In Seattle, a Reborn Park Reflects a Broader Revival

Over the past six years, the Seattle parks department has made great progress in sprucing up Denny Park, the city's oldest, giving new life to the "last stand of big trees amid the city's grit and gray."

Once beset by prostitution and drug dealing, Denny Park has come a long way since the city began a concerted effort to revive the park and add new attractions, reports Lynda V. Mapes. The renewal of the park, coinciding with a boom in the adjacent South Lake Union neighborhood, has brought "a renaissance of appreciation" to the quaint refuge originally dedicated in 1884.

"It's a far cry from the scene here not long ago, notes Dewey Potter, spokeswoman for Seattle Parks and Recreation. Sure, you will still see people reposing on the grass here and there for what looks to be more than an occasional nap on a stolen afternoon," observes Mapes. "But there are no encampments here, no sense anymore of the takeover of this public space by drug dealing and prostitution so brazen that park staff used to observe the goings on through the windows of the administration building."

"There isn't anything in the urban core like this, it's pretty unique," said Mark Mead, senior urban forester for Seattle Parks and Recreation. "It's such a concentrated mass of trees, right in the heart of the city."


Full Story: Old Denny Park gets new life with growth of South Lake Union


Brand new! Urban Grid City Collection

Each city has its own unique story. Commemorate where you came from or where you want to go.
Grids and Guide Red book cover

Grids & Guides

A notebook for visual thinkers. Available in red and black.
T-shirt with map of Chicago

Show your city pride

Men's Ultrasoft CityFabric© tees. Six cities available.
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

The Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs is the only comprehensive ranking and listing of graduate urban planning programs available.
Starting at $24.95