropriate)…and to coordinate with government, business, and citizen groups.” Coordination between groups and landscape design process goes beyond regulations and incentives for cleanup and begins to make healthy ecosystems part of the value system of the culture and community.191 The movement to use natural processes in mitigating environmental contamination and degradation is gaining valuable ground as value systems change, and alternative technologies are being developed that use ecological systems in the cleanup process. The main passive remediation technologies used in cleanup are bioremediation and phytoremediation. Bioremediation is the use of stimulated microorganisms that break down complex organic contaminants into simpler and, hopefully, more benign compounds.192 Phytoremediation is the use of plants for remediation of soil, sediments, and water.193 Both processes can be done ex situ or in situ – off site or on site. New technologies are being developed to use mycoremediation or fungal remediation, the use of fungi to clean contaminated sites. With


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the myriad of challenges posed by the cleaning up of a waterway site – the expense, the changing nature of the sediment location, the movement of water, and the issues of disposal once sediment is removed – one of the ways that cleanup of the Duwamish could be most viable is through bioremediation. It has been estimated to clean up all of the known hazardous waste sites in the United States in 30 years; it would cost $750 billion without using biological remediation, compared to only $75 billion using bioremediation.194 Phytoremediation offers an alternative, viable option for the Duwamish Superfund Site. The US Environmental Protection Agency defines phytoremediation as: “the direct use of living plants for in situ remediation of contaminated soil, sludges, sediments, and ground water through contaminant removal, degradation, or containment…an aesthetically pleasing, solar-energy driven, passive technique that can be used to clean up sites with shallow, low to moderate levels of contamination.”195 Some plants remove contaminants by direct uptake from the soil, and can transform into a non-toxic form. Others take in toxins but then become toxic themselves, creating new issues of waste and disposal that must be dealt with. There are four main categories of phytoremediation, based on what happens to the target contaminant through the mechanisms of the plants. They are: accumulation, degradation, stabilization, and hydraulic control.196 Accumulation is the act of the plant taking metals into its tissue (sunflowers, poplar trees, Indian mustard, and others do this) and includes rhizofiltration and phytoextraction. Phytoextraction (also called phytoaccumulation) is the movement of metals from the soil through the plant roots, into leaves and stems that can be incinerated and put into landfills designated for hazardous waste disposal. Phytostabilization uses plants to gather contaminants in the soil into their roots, to reduce mobility of the contaminant. Rhizofiltration is the absorption of contaminants in water, that the roots of the plant takes up, which are then disposed of by either compost and recycled, or incinerated. Degradation is the breakdown of contaminants taken up by plants through processes occurring within the plant that are used as nutrients in the plant tissue and is also referred to as phytodegredation or phytotransformation. Plant-microbial (combining phytoremediation and bioremediation) relationships seem to be the most effective in cleanup processes.197 Hydraulic control is the reduction of the mobility of contaminants through water, with plants. For example, some trees take up lots of water that can lower the aquifer, thus preventing contaminants from spreading in groundwater. The use for erosion control on shorelines is another hydraulic control. A phytoremediation system can also be designed as an interim use that can have implications on future designs. Capping, one of the more traditional cleanup options when done with concrete or asphalt, can also be accomplished by plants. Phreatophytes are trees with a natural capping ability, and certain species, such as poplars (which are also used as hydraulic control), have been used to cap landfills.198 For example, a cap of grasses, clovers, shrubs and trees was used to cap a former mining site; and trees and grasses are used to cap landfills. Choice of plants is critical to the success of phytoremediation and other uses of plants like capping, and differs for the site location and contaminants present. Fungi such as white rot fungus, Phanerochaete chyrsosporium (the organism that gives us oyster mushrooms)


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has been proven to degrade many of the contaminants found in the Duwamish Superfund, including PCBs, through the process of mycoremediation. Landscape architects have not explored this technology much but it has potential to become an effective addition to the toolkit of landscape architects in designing for remediation. The issue of tidal change in the Duwamish River is a major aspect of the cleanup that makes phytoremediation a good management option. Polluted sediments can travel large distances, in this case from the waterway Superfund Site to the ecologically sensitive Puget Sound. Dredging is a tenuous option for these sites, according to phytoremediation researcher V. Bert, since the technological challenge is high, the chance of emitting large plumes of toxins into the water is high, and it is not a cost-effective solution. Bert argues for a “realistic, low cost, safe, ecologically sound and sustainable management option” and proposes phytoremediation as that option. However, it should be noted that phytoremediation has not proven to be sustainable on a field scale, and is still an emerging technology. 199 Despite this uncertainty, investment in phytoremediation has increased considerably in a short time, estimated to be from 50 million dollars to 300 million dollars from 1999 to 2007.200 Bioremediation and phytoremediation have proven to work, but it is difficult to achieve the end goals for cleanup. They are generally lower-cost alternatives and more and more organisms are evolving that can break down synthetic chemicals that once seemed impossible to expel from the environment. Public perception of bioremediation is also a factor in this choice – bioremediation and phytoremediation are publicly perceived to be environmentally sound, whereas disposal by more energy-intensive means is perceived to be more environmentally polluting.201 Landscape architects can play an important role in the cleanup process when phytoremediation is introduced to a cleanup plan by developing appropriate project goals and desired criteria, site-specific designs and planning, and monitoring of sites for future application and visual amenity. The technology of phytoremediation can combine with the art of landscape architecture to emphasize the performative landscape of remediation in situ. Vegetation can not only cleanse the soil but can also form spatial relationships, mark activity areas and circulation routes, create aesthetic compositions and forms, and provide habitat for wildlife.”202 However, this could pose risks to people who may view contaminated sites being restored by phytoremediation as a public amenity equal to that of an uncontaminated park, or the loss of the reading of the site as formerly contaminated with the new landscape of phytoremediating plants in place of former structures or other contributing factors to the contamination. One response is to treat these areas not as parks or greenbelts but as areas for design experimentation, laboratories for new ideas in design as well as remediating technologies. Another response might be to provide visual cues that the landscape is not “natural.” Whatever the response we must offer creative and viable solutions to regenerate manufactured landscapes in a holistic way and breathe life into the Lower Duwamish.


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Above: Examples of remediation techniques Clockwise from top: Brassica rapa or field mustard, phytoremediation; oyster mushrooms, the visible organism of a soil remediating mycelium; planting PCB-remediating birch trees; USEPA contractors removing contaminated soil after diverting river. [flickr.com] Below: Phytoremediation is explained in youarethecity’s Field Guide to Phytoremediation. The Field Guide to Phytoremediation is a DIY handbook to cleaning up toxic soils in your own backyard, neighborhood vacant lot, or other urban space. The authors explain, “In 2010, youarethecity created the Field Guide to Phytoremediation, a DIY handbook to cleaning up toxic soils in your own backyard, neighborhood vacant lot, or other urban space. Working with soil scientists, urban farming activists, community groups, and others interested on (and in) the ground, we have expanded this research.” They recently funded the printing of thousands of copies with field exhibits on Kickstarter.com [kickstarter.com].


dwelling n. A place to live in v. Thinking, speaking, or writing about at length; linger upon


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DWELLING: COMMUNITY IMPACT To dwell is to consider, to live, to be. To design is in large part to dwell. The Lower Duwamish Waterway is currently overwhelmingly industrial or post-industrial, with pockets of single-family homes and a marina where people, industry, and life dwells. The historic neighborhoods of Georgetown and South Park were recently cut off from each other by the closing of the derelict South Park Bridge, which is going to be rebuilt after a period of uncertainty. As of 2000, Georgetown had 1,091 residents with a median age of 37, and a median household income of $34,185. South Park had 3,717 residents with a median age of 30.5, and a median household income of $31,683.179 In addition to these two neighborhoods on land, there are many people who live on their boats in the South Park Marina, which has 165 boat slips with a low price per month for rental, and other residents camping while restoring their boats on land. The Lower Duwamish Waterway’s polluted nature brings many low-income people to live in these neighborhoods, where housing costs are lower because of health risks (for example, people in the neighborhoods along the Duwamish are twice as likely to be hospitalized for asthma than any other part of King County).180 With low-cost housing being a major draw for all types of people, South Park has been designated Seattle’s most diverse neighborhood after the recent census. For a long time the area was virtually ignored by police and strange boundaries left an area of the neighborhood out of the jurisdiction of Seattle despite the fact that it is surrounded by the City. In the last decade neighborhood activism and greater attention from government has begun transforming the neighborhood. The huge urban renewal projects of the mid-20th century (Interstate 5 for example) encouraged people to seek community participation and locally based politics in the 1960s and 70s. Today, the Superfund cleanup process frames a new relationship between local and national, with the EPA mainly holding an oversight role in the cleanup while much of the actual coordination is done at the state, region, and city scale. This is partially based on the idea that “big government should not dictate solutions to people and places,”181 and the openness creates political opportunities that “social movements can exploit.” EPA (national) and WADE (state) are overseeing the Superfund Cleanup. The agency in charge of carrying out the cleanup, the Lower Duwamish Waterway Group (LDWG), was created for the sole purpose of the cleanup and includes: Boeing Company, the City of Seattle, King Country, and the Port of Seattle. This is a small group of the parties responsible for the contamination or the present landowners (Potentially Responsible Parties – CERLA), who under the Superfund law are responsible for the cleanup as well. The LDWG was formed prior to the naming of Superfund, in an attempt to divert the federal government from naming their properties Superfund, trying to enter a lesser, but still binding, agreement with EPA. Their argument was that it would be a “creative approach…more efficient and cost-effective than a Superfund listing.”182 This initiative failed due to Boeing’s refusal to accept demands to restore migratory fish habitat, a process they have agreed to complete on the site of the former Boeing Plant 2. In addition to the complex property ownership on land, the fact that the river


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is not owned by anyone adds an additional layer of complexity to the situation. It is a commons. The Superfund, while also identifying land that has been dubbed Early Action Sites, is primarily focused on the river. This fact contributes new relationships between parties involved. Mark Purcell describes the Duwamish Superfund to be “best seen as a palimpsest”…but at worst a case of “the fox guarding the henhouse.” The federal government has essentially turned the cleanup over to the public-private partnership of polluters, and the people do not elect the entities that are carrying it out, they are actually the polluters. However, stipulations of community involvement might change this paradigm. The community in question is made up of people who live near the Superfund site, and according to the regulation, a Community Advisory Group (CAG) can also be made to liaison with the community and the cleanup leaders, and can apply for Technical Assistance Grants to hire experts. Purcell believes that in some ways, the community liaison structure is “a way to tame public involvement, to make sure it conforms to predetermined parameters and does not spill over to become unmanageable resistance,” and that EPA officials “themselves support robust public involvement, (but) as representatives of the EPA they are somewhat cautious about pushing any envelopes in terms of participatory practice.”183 People are wondering, will the LDWG and the EPA sacrifice level of cleanup for cost? Will there be money left over for public amenities like parks? Will environmental justice problems continue to perpetuate once the river is cleaned up, through the process of gentrification? These issues are significant, and through the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition are being addressed by the citizens of South Park and Georgetown.

Top: A house on one of the adjacent streets to the Terminal 117 Early Action Area. Some of the yards of the homes on this street have been targeted as part of the cleanup and will have contaminated soil removed. by the EPA. Middle: A house on the Lower Duwamish, seen from the river. The owners have a large collection of memorabilia such as an old gas station pump, metal advertisement signs, and a huge buoy in their backyard adjacent to the river. Bottom: South Park Marina is home to many people who live on their boats. There is some speculation that the South Park Bridge replacement project will displace these boats, leaving many with no affordable option to dock their boat in Seattle [author]


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The Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition/Technical Advisory Group (DRCC) is working with the community as the CAG to “ensure that the cleanup meets community standards.” They are a 501(c)3 founded in 2001 and receive some EPA funding. The coalition consists of a diverse unit of environmental, resident, tribal, environmental justice, and small business groups, including the Duwamish Tribe, People for Puget Sound, the Community Coalition for Environmental Justice, neighboring community council and neighborhood association, and other groups. Other involvement includes business and homeowners, college and graduate level work and study of the river, developers, and interested individuals in and out of the community. A recent activity of the DRCC is a series of Visioning sessions that invite citizens to participate in activities focused on reimagining the future of the Duwamish River. Although they represent diverse populations and interests, so far it seems that agreement has been easy and stakeholders share a commitment to the river cleanup and have an “agenda of inhabitance.”184 In addition, the EPA supervisors have taken an active role in the community, giving presentations and updating residents about the project, and although it may not be an ideal process it seems that it is working well in this place. Time will tell. The future vision that the DRCC has made for the Duwamish, based on a series of community meetings is contained in the DRCC Vision Report and the “future hopes, concerns and ideas for making the River healthier for people and the environment” are outlined and presented with the Duwamish Valley Vision Map. The major themes that they found included: increasing living wage jobs through the impending cleanup work, advance a new ‘green’ economy and economic development through the proposed cleanup and restoration, remove toxic chemicals from the Duwamish, reduce ongoing sources of pollution through source control, increase equitable housing, create and steward wildlife habitat restoration sites, enhance healthy recreation and eco-tourism opportunities, and plan with communities for sustainable and vibrant riverfront neighborhoods. 185 One of the major stakeholders in the DRCC is the Duwamish Tribe, which is a 503(c) corporation rather than a federally recognized tribe, comprised of descendants of the people who originally dwelled in the river’s watershed. Chief Si’ahl (Seattle) was a Duwamish. Superfund takes into account the interests of federally recognized tribes, and members of other tribes like the Muckleshoot are also working with the Duwamish,186 however the Duwamish people do not have rights as a nation. They are working to obtain federal recognition but so far this has been an uphill battle. In 2001 the federal government’s Bureau of Indian Affairs decided that the tribe had gone extinct, despite their recognition by the Clinton administration. The tribe is currently suing the government for recognition.187 The Muckleshoot and Suquamish tribes, which have federal treaty rights, are invested in the cleanup and have commercial fishing operations on the river, which we see as frequently placed nets on the water, attracting seals and birds. In addition to fishing rights, cultural history is a component of all tribes’ vested interest in the river. According to Purcell, the Duwamish tribe has trouble separating their cultural, historical, economic, and environmental claims, and “want, in some sense, a reparation: a renewed commitment to the idea that the Duwamish is not just an industrial waterway but a complex riverine ecosystem that should be preserved, restored, and valued for its own sake.”188


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WA STATE DEPARTMENT OF ECOLOGY

KING COUNTY

LOWER DUWAMISH WATERWAY GROUP CITY OF SEATTLE

PORT OF SEATTLE

US EPA WASTE ACTION PROJECT

SOUTH PARK NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION

WASHINGTON TOXICS COALITION

PUGET SOUNDKEEPER ALLIANCE DUWAMISH TRIBE

DUWAMISH RIVER CLEANUP COALITION

GEORGETOWN COMMUNITY COUNCIL

COMMUNITY COALITION FOR ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE

PEOPLE FOR PUGET SOUND IM-A-PAL FOUNDATION

ENVIRONMENAL COALITION OF SOUTH SEATTLE

Diagram of the major stakeholders in the Duwamish Superfund cleanup. [author]

Muckleshoot fisherman checking nets in the Lower Duwamish Waterway. for salmon. Only migratory fish like salmon are safe to eat due to the unsafe levels of contamination found in the LDW. [author]


The community is engaged in various ways with the Duwamish River and Superfund cleanup. Images clockwise from top left: volunteer restoration crew planting shoreline; kayak tour; boat tour; public art; Duwamish tribe performance; Visioning session; restoration planting; community meeting. These activities and sights bring awareness, involvement, and appreciation of the river and Superfund cleanup to tourists and locals, and help citizens to open imagination to future possibilities for Seattleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s only river.. [images by Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition; www.duwamishcleanup.org]


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OPENING IMAGINATION Environmental, social, and political forces that flow through the city alter the built environment like a river alters its banks. The straightening and reconfiguring of the Lower Duwamish Waterway in the early 1900s was a feat of urbanism. Not only in the massive change that it made on the hydrology of the river, the habitat, and the ability for permanent industrial buildings to locate on the shores; but also in the imagination that was required to envision some glimpse of the future Duwamish Waterway as it is today while it was still a meandering river through mudflat. Today we have unprecedented opportunities to imagine and direct a new future for industrial areas of our cities, as we develop green technologies and reach new understandings of nature, culture, and technology as interconnected systems. As Jane Jacobs noted in her 1961 book The Death and Life of Great American Cities, “Cities are an immense laboratory of trial and error, failure and success, in city building and city design.”204 Infinite forces act upon and around the Duwamish that direct the urban and riverine form toward an uncertain future. Our job as designers and activists is to understand as much as we can about the problems facing the Duwamish, to imagine potential futures and direct change through graphic and textual representation, dissemination of information, and incremental changes in the landscape. As Paola Antonelli states in the documentary Objectified, “I think that what designers will do in the future is to be reference points for policy-makers, for anybody who wants to create a link between something that is highfalutin and hard to translate and reality, and people…I want designers to become the culture generators all over the world…and no matter what they should become really fundamental bricks in any kind of policy-making effort.” She explains that more and more designers are moving away from designing objects to designing scenarios, or experiences that will help people to “understand the consequences of their choices.”205 This is critical if designers are going to actively engage the challenges of the 21st century post-industrial landscape. Language used to describe the Duwamish and its cleanup shapes how we understand it. For example, the DRCC’s insistence to call the Duwamish a “river” versus the LDWG’s “waterway” creates different meanings. A waterway is defined as a navigable body of water.206 A river is much more and extends much farther.207 As Mark Purcell puts it, “a waterway is infrastructural, a river is inhabited.”208 The LDWG’s goal is to reduce pollutants just enough to regain salability of property. The DRCC’s goal is to have a comprehensive cleanup that benefits humans and wildlife, which includes ecological restoration in addition to reduction of contaminants as required by federal law. The naming of the first sites for the cleanup as “Action Sites” has important implications. The idea that it is not called a containment site, or a cleanup site, or something else that does not imply that something will happen, allows the action sites that the EPA has named to indicate that things are happening, despite the appearance that the cleanup process is stagnant. For the EPA, to embody the idea of “action” through language (especially vs. “inaction” or “stasis”) is important despite what is actually done on the ground.209


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In “Looking Back at Landscape Urbanism: Speculations on Site,” landscape architect and professor Julia Czerniak explains the history of the word “landscape”: “In addition to the Germanic variation landschaft that signifies a “unit of human occupation” and connotes landscape as a changing system of social and ecological interrelations, its etymological counterpart landskip suggests landscape as a picture and a scenic view.” The cultural landscape historian John Brinkerhoff Jackson believed the word landscape was originally used to describe “a composition of man-made spaces on the land.”210 In “Reclaiming Space” landscape architect and professor Alan Berger explains his understanding of “landscape”: “The word landscape is today commonly defined as a temporal composition of man-made spaces on the land…Land could be described as having a horizontal characteristic (relief, cover, and extension) while scape is vertical, dealing more with social programs (structure, activity, and data). Land is more stable and less malleable than scape, which is created and destroyed by cultural tastes and acts. Reclaiming landscape is the creation of a new condition in which land is rescaped in accordance with a new program (subdivisions, grazing fields, ponds, etc.). Rescaping is the creation of a new social program or vertical set of ideas layered and operating in space.”211 Understanding that ecology, creativity, and landscape architecture are metaphorical and ideological representations, cultural images or ideas, allows us to see the changes that these ideas have on the world, and to use them ourselves to affect change in physical, theoretical, and experiential ways.212 The landscape architect “rescapes” a site by creating new ideas to activate it and finding new ways to represent the essence of the changing natures of place by designing landscape experiences, events, images, maps, and art. The role of the landscape architect or urbanist is to collapse scale, time, and perspective by creating places that acknowledge multiple and overlapping layers of history and structure experience while being simultaneously forward-thinking and open-ended. This can be done by listening to the voices of history, the community, and the environment and translating it into the language of landscape. This is done by acknowledging that ecologies are historical, and history is ecological. In “Landscape Narratives” Purinton and Potteiger explain, “Narratives intersect with sites, accumulate as layers of history, organize sequences and inhere in the very materials and processes of the landscape. In various ways, stories “take place.” The term “landscape narrative” designates the interplay and mutual relationship between story and place. More than just a backdrop, places become eventful changing sites that engender stories. And we come to know places because we know their stories.”213 The Duwamish River, a palimpsest of so many elements of place and understanding, is a place that is going through a transformation from industrial use to a new future, like a myriad of sites around the world. By opening imagination to what this future can be like through various means of representation and landscape experiences, we can begin to find ways of connecting nature and culture, technology and ecology, and people to the Duwamish River/ Estuary/ Waterway/ Superfund Site.


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ENDNOTES: DUWAMISH PALIMPSEST 122. Sato, Mike. The Price of Taming a River:The Decline of Puget Sound’s Duwamish/Green Waterway. Seattle, Wash.: The Mountaineers, 1997. Print. 123. Oregon Donation Act of 1850 offered 160 acres to a single settler and 320 acres to a married couple. [Donaldson, Thomas, and Commission United States. Public Land. The Public Domain; Its History with Statistics. New York: Johnson Reprint Corp., 1970. Print. 124. Sato, Mike. The Price of Taming a River :The Decline of Puget Sound’s Duwamish/Green Waterway. Seattle, Wash.: The Mountaineers, 1997. Print. 125. Quote from Hiram Chittenden’s Report of an Investigation by a Board of Engineers of the Means of Controlling Floods in the Duwamish-Puyallup Valleys and Their Tributaries in the State of Washington (1907) in Klingle, Matthew W. Emerald City : An Environmental History of Seattle. New Haven:Yale University Press, 2007. Print. 126. Klingle, Matthew W. Emerald City : An Environmental History of Seattle. New Haven:Yale University Press, 2007. Print. 127. Sato, Mike. The Price of Taming a River :The Decline of Puget Sound’s Duwamish/Green Waterway. Seattle, Wash.: The Mountaineers, 1997. Print. 128. Mostafavi, Mohsen, Gareth Doherty, and Design Harvard University. Graduate School of. Ecological Urbanism. Baden, Switzerland: Lars M¸ller, 2010. Print. Pg 6. 129. Klingle, Matthew W. Emerald City : An Environmental History of Seattle. New Haven:Yale University Press, 2007. Print. Pg 236 130. Purcell, Mark Hamilton. Recapturing Democracy : Neoliberalization and the Struggle for Alternative Urban Futures. New York: Routledge, 2008. Print. Pg 135 131. Seaport Planning Group. Lower Duwamish Habitat Restoration Plan: An Inventory of Port of Seattle Properties: Port of Seattle, 2009. Print. 132. Shared Strategy for Puget Sound. “Puget Sound Recovery Plan.” Ed. Service, National Marine Fisheries2007.Vol. 1. Print. Pg 255. 133. Tides for Fishing website <http://www.tides4fishing.com/us/washington/duwamish-waterway-green-river> 134. Shared Strategy for Puget Sound. “Puget Sound Recovery Plan.” Ed. Service, National Marine Fisheries2007.Vol. 1. Print. Pg 256 135. Seaport Planning Group. Lower Duwamish Habitat Restoration Plan: An Inventory of Port of Seattle Properties: Port of Seattle, 2009. Print. 136. Shared Strategy for Puget Sound. “Puget Sound Recovery Plan.” Ed. Service, National Marine Fisheries2007.Vol. 1. Print. Pg 257 137. Nack, Christine and Tanja Wilcox, J.A. Brennan Associates. “Environmental Metamorphosis on the Duwamish.” Environmental Outlook (2001). October 28, 2010 <http://www.djc.com/news/enviro/11123739.html> 138. Looking at the Boeing Plant 2 site mapped along with the lines of the former meandering river, it seems highly probable that the factory was built over a former river bend on piers, with waste products dumped into the river below. 139. Seaport Planning Group. Lower Duwamish Habitat Restoration Plan: An Inventory of Port of Seattle Properties: Port of Seattle, 2009. Print. 140. AECOM. Draft Final Feasibility Study: Lower Duwamish Waterway. Seattle: Lower Duwamish Waterway Group, 2010. Print. 141. What I find interesting about this Feasibility Study Report is the uncertainty. [AECOM. Draft Final Feasibility Study: Lower Duwamish Waterway. Seattle: Lower Duwamish Waterway Group, 2010. Print.] 142. 143. AECOM. Draft Final Feasibility Study: Lower Duwamish Waterway. Seattle: Lower Duwamish Waterway Group, 2010. Print. 144. AECOM. Draft Final Feasibility Study: Lower Duwamish Waterway. Seattle: Lower Duwamish Waterway Group, 2010. Print. 145. United States Environmental Protection Agency. “CERCLA Overview”. 2011. Superfund. <http://www.epa.gov/superfund/policy/ cercla.htm>. 146. Kirkwood, Niall. Manufactured Sites : Rethinking the Post-Industrial Landscape. London; New York: Spon Press, 2001. Print. 147. AECOM. Draft Final Feasibility Study: Lower Duwamish Waterway. Seattle: Lower Duwamish Waterway Group, 2010. Print. 148. Singh, Ajay, and Owen P. Ward. Applied Bioremediation and Phytoremediation. Soil Biology, 1. Berlin; New York: Springer, 2004. Print. 149. Spirn, Anne Whiston. The Granite Garden : Urban Nature and Human Design. New York: Basic Books, 1984. Print. Pg 10 150. Kirkwood, Niall. Manufactured Sites: Rethinking the Post-Industrial Landscape. London; New York: Spon Press, 2001. Print. Pg 3 151. Ibid. Pg 4 152. Ibid Pg 6 153. Berger, Alan. Drosscape :Wasting Land in Urban America. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2006. Print. 154. Smith, Hedrick, et al.Poisoned Waters Puget Sound. PBS], Arlington,Va., 2009. 155. Kirkwood, Niall. Manufactured Sites : Rethinking the Post-Industrial Landscape. London; New York: Spon Press, 2001. Print. Pg 35 156. Ibid Pg 6 157. Ibid 158. During the course of my thesis project I participated in “The Long Walk,” a work of art and event that the artist Susan Robb coordinated with 4Culture of King County on the regional trail system that had around 50 of us walking between Golden Gardens and Snoqualmie Falls (more than 45 miles) over the course of four days. During the walk we shifted our sense of time, gained new understandings of the local geography, created an “interstitial culture,” and were asked to contemplate how we understood landscape – for example, Are we in one continuous landscape or a series of landscapes as we move through the world? <www.thelongwalkseattle.com> 159. USEPA. “Climate Change”. 2011. <http://epa.gov/climatechange/basicinfo.html>. 160. Berger, Alan. Drosscape :Wasting Land in Urban America. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2006. Print. Pg 46 161. Ibid Pg 47 162. Ibid Pg 49 163. Ibid Pg 52


164. Wiley, John. Ecological Design and Planning. 1997. Print. Pg 81 165. AECOM. Draft Final Feasibility Study: Lower Duwamish Waterway. Seattle: Lower Duwamish Waterway Group, 2010. Print. 166. It is interesting to note the way that this information is presented in most of the public documents – very small typeface, in a table, with mainly technical information about predicted reduction in risk factors for various groups. Little information about actual cleanup techniques/strategies is included in the Feasibility Study. 167. Paulson, Tom. “Tainted Sludge Won’t Go to Tacoma.” The Seattle Times September 10, 2003 2003. Print. 168. Ith, Ian. “Superfund Dredging Spreads Duwamish River Pollution.” The Seattle Times June 10, 2004 2004. Print. 169. Hurrelbrinck, Nancy. “Industrial Wastelands Seen as Parks in the Rough.” Inside UVA March 2000 2000. Print. 170. Way, Thaisa. “A Landscape of Industrial Excess: Is the Tabula Rasa the Only Option?” Column 5 Forthcoming (2011). Print. 171. From “A Sedimentation of the Mind: Earth Projects” (1968) in Smithson, Robert, and Jack D. Flam. Robert Smithson, the Collected Writings. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996. Print. 172. Corner, James in Waldheim, Charles. The Landscape Urbanism Reader. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2006. Print. Pg 29 173. Calvino, Italo. Invisible Cities. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1974. Print. Pg 13 174. “Like a piece of architecture, the city is a construction in space, but one of vast scale, a thing perceived only in the course of long spans of time. City design is therefore a temporal art, but it can rarely use the controlled and limited sequences of other temporal arts like music. On different occasions, and for different people, the sequences are reversed, interrupted, abandoned, cut across. It is seen in all lights and all weathers.” from Lynch, Kevin. The Image of the City. Cambridge [Mass.: Technology Press, 1960. Print. 175. Chase, John, Margaret Crawford, and John Kaliski. Everyday Urbanism. New York: Monacelli Press, 2008. Print. Pg 97 176. Calvino, Italo. Invisible Cities. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1974. Print. Pg 14 177. Rogers, Richard George, and Philip Gumuchdjian. Cities for a Small Planet. Boulder, Colo.: Westview, 1998. Print. 178. US Census Bureau. “Census 2000”. 2000. <http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/ Research/Population_Demographics/Census_2000_ Data> 179. Turnbull, Lornet. “Seattle’s South Park Residents Share a Passion for Place.” The Seattle Times July 11, 2011 2011. Print. 180. Purcell, Mark Hamilton. Recapturing Democracy : Neoliberalization and the Struggle for Alternative Urban Futures. New York: Routledge, 2008. Print. pg 137 181. Port of Seattle. “Partnership Forms to Study Lower Duwamish River”. 2000. Press Release. Ed. County, King. <http://your.kingcounty.gov/exec/news/2000/041900.htm>. 182. Purcell, Mark Hamilton. Recapturing Democracy : Neoliberalization and the Struggle for Alternative Urban Futures. New York: Routledge, 2008. Print. pg 141 183. Purcell, Mark Hamilton. Recapturing Democracy : Neoliberalization and the Struggle for Alternative Urban Futures. New York: Routledge, 2008. Print. Pg 144 184. See the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition website for more on the Duwamish Valley Vision: <http://www.duwamishcleanup. org/programs.html#duwamishvisioning> 185. al., Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition et. “Haunted Halloween Toxic Tour.” Seattle2011. Print. 186. Tribe, Duwamish. <http://www.duwamishtribe.org/elliottreaty.html>. 187. Purcell, Mark Hamilton. Recapturing Democracy : Neoliberalization and the Struggle for Alternative Urban Futures. New York: Routledge, 2008. Print. Pg 144. 188. Kirkwood, Niall. Manufactured Sites : Rethinking the Post-Industrial Landscape. London; New York: Spon Press, 2001. Print. Pg 36. 189. Kirkwood, Niall. Manufactured Sites : Rethinking the Post-Industrial Landscape. London; New York: Spon Press, 2001. Print. Pg 41-42. 190. Ibid Pg 41 191. Atlas, Ronald M. “Bioremediation of Fossil Fuel Contaminated Soils” In Situ Bioreclamation: Applications and Investigations for Hydrocarbon and Contaminated Site Remediation. 1991. Butterworth-Heinemann. Print. 192. Kirkwood, Niall. Manufactured Sites : Rethinking the Post-Industrial Landscape. London; New York: Spon Press, 2001. Print. (pg 43) 193. Singh, Ajay, and Owen P. Ward. Applied Bioremediation and Phytoremediation. Soil Biology, 1. Berlin; New York: Springer, 2004. Print. 194. USEPA. Phytoremediation Resource Guide: USEPA, 1999. Print. 195. Kirkwood, Niall. Manufactured Sites : Rethinking the Post-Industrial Landscape. London; New York: Spon Press, 2001. Print. pg 53 196. Singh, Ajay, and Owen P. Ward. Applied Bioremediation and Phytoremediation. Soil Biology, 1. Berlin; New York: Springer, 2004. Print. pg 7 197. Kirkwood, Niall. Manufactured Sites : Rethinking the Post-Industrial Landscape. London; New York: Spon Press, 2001. Print. (44) 198. Bert,V., et al. “Phytoremediation as a Management Option for Contaminated Sediments in Tidal Marshes, Flood Control Areas and Dredged Sediment Landfill Sites.” Environmental science and pollution research international 16.7 (2009): 745-64. Print. 199. Van Aken, Benoit, Paola A. Correa, and Jerald L. Schnoor. “Phytoremediation of Polychlorinated Biphenyls: New Trends and Promises.” Environmental Science & Technology 44.8 (2010): 2767-76. Print. 200. Singh, Ajay, and Owen P. Ward. Applied Bioremediation and Phytoremediation. Soil Biology, 1. Berlin; New York: Springer, 2004. Print. pg 9 201. Kirkwood, Niall. Manufactured Sites : Rethinking the Post-Industrial Landscape. London; New York: Spon Press, 2001. Print. Pg 50. 202. Mostafavi, Mohsen, Ciro Najle, and Association Architectural. Landscape Urbanism : A Manual for the Machinic Landscape. London: Architectural Association, 2003. Print. Pg 5 203. Jacobs, Jane. The Death and Life of Great American Cities. [New York: Random House, 1961. Print. Pg 6. 204. Hustwit, Gary, et al.Objectified. Swiss Dots Limited ; [Distributed by] Plexifilm, [London]; [Brooklyn, NY], 2009. 205. “Waterway” Merriam Webster Dictionary <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/waterway> 206. “River” Merriam Webster Dictionary <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/river>, defined as “a natural stream of


water of usually considerable volume” 207. Purcell, Mark Hamilton. Recapturing Democracy : Neoliberalization and the Struggle for Alternative Urban Futures. New York: Routledge, 2008. Print. Pg 145 208. The idea of “Site” and “Non-site” created by Robert Smithson in some of his seminal works is similar; the “Non-site” is an abstraction of a place that represents or is embodied with characteristics of the “Site”. The perception of the Duwamish for most people in Seattle, it seems, is that it is not even a river (not to mention Seattle’s only river) but it is an industrial something.


“We are surrounded with detritus left by two centuries of industry. It’s taken an environmental crisis for us to finally face all the nasty by-products dumped in rivers, landfills, or even just out back. This ‘waste’ is the design fodder of the future. We have the opportunity to remake vast, trashed sites into renewed landscapes of production. I’m not talking about just cleanup or makeup jobs. I mean truly regenerative sites – buildings and landscapes – producing all the stuff we need along with clean air, clean water, and clean dirt. My work focuses on giving simple form to complex processes of regeneration, creating landscapes with visceral layers of culture and ecology. The aim is to make the transformation of marginal terrain central to the next generation’s work.” - Julie Bargmann, Metropolis interview


DESIGN FOR THE FUTURE


+


Photomontage of ecology and industry: phytoremediating plants and existing uses [image by author]

ADDING MORE LAYERS: PROJECT OBJECTIVES After researching the multitude of layers the Duwamish River/ Estuary/ Waterway/ Superfund Site holds, I began to formulate my goals as a designer. Seeking to explore my understandings of the site at multiple levels, I zoomed in and out of the Duwamish at various geographical scales; and explored my findings through different lenses and from different angles. Through this process several project objectives/design principles emerged. I have summarized them as a means of providing a guide for my work: • Alter perceptions of river through representation • Connect nature and culture through experience of site • Acknowledge past layers of time in site design • Restore natural processes (ecological, hydrological, etc.) • Experiment with new ideas for form and function • Connect community to the Duwamish • Create a safe environment for people and wildlife My approach to the design for a master plan for the Lower Duwamish Waterway and parcelspecific plan for Terminal 117 began with breaking down patterns of landscape that I observed happening on the river and its vicinity in the past and present. I categorized my findings under nine concepts: Altering, Flowing, Shifting, Accumulating, Concealing, Revealing, Spanning, Dwelling, and Living. I then used this structure to imagine potential futures for various scales. These concepts have natural and cultural dimensions throughout time and are action-based.


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FINDING THE SITE: PROJECT SCOPE The main project scales I explored were: a parcel, its surrounding landscape, and the corridor encompassing the Lower Duwamish Waterway Superfund Site. Looking at maps, including aerial photographs, geographic data, and more subjective plans like the Duwamish Valley Vision Map gave me a starting point for breaking down the complex layers of the Lower Duwamish. Using this information I began to formulate own ideas for the future of the overall waterway. I decided to zoom in on an Early Action Area and explored several, both on the ground and through research. I realized that to define a site along the Duwamish I needed to look at an area of the river that comprised both banks, with multiple land uses and other factors that represented more of the complexity of the Duwamish and its â&#x20AC;&#x153;thick section.â&#x20AC;? I then zoomed out a bit more and began brainstorming and articulating design ideas for the area encompassing the Boeing Plant 2 and Terminal 117 Early Action Areas as well as the recently closed South Park Bridge, the South Park marina and neighborhood, and working factories. From this scale I then zoomed in further, proposing a site design for the Terminal 117 Early Action Area.

IDAHO

BRITISH COLUMBIA

DUWAMISH SUPERFUND

OREGON

The LDW in a statewide context. Regional waterbodies shown in blue. [Image by author using King County WAGDA GIS data]


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ffinding the site: project scope

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DESIGN FOR THE FUTURE

The particular area I chose for my mid-level scale – the section of the river containing the South Park Bridge, Boeing Plant 2, South Park Marina, and Terminal 117 – contains diverse issues and timelines. Through the course of the year working on Duwamish Palimpsest this portion of the river has been constantly in flux. The South Park Bridge closed in the summer of 2010 due to safety issues and although it eventually received funding to be rebuilt, this was uncertain at the time of closure. A new bridge is currently being constructed and the South Park neighborhood will regain its connection to the east side of the river. The two Early Action Areas within this 25 acre area also hold uncertain futures and have undergone significant changes in the recent past. Boeing’s former Plant 2 factory is in the process of being demolished, with no public plan of what will replace it, although stipulations of the cleanup require a significant amount of habitat restoration. This 130-acre plot of land (the main factory building alone had a 35 acre roof) once symbolized the industrial uses that have made the Duwamish what it is today, especially regarding the contamination that led to the Superfund designation. Continuing the theme of experimentation present on the site since the factory was built in 1936, I propose a site for experiments in remediation and large-scale land art. On the opposite bank of the river from the former Boeing factory is a former asphalt-manufacturing site that is now property of the Port of Seattle (since 1999). I have zoomed in on this particular parcel and have created a site design for a neighborhood park. My design seeks to meet my aforementioned project objectives at a sitespecific level. The design is a bricolage, incorporating the various influences I have discovered in the course of my research as conceptual ideas or formal elements. During the design process I explored the following processes of understanding landscape: •Site visits: landing, grounding, finding, and founding; documented by photography and sketching •Archival research: literature review, map analysis, case studies, cleanup options •Interpreting data: creating images, diagrams, narrative, maps, articulating design parameters •Design project: applying research to specific site as palimpsest INDUSTRY + HABITAT: sketches of the Duwamish River [author]


accumulating ideas: site analysis on the duwamish

135

ACCUMULATING IDEAS: SITE ANALYSIS ON THE DUWAMISH To begin a design process I first start accumulating data and ideas. Site analysis is key to understanding a siteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s many intricacies, from what is experienced on the ground to what is found from researching a siteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s history, geology, land use, community, geography, and other conditions of its particular place in the world. The accumulation of data and ideas leads a project toward a design that acknowledges these conditions and sparks creativity for ways to presence these features in a forwardthinking design. Camera and sketchbook in hand, I made repeated visits to the Duwamish by land and water, each time experiencing the place anew. The ephemeral qualities of place like shifting skies and flowing water changed my impressions of places visited over and over, and the diversity of public access points and means of approaching the sites (by car, foot, bicycle, boat and kayak) gave me different readings of what the Duwamish has to offer visitors. The following images act as a starting point for understanding the Duwamish as I have experienced it in the course of my site research. SHORELINE RESTORATION INDUSTRY

INFRASTRUCTURE

SHIPPING

SHORELINE HABITAT

HYDROLOGY PUBLIC ACCESS

ASPECTS OF THE LOWER DUWAMISH [photo taken at Terminal 8, Port of Seattle public access area]


THE LOWER DUWAMISH FROM THE WATER [photos taken by author]

TRIBAL FISHING NET AND SHORELINE HABITAT

FLOATING TIMBER AND BARGES

16TH AVENUE SOUTH BRIDGE

REMNANTS OF FORMER PIER POPULATED BY BIRDS

METAL RECYCLING PLANT AND WATER TOWER

MARINA WITH BOATS, HOUSEBOATS, AND BOAT HOUSES

BARGE LOADING STRUCTURE AND TUGBOAT

TRIBAL FISHERMAN AND SHIPPING CONTAINER STORAGE


EXAMPLES OF CURRENT PUBLIC ACCESS PARKS ON THE DUWAMISH [photos taken by author]

TERMINAL 108 PORT PUBLIC ACCESS WATERFRONT

TERMINAL 108 PARK AMENITIES AND VIEW

PATH TO BOEING PUBLIC ACCESS AREA

BOEING PUBLIC ACCESS AREA BENCH AND VIEW

PATH TO PORT OF SEATTLE JACK BLOCK PARK

JACK BLOCK PARK VIEW OF BEACH AND PORT

HERRINGS HOUSE PARK PATH TO WATER

HERRINGS HOUSE PARK INTERTIDAL HABITAT AREA


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DESIGN FOR THE FUTURE

SITE RESEARCH: A PALIMPSEST OF IMAGES, DATA, MAPS, NARRATIVES The multifaceted nature of a site lends itself to multiple interpretations and narratives. Understanding the different ways that a place has been depicted over time and the information that is archived in maps, historic photos, art, text, and data is key to working toward site-specific design interventions. Chapter three looks at history, data, case studies, photography, and other narratives of place. The following section begins to give context to the proposed interventions I have made for the Lower Duwamish through a series of maps. Mapping is a process of accumulation, a method of reading as well as creating meaning for sites. Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping gives designers layers of information and data visually and at various scales. Map layers can be combined an infinite number of ways and in different visual styles to convey information deemed important to convey by the cartographer. It is possible to zoom in and out of a site viewing its informational GIS layers and aerial imagery, offering a powerful view of issues and context at a local or regional scale. In the following maps, the Lower Duwamish Waterway (outlined in red) is seen in its local context. I have juxtaposed various aspects of the geography, geology, hydrology, topography, transportation, and land use. The maps look at certain information that I have gathered from City of Seattle and King County data that in the course of this project I have deemed essential for an understanding of the Lower Duwamish.

0

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Aerial view of the Green/Duwamish Watershed. [Images from GoogleEarth, manipulated by author] Following pages: maps made of the Lower Duwamish Waterway using King County and City of Seattle GIS data [WAGDA]


N site research: a palimpsest of images, data, maps, narratives

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CSO OUTFALLS AND BASINS

Legend Lower Duwamish Waterway Waterbody CSO Outfall

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CSO Basin King County

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ELEVATION AND TOPOGRAPHY

Legend Lower Duwamish Waterway Waterbody King County

Contour ELEV 0 - 278 279 - 338 339 - 398 399 - 456 457 - 554


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GEOLOGY AND WATER

Legend Lower Duwamish Waterway Waterbody

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King County Landfill

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WATER AND WETLANDS

Legend Lower Duwamish Waterway Wetland Waterbody King County King County Streams and Rivers (KC)

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site research: a palimpsest of images, data, maps, narratives

TRANSPORTATION ROUTES

Legend Lower Duwamish Waterway King County Transportation Network Waterbody !! ! ! !! ! !!!! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! !! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! !!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !!! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! !! ! !! ! ! !! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! !! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! !! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! !! !! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !!! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! !! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! !! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! !! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! !! !! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! !!! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! !! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! !! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! !! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! !! !! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! !! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! !! !! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !!! ! ! !!! !! !!!! ! ! ! ! !!!! !!! !! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! !!! ! ! !! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! !! !! ! !! ! ! !! ! !!! ! ! !! ! !! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! !! ! ! !! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 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! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! !!! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! !!! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! !! !!! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! !!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! !! !!! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! !!! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! !!! ! ! ! ! !! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! !! !!! !! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !!! ! ! ! ! !! ! !! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! !! !! ! !! ! !! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! !! !! ! ! !! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! !! ! ! ! !! ! !!! !! ! ! !!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !!! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! !! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! !!! ! ! !! !! !! !!! !!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! !! !!! ! !! ! !! !!! ! ! !! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! !! ! !! ! !! ! !! ! !!! ! ! ! !! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! !! ! !! !!!! ! !!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! !! !! ! ! ! !! ! !! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !!! ! ! ! ! !!! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! !!! ! !!! ! !! !! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! !! !! !! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! !! ! ! !! ! ! !!! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! !! ! ! !!! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! !! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! !! ! !! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! !! !! ! !! ! !!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !!! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !!! ! !! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! !! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! !!! !! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !!!!! ! ! ! ! ! !! !!! ! ! ! ! ! ! !!! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !!! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! !! !!! !! ! !! ! ! ! !! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! !! !! ! !! !!! !!! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! !! ! ! !! ! ! !! ! ! ! !! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! !!!!! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! !! ! ! !! !! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! !!! ! ! ! !! !!! ! !! !!! !! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! !! !! !! !!! !! !! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! !!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! !! ! ! !! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! !! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! !! ! !! !!! !!! ! !!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! !!! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !!! ! ! ! !! !! ! ! ! !! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! !

N BUILDINGS AND STREET TREES

King County Arterial

Legend Lower Duwamish Waterway Waterbody King County !

Street Tree (Seattle) Buildings

0

0.4 0.8

1.6

2.4

3.2 Miles

!


N 142

DESIGN FOR THE FUTURE

SEATTLE ZONING

Legend Lower Duwamish Waterway Waterbody King County

Zoning (Seattle) <all other values>

table5_CLA Downtown Major Institutions Manufacturing/Industrial Multi-Family Neighborhood/Commercial

N

Residential/Commercial Single Family

0

0.4 0.8

1.6

2.4

3.2 Miles

PUBLIC LANDS AND PARKS

Legend Lower Duwamish Waterway Waterbody King County Public Lands Park

0

0.4 0.8

1.6

2.4

3.2 Miles


DESIGN AT URBAN SCALE: IDEAS FOR THE WATERWAY/ESTUARY Site analysis, such as viewing and creating maps, listening and forming narratives, experiencing the place, researching data and history, and zooming in between multiple scales has formed the basis of my design principles or project objectives, which include: • • • • • • •

Alter perceptions of river through representation Connect nature and culture through experience of site Acknowledge past layers of time in site design Restore natural processes (ecological, hydrological, etc.) Experiment with new ideas for form and function Connect community to the Duwamish Create a safe environment for people and wildlife

These principles can be applied to multiple sites and multiple scales, providing a framework for imagining a new future for the Duwamish. Ideas for site interventions, urban planning goals, and activities and events to bring awareness to the Duwamish River and its current issues and state of flux, became categorized in the framework of nine themes which I used in my site analysis: Altering, Flowing, Shifting, Accumulating, Concealing, Revealing, Spanning, Dwelling, and Living. These concepts have natural and cultural dimensions throughout time and are action-based. In imagining what the future of the Duwamish could be I came up with spatial and temporal ideas for actions that could be made to catalyze processes, connect systems, and create places that would improve the Lower Duwamish River over time and thought of ways that designers, working with interdisciplinary groups of experts, could use the Superfund cleanup as a driving force of energy and funding to make changes that would continue to improve the Duwamish River over time and make it a place for people, industry, wildlife, and countless other uses and stakeholders. In the following section I have presented some ideas I have for the future of the Lower Duwamish at the urban and local scale. These ideas suggest actions that have been generated through an influence of my research, my understandings of place, and the previous actions of planners, designers, engineers, and community members in providing various frameworks such as the Duwamish Valley Vision Map and the Lower Duwamish Superfund Cleanup Feasibility Study. Looking at the urban and localized scale in more depth led me to find an appropriate site for further inquiry into my framework and how it could apply to individual sites, and I also created a vision and site plan for a specific parcel, the Terminal 117 Early Action Area.


144

DESIGN FOR THE FUTURE

PHASE IV: SCAFFOLDS

PHASE III: INCUBATORS

PHASE II: CATALYSTS

PHASE I: AWARENESS

ROADS, HISTORIC RIVER + WATERWAY

My masterplan for the LDW was interpreted from the Duwamish Valley Vision Map, GIS data layers, aerial photographs, understandings from my research and experience of the place. Ideas for future development are based on my aforementioned design project objectives and are categorized by the following nine themes: Altering, Flowing, Shifting, Accumulating, Concealing, Revealing, Livng, Spanning, and Dwelling.


design at urban scale: ideas for the waterway/estuary

145


OBSERVATIONS

GOALS

- changing landscape: river course; tidal mudflats to armored shoreline - idea of industrial waterway prevails despite long changing history

- acknowledge past of major changes to landform and ecology in new design interventions - alter perception of river

- hydrology of river: water flowing horizontally and vertically - movement of people and goods - stormwater an issue now

- restore natural processes - improve stormwater system - create opportunities for people to get on river and habitat

- boundaries constantly changing between land and water - attention to issues and sites constantly in flux

- articulate shifting shoreline vertically and horizontally - place attention on ephemeral - landscape architecture as catalyst to change industry

- layers of historic, cultural, social, and ecological processes - ecological processes, perception, toxins, etc.

- revealing the palimpsest/ complexity of site through interventions, representation, and communication - strategically contain contamination and remediate if possible

- covering up meanders, toxins, and histories - views from air and roads is mostly ambiguous - large roofs and fences

- use cleanup options to alter ground plane - change appearance of area seen from aerial and vehicles

REVEALING

- oxbows show traces of former river courses - superfund designation brings attention and funding to the problem

- show traces of former land forms and uses - use design elements to reveal different aspects of history and issues - encourage public and tribal art

SPANNING

- disconnected neighborhoods - lack of relationship between industrial area and the rest of the city

- make connections physically and mentally between disparate areas - create new networks and connect systems (infrastructure and ecology)

- lack of public access - longhouse making native peoplesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; presence stronger on river - neighborhoods have distinct character and long history

- create new public spaces - make communities and activities for people as much of a presence on the river as industry - clean river to safe fishing levels

- wildlife is omnipresent despite high pollution levels - restoration areas create habitat

- improve quality of life - create a safe environment - close cycle of waste

ALTERING

FLOWING

SHIFTING

ACCUMULATING

CONCEALING

DWELLING

LIVING


METHODS

DESIGN

- cleanup options and historic forms become design parameters - identify changes in river throughout the 20th century

- use process of moving earth to clean contamination to set stage for new designs and experiments - graphic communication of issue - places for recreation and tourism

- study complex hydrological processes of river and stormwater - observe flows of people and goods - experience being on the river

- restore shoreline areas for more natural waterflow into site - create systems for slowing and cleaning stormwater - create boat launch areas

- change mode of looking at site (plan, section, perspective) - shift between site scale and regional scales during design process

- tides and water level change marked by grid of posts - piers and mudflat areas create places to experience site change - new ideas/catalysts for industry

- gather data and narratives from different sources and perspectives - allow buildup of research and ideas to lead project direction

- express aspects of site in new ways: informational maps and images, narratives, art, design (of landforms, structures, vegetation, etc.) - collect and contain contamination

- find concealed meanders through geological and hydrological maps - choreograph cleanup options with future design interventions

- cap and fill mounds become site amenities of viewpoints - green roofs and art on industrial buildings

- process multiple histories of the river through research - choose what to reveal in representation and communication

- reveal ecological history (historic meanders, landforms, uses, toxins) - presence multiple social histories - reveal traces on site (desire lines) - art and event spaces and ideas

REVEALING

- find places for new connections to city and natural areas - look at networks across scales of geography and time

- create infrastructural connections and site elements that span shore - keep areas unprogrammed for future uses

SPANNING

- communicate with local people at community meetings - contemplate how i see the river as a citizen of Seattle

- create a neighborhood park that connects people to water - provide spaces and ideas for community events and site-specific art

- study natural processes - improve site soils and water through in situ remediation

- habitat restoration, corridors, and phytoremediation - habitat scaffolds: (shell)fish, birds

ALTERING

FLOWING

SHIFTING

ACCUMULATING

CONCEALING

DWELLING

LIVING


EPA CLEANUP TIMELINE 0

5

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

50+ $1400

alternative 1

$1300

+no further action (29 ac EAAs) +no risk reduction goals (baseline)

$1200

alternative 2R/2CAD

$1100

+targets “hot spots” in the LDW (30 ac) +upland disposal of dredging or on-site

$1000

alternative 3R/3C

$900

+targets intertidal areas (57 ac) +contingency plan if goal not met

$800 $700

alternative 4R/4C

+”active” remediation (114 ac) +contingencies if goals not met

$600 $500

alternative 5R/5RT/5C +increased “active” cleanup (157 ac) +on-site soil washing option (5RT)

$400 $300

alternative 6R/6C

$200

+only “active” treatment (299 ac) +most stringent plan by EPA

art

community visioning small-scale interventions restoration planting trail networks rebuild bridge

community participation habitat restoration soil remediation target urban growth areas temporary green industry

community participation transportation infrastructure tidal power generation permanent green industry ecological infrastructure

RECOVERY TIMELINE

events

community participation climate change/sea rise new mixture of uses new global and local links industrial ecology system

PHASE V: SPECULATIVE FUTURES (10-100 YRS)

recreation and tourism communication

PHASE IV: SCAFFOLDS (5-20 YRS)

community participation

PHASE III: INCUBATORS (2-10 YRS)

cost (millions)

PHASE II: CATALYSTS (0-5 YRS)

years to construct

PHASE I: AWARENESS (0-2 YRS)

$0

time to long-term predicted concentrations


ZOOMING IN ON A SITE: IDEAS AT MID-LEVEL SCALE

SOUND

SHIFTING

PARTI DIAGRAM early action areas

MOUNTAINS


FLOWING DWELLING

FLOWING cuts are made into the land to allow the river to flood again DWELLING the community of south park is connected to the water and each other through paths and access

REVEALING SPANNING

REVEALING aerial view from planes is considered, along with existing site aspects and structures SPANNING south park bridge is reconnected and redesigned


ACCUMULATING contaminated soil is brought to site for remediation; contained within the superfund area

ACCUMULATING ALTERING

ALTERING cuts are made in the pavement throughout the area, allowing stormwater to flow into the ground and filter

CONCEALING ultra contaminated soil is capped and makes new land formations. portions of the building scaffolding is reused as green screen; green roofs give an idea of seattle to travelers above LIVING green roofs and ground vegetation add life

CONCEALING LIVING


MID-LEVEL SITE: BOEING PLANT 2 EARLY ACTION AREA (EAA),TERMINAL 117 EAA AND DUWAMISH RIVER

SOUND

SITE MAP WITH CONTEXT PHOTOS

EARLY ACTION AREAS

MOUNTAINS

NEW INDUSTRY: EXPERIMENTAL REMEDIATION AT BOEING PLANT 2 The former Boeing Plant 2, built in 1936, is being demolished right now. The consequences of decades of heavy industry has taken a toll and the production at the factory has been shrinking since the time when it was in its heyday, making many of the fighting planes during World War II, and was camouflaged by a 3/4 scale suburban neighborhood on its roof. There is a window of opportunity to turn this neglected site into a place for experimental remediation of the contaminated soil for the USEPA Superfund cleanup, keeping it from being hauled to far away sites; and a place for large scale art, visible from planes taking off and landing at the nearby airport.


POTENTIAL FUTURES

native evergreens

large-scale art

cap and fill

rhizodegrating cover

native grasses

raingarden

phytodegredating trees pcb-metabolizing bushes

wetland

mudflats

sedimentation berms

dredging

metal-uptaking cover

mycoremediation

oysters

soil washing

COMMUNITY AND HISTORY AT TERMINAL 117 The former asphalt company site can become a waterfront park, connecting the neighborhood of South Park to the Duwamish River. The site becomes a reading of the passage of time, from evergreen forest, to hunting meadow, to asphalt desert, to its future as a remediated place for people. To minimize impact on future water quality, stormwater planters, raingardens, and wetlands can collect runoff before it flows into the river; and shallow mudflats accumulate with sediment-collecting extruding berms that create places for habitat and for people to view the changing nature of the Duwamish River/Estuary/Waterway.


A NEW FUTURE FOR THE BOEING PLANT 2 SITE: REMEDIATION + ART PARK


Images from top right: Boeing Plant 2 during demolition, the last thing to go was a large screen along the waterfront that could be kept and used as a green screen or for projecting images visible from the water [author]; Boeing Plant 2 roof during WWII when it was camouflaged with a model of a suburban area [prweb.com]; Boeing Plant 2 from the side with a bomber plane manufactured there [americanmilitaryhistory.msw.com]; Boeing employee posing on the roof in front of one of the model trees [seattletimes.com]. Above: Boeing Plant 2 around 1945 from 5000 ft [taphilo.com] Left: This history of the site could be present on the site in the formal moves of the plan for a future design, in sculpture, and in other aesthetic design moves. In the parti plan to the left, I have shown what a future site might look like as a large park with access roads and a large protected riverine area in the location of a former oxbow.


T117_Poster.gif (GIF Image, 1200x1798 pixels) - Scaled (37%)

Information about the Terminal 117 Early Action Cleanup [Lower Duwamish Waterway Group]

http://www.t117.com/imag


design at parcel scale: Terminal 117/ Palimpsest Park

157

DESIGN AT PARCEL SCALE: TERMINAL 117/ PALIMPSEST PARK The site I have chosen to create a design for is the Terminal 117 Early Action Area in South Park, formerly the site of asphalt manufacturing since the late 1930s and currently owned by the Port of Seattle, who has fenced off and capped the site. This project, an idea for landscape intervention in South Park on the shores of the Duwamish, intends to reflect the forces present at this point in time, ten years after being named Superfund. At this point in the cleanup, the site has been capped with thick asphalt, surrounded on three sides by chain link fence and on the riverfront with a thicket of blackberries. Clearly, the current landscape is shaped by the idea of containing toxins and keeping people out, with no other purpose or public access. The owners of the site, the Port of Seattle, have created the Lower Duwamish River Habitat Restoration Plan: An Inventory of Port of Seattle Properties document. This plan establishes a planning framework for estuarine, shoreline, and aquatic


Perspective photos taken at Terminal 117 site. I was granted access by the Port of Seattle for the purposes of this project. [author]


design at parcel scale: Terminal 117/ Palimpsest Park

159

restoration that aligns with marine commerce and industry on the LDW. The Port’s recommendations in the plan for potential restoration actions on the Terminal 117 site include: removing existing buildings and the bulkhead, evacuation of the filled upland area (exposing 2.5 acres of intertidal area), regrading the site to create areas of mud/sand substrate and marsh vegetation, and planting the riparian area. Recently the City and Port of Seattle have committed $33 million to cleanup of Terminal 117 and will submit plans to the EPA for sediment removal, upland soil removal and cleanup of residential areas, and replacement of the temporary stormwater collection system with a permanent stormwater collection and treatment system.214 In the Lower Duwamish Habitat Restoration Plan there is no mention of landscape architecture, however it is mentioned that the river “provides a sense of place and is a key feature of the environmental setting for the neighborhoods located along its banks, particularly South Park and Georgetown.” 215

Proposed Early Action Site Overview EE/CA PCB sediment removal area

Seattle

wa Du m is h R.

Residential yards removal areas

Adjacent street removal areas

T-117 EAA boundary

Final removal areas, including residential yards and street removal areas, will be determined in the EPA Action Memorandum.

Map explaining Early Action Area boundaries and potential actions for cleanup. [LDWG]

T-117 upland removal area


LEGEND !

Street Tree CSO Outfall Pavement Edge Terminal117 Parcel Buildings Parcel Duwamish River Pre-settlement River Potential Slide Steep Slope Floodway CSO Basin Liquefaction Zone Floodplain 2-ft Contour

0

112.5

225

450

675

Feet 900

Analysis of the geographical information available for this site shows that it is located below a steep slope; it is adjacent to floodplain, floodway, and liquefaction zones; and there are no street trees in the vicinity. A former oxbow is shown to the north, drawn from pre-settlement maps. At one time, the oxbow depicted in this data was probably a meander flowing through the site and connecting to a wider channel.

[Image by author using data from City of Seattle and King County Washington State Geospatial Archive for current geographical information, and Waterlines Project historical data layer showing past meanders and oxbows]


HISTORY OF TERMINAL 117 PARCEL 2011 Cleanup design begins 2010 Final EE/CA released to the public Public meeting held in June to provide opportunities for public comments on draft EE/CA Final Action Memorandum issued in September outlining the approved cleanup design 2009 Additional sampling and analysis to determine levels of PCBs and dioxins in streets and yards adjacent to T-117 EE/CA development delayed awaiting sampling and analysis results Boundaries for PCB cleanup established Dioxin investigations ongoing; will be addressed separately from Early Action Area cleanup Port and City submit revised draft EE/CA to EPA and Ecology for review 2008 Port conducts interim repair of eroded bank on T-117 Dioxin levels above state cleanup standard is found in soil samples T-117 and adjacent streets and yards 2007 Community involvement results in Port Commission changing end use of site to unrestricted, resulting in need for revised cleanup plan Port Commission commits to habitat restoration after site cleanup EPA directs Port and City to revise EE/CA to reflect unrestricted use as cleanup level Port and City begin revising EE/CA for the cleanup action at T-117 2006 Additional PCBs discovered on site and in streets Second emergency Superfund Cleanup Action conducted for PCB contaminated soil 2005 EE/CA submitted to EPA, based on industrial use cleanup standard EPA approved the EE/CA and issued an action memorandum 2004 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2005 City of Seattle discovered PCBs in some adjacent streets and yards City removed gravel, paved over some contamination, cleaned streets, installed a temporary stormwater collection and treatment system and cleaned two residential yards 2003 T-117 selected as an Early Action Area due to elevated concentrations of PCBs 1999 - 2003 Port removal of contaminated soil, asphalt, oil and pipes Port removal of a non-leaking underground diesel storage tank Port removal of drums and debris from the offshore intertidal area 1999 Port of Seattle acquired the site EPA-directed emergency Superfund Cleanup Action was conducted by the Port to remove soil contaminated with PCBs 1997 Malarkey Asphalt Company decommissioned tanks and equipment and removed asbestos 1937 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 1993 Asphalt manufacturing (Duwamish Manufacturing Company and Malarkey Asphalt Company)

[information: Port of Seattle <http://portproperties.org/t117/history.aspx>]


162

DESIGN FOR THE FUTURE

SPANNING: ROAD AND PATHS

SHIFTING: MARKING POSTS AND TIDES

CONCEALING: NEW TOPOGRAPHY

LIVING: NEW TREES PHYTOREMEDIATE

FLOWING: WETLAND PONDS/TIDES

DWELLING: NEW LOCAL AMENITIES

diagrams of various site elements


SITE ELEMENTS PLAN FOR TERMINAL 117/PALIMPSEST PARK


164

DESIGN FOR THE FUTURE

My design seeks to shift attention on the site to experience of place and cleanup or containment of toxins, allowing those concerns to inform each other. Cleanup methods mentioned in the Feasibility Study and experimental technologies provide design parameters. The flow and hydrology of the river informs the design interventions, and allows for various ways of experiencing that flow â&#x20AC;&#x201C; both vertically with the tides and horizontally with the movement of water out to Elliot Bay and boats leaving from the site into the river. This will be a space to observe the fluid urbanism of commerce, dwelling, and recreation on the river, and connect pedestrians from the site to Georgetown via the new South Park Bridge and facilitate the flow of ideas and people between neighborhoods. In addition to the cleanup of the actual Terminal 117 site, I recommend phytoremediation in adjacent residential properties and cleanup of the adjacent property that was used for oil storage through mycoremediation. This site design for Terminal 117 is a neighborhood park with tourist attractions. In addition to regular amenities such as open space, access to the water, and site furniture, there will be facilities for boat storage and community garden plots, and stormwater from the parking lot above the site to the south will be mediated by a series of wetland ponds stepping down to the water. In this design, the edge between the water and the land becomes fuzzy, with the former armored riverbank giving way to a gradual slope down to the shore. Post structures provide bird habitat and a reading of water level change throughout the day with the tides, while making a connection to the history of the river as a maritime industrial location built on piers. Design strategies incorporate time-based ecologies and processes that encourage active occupation of the site â&#x20AC;&#x201C; by people, flora, and fauna. The incorporation of places for sculpture installations allows for a changing aesthetic of the site while also providing an experimental place for art. This changing space for art reinforces the experimental nature of the site remediation techniques.


PLANT PALETTE

Betula pendula European Birch

Trifolium repens White Clover

Brassica rapa Field Mustard

Cornus stolonifera Red Osier Dogwood

Salicornia virginica Pickleweed

Carex Lyngbyei Lyngbyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Sedge

Rosa pisocarpa Clustered wild rose

Helianthus annuus Sunflower

Juncus ensifolius Daggerleaf rush


MATERIALS AND SITE FEATURES

Straight paths (existing asphalt)

Site structures (shipping container)

Berm structure (recycled concrete)

Meandering paths (existing asphalt)

Walkway (metal)

Lighting

Mudflats

P Patch Garden

Picnic Area


BIRCH TREES REMEDIATE PCB CONTAMINANTS RED OSIER DOGWOOD PROVIDES COLOR THAT EVOKES DANGER

WETLANDS PROVIDE HABITAT FOR ANIMALS SUCH AS NATIVE FROGS AND MIGRATORY BIRDS PATH MEANDERS AND IS LAID OUT ACCORDING TO DESIRE LINES

WATER FLOWS TO RIVER THROUGH A SERIES OF WETLANDS, WHICH PURIFY THE WATER


RECREATION

RIVER ACCESS:VISUALLY AND PHYSICALLY

ADAPTIVE REUSE “MUTANT” TREES: DWARF AND WEEPING DOUGLAS FIRS

EXPERIMENTAL REMEDIATION


design at parcel scale: Terminal 117/ Palimpsest Park

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There are nine major themes in the design– Altering, Flowing, Shifting, Accumulating, Concealing, Revealing, Spanning, Dwelling, and Living. A potential future is imagined for the place. The land is altered – asphalt and fence removed, hills and oxbows are made with the movement of earth, land is cut into to allow water flow and remove toxic sediments and soil. Boundaries shift and so do scales of time – informed by geological history and shifting tides. Accumulation of data, history, and ideas inform the design. Cap and fill mounds conceal contaminants as they reveal them and keep them on site. Traces are revealed through the first stage of the design – outlining former traces, seen in aerial photos, on the current asphalt surface with paint – and then in desire lines and channels of water moving up and down and across the site. Spanning the idea of the site across and down the river – thinking of the river as a system and looking at the thick section – Boeing Plant 2, Terminal 117, and the Duwamish itself as part of the site provide a framework for making recommendations for connections across the future South Park Bridge and future uses. Community participatory design, which informs this intervention, brings the people who are dwelling in the adjacent neighborhoods into the discussion of the Superfund cleanup. An essential aspect of my proposed site design for Terminal 117 is connecting those people to the river, making it a part of their neighborhood. Over time, the living formal and ecological elements of vegetation will transform the site. Currently, the majority of the site is devoid of vegetation, except for along the water and the moss and other pioneering plants that heroically break through the asphalt to seek the sun. This design uses plants not only for comfort and aesthetic value, but also to clean the soil through phytoremediation, and to give citizens ownership over the property through a community event of planting trees dedicated to them. These design interventions aim to transform the site from a contaminated, forgotten piece of land to a place full of vitality and life. Events and routes that emphasize the performance of landscape beyond technical performance can gather more interest in a place. Temporary uses of landscapes in flux have the potential for diverse futures, creating dynamic relationships between permanent and temporary programs. By creating an open narrative on the site – referencing history through design elements in different zones of the site – stories are told in the context of the Duwamish while allowing people to formulate their own stories and experiences.

STEPS DOWN TO THE WATER AT THE END OF A LONG SEDIMENT-RETAINING BERM, PROVIDE A WAY TO GET CLOSE TO THE RIVER, A NEW SPATIAL EXPERIENCE THROUGHOUT THE DAY. POSTS PROVIDE HABITAT FOR BIRDS WHO ALSO CURRENTLY NEST ON OLD PIERS


Sample sketches of parcel and mid-scale site analysis and design ideas. [author]


DESIGN CHALLENGES, LIMITATIONS, AND POTENTIALS FOR THE FUTURE For my thesis project, I chose to study manufactured landscapes. Having studied architecture and landscape architecture and worked in the field of land conservation, it has become apparent that cleaning up toxic landscapes is an important part of improving quality of life in our urban areas ecologically, aesthetically, socially, and economically. Developing brownfields also prevents additional land from being developed in the productive outskirts of cities built on prime agricultural land, like Seattle, and in ecologically sensitive hinterlands such as the Pacific Northwestâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s forests and mountain areas. By restoring natural processes to manufactured landscapes like industrial waterways, we can begin to achieve a greater balance of nature and culture in our urbanized regions. In my inquiry, I also wanted to explore how designers can change perspectives about places in transition and establish cues to care through design interventions. As I knew that I wanted to look at a site in Seattle in more depth, it quickly became clear that the Duwamish River was the place to explore and design for as my thesis project, with its many layers of aesthetic, ecological, and cultural interest; the current transition and funding via Superfund cleanup; and the prominence in the history of Seattle. Taking on this project as a design happened gradually, building up over time after a spark of initial interest drew me to this place. Exploring its changing natures, I began to grasp the layered history of the Duwamish River/Estuary/Waterway/Superfund Site. The massive scope of problems and potentials, and the amount of information available quickly became overwhelming as I explored the multifaceted nature of the place, discovered huge amounts of data and multiple narratives, and began to realize the endless ways that the place appeared to others. This document reflects a glimpse of what I found in the progression of my research and design studies. It is not a complete history, and is naturally told through my own lens as an individual, with my particular experiences and interests in the world. The thesis process allowed me to explore topics that are not central to my inquiry and may or may not be present in this document, but nevertheless have expanded my horizons as a designer and citizen of Seattle. The design work presented in this thesis emerged after months of studying contemporary and historical design theory, literature, history, news, art, case studies, ecology, remediation, and other topics central to or tangentially related to my initial question: How can the landscape architect/urban designer process information and work at various scales of geography and time to analyze, represent, and design for a manufactured site through landscape intervention, text, and image? Using the idea of palimpsest as the medium of exploration, I began to peel back the various layers of place that I discovered in my analysis, and reconfigure those layers in new ways through representation and design. During the design process I began to wonder if it is possible to design for multiple histories in a meaningful way. Can we as designers, working on a site design for months or even years, really get to


Working drawings for Terminal 117/Palimpsest Park site plan. These drawings were copied into and reworked in AutoCAD. [author]


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the essence of a place through a design process? Are all designs just experiments, or can case studies give us an idea for a site design that will work in another place? In a place where so much needs to be done, how can designers work with incremental change at various scales while also choreographing a larger vision? These questions are still not wholly answered, yet I have a better understanding now than I ever have of the landscape architect’s role in our society and I am excited to use what I have learned about landscape design and theory as a launching point in my career as a landscape architect and continue to ask these questions as I visit new and familiar landscapes or work as a designer. In the future, I will continue to be interested in the Duwamish in all of its intricacies and hope to become more involved in activism and volunteering with the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition. Their model for community involvement seems to be working very well and I admire their multifaceted approach to getting people to take notice in this huge investment in our city and our environmental future that is the Superfund cleanup. I plan to continue to explore this place through art and photography more than I was able to during the course of this project and continue to rework the content of this thesis for various audiences. I found that categorizing my findings and design moves through language was a good strategy for a complex design process. The nine major themes in my analysis and design process include Altering, Flowing, Shifting, Accumulating, Concealing, Revealing, Spanning, Dwelling, and Living. These concepts manifest themselves in various ways depending on the context of scale and stage of the design process but create a framework that organizes a complicated set of information and ideas. Parallel to and informing the nine themes were several design project objectives or principles emerged including: • • • • • • •

Alter perceptions of river through representation Connect nature and culture through experience of site Acknowledge past layers of time in site design Restore natural processes (ecological, hydrological, etc.) Experiment with new ideas for form and function Connect community to the Duwamish Create a safe environment for people and wildlife

Evaluating my designs and design ideas for the three targeted scales - parcel, parcel context, and the river corridor encompassing the Superfund site - I think that they reflect the aforementioned goals and in turn, the goals drove the design process. For example, the Terminal 117 site design establishes a network of rectilinear paths and piers that frame the messier appearance of plantings such as wetland and phytoremediation grasses, attempting to restore natural processes while connecting nature and culture through experience of site. Posts acknowledge the landscape of ghost piers found throughout the LDW while creating places for birds to nest, perch and hunt from; and can become a framework for future oysterbeds and other habitat. Cleanup of contamination helps to create a safe environment for people and wildlife, while experimentation with remediation techniques acknowledges the LDW’s


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past as a place for experimentation and innovation in industry (the cleanup is a new industry - with significant amounts of money, job creation, and industrial processes involved). The master plan attempts to coordinate ideas for the LDW that connect the design objectives to particular places and processes along the river corridor. Despite the attention to goals in my design, I found limitations of the design process and my design that I would like to highlight. I do not feel that my conclusions I have come to and the ideas proposed are the only ones that will work for this place as far as site elements and design concepts at the parcel and other scales, and this is due to a number of factors. Working alone produces very different results than group work, and although I received feedback from my advisors, other professors, and colleagues during the design process it was largely a solo endeavor. It would be very interesting to be able to concurrently work on a design for this site in a group and as an individual and see how differently things turn out. I also believe very strongly in the idea that post-industrial work requires transdisciplinary knowledge, and although I attempted to learn as much as I could about the ecology of the Duwamish, engineering for waterway sites, cleanup options, bioremediation, and myriads of other issues, I am not qualified to act as an expert regarding those fields and am sure I missed many important considerations that I would have discovered working with other experts as a landscape designer and choreographer. I also was not able to fully explore the various scales that I felt would give me a better understanding of the place or spend as much time doing site research as I would have liked to have now, in hindsight. I also would have chosen to work on the parcel design across the river at the Boeing Plant 2 site if I could have gone back and started again. I was more inspired by the history of that site, and I think that the design process would have been more enjoyable if I had focused my detailed attention on that site. In the future I may choose to create a design for that parcel and I have included some of my initial ideas and inspirations from the site history in this thesis, to give a glimpse of where my ideas headed once it was too late to change my site for the purposes of this project. There is never enough time! Another major limitation concerns the tools available to landscape architects for working through the design process. Visualizing the transformation of a site from asphalt cap to functional park can be attempted from various angles and with different representation techniques - such as drawing, photocollage, modeling (analog and digital), plans, and sections - yet none of these tools can really substitute for experience of the construction site and the destructive/constructive processes on a human scale. The various modes of operation I used while designing each held different implications for the design and concealed things that others revealed. For example, I found that working through construction documents in AutoCAD (as I did for a large scale construction course), altered the way that I designed for the place. This was due to the limitations of that software as well as the complexity of working out how to construct the landscape features I wanted in my design. Communicating data in a creative way presented another hurdle for me, as I wanted to make this document as graphically interesting as possible, but often lacked the skills or creative spark to make a graphic I felt conveyed


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what I intended for it to convey. Over time I plan to continue to work on this type of graphic communication, as a part of being an activist designer, and use images to alter perceptions of the Duwamish that may spark someone else’s curiosity or creativity. This project marked a point in a long inquiry into the idea and profession of landscape architecture and the specific topics of manufactured landscapes, waterfront design, experience of landscape, design activism through representation. Other citizens and stakeholders need to get involved and discover what potentials and limitations the Duwamish River/ Estuary/ Waterway/ Superfund Site holds and begin to formulate their idea of a potential future for the Duwamish, in order to create a more positive future for all of us. Through my design process, which was informed by my extensive thesis research, I found as many questions as I did answers. I will continue to explore these questions and work on the limitations and strengths I have discovered in myself, with the end goal of being a relevant designer of landscapes, one who responds to contemporary conditions and problems with a reverence for the past and an eye to the future, always keeping in mind that landscape is experienced.

ENDNOTES: DESIGN FOR THE FUTURE 209. Jackson, John Brinckerhoff. Discovering the Vernacular Landscape. New Haven:Yale University Press, 1984. Print. New York Times architecture critic Herbert Muschamp stated that J.B. Jackson was “America’s greatest living writer on the forces that have shaped the land this nation occupies” before his death in 1996 (Wikipedia). 210. Berger, Alan. Reclaiming the American West. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2002. Print. Pg 151 211. James Corner, “Ecology and Landscape as Agents of Creativity,” in Ecological Design and Planning. 1997. John Wiley. Print. Pg 82 212. Potteiger, Matthew, and Jamie Purinton. Landscape Narratives: Design Practices for Telling Stories. New York: J. Wiley, 1998. Print. 213. USEPA. “City and Port of Seattle Commit to $33 Million Cleanup of Terminal 117 on Lower Duwamish Waterway.” Seattle 2011. 214. Seaport Planning Group. Lower Duwamish Habitat Restoration Plan: An Inventory of Port of Seattle Properties: Port of Seattle, 2009. Print.


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APPENDIX


Context board for thesis studio midreview February 2011 (presentation also included process sketches; final review included this board with a projected presentation)


Above: Image of Abstract, accepted for paper presentation for the March 2011 Lean Years Exhibition at University of Michigan: Infrastructure, Dwelling, and Sustenance (did not attend) Abstract also accepted for paper presentation at European Council of Landscape Architecture Schools Ethics/Aesthetics Conference 2011 in Sheffield, England (did not attend) Below: Construction Documentation for Terminal 117/Palimpsest Park


DUWAMISH PALIMPSEST: Exploring the Changing Natures of a River/Estuary/Waterway/Superfund Site

2011

Jordan West Monez

Profile for Jordan Monez

Duwamish Palimpsest  

Exploring the Changing Natures of a River/Estuary/Waterway/Superfund Site

Duwamish Palimpsest  

Exploring the Changing Natures of a River/Estuary/Waterway/Superfund Site

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