UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

From big box to town center : how redevelopment of the Greenwood Shopping Center can help create a more livable and sustainable town center while reinforcing the neighborhood’s distinctive character Cherniak, Theresa Anne


Seattle is a city of neighborhoods. The City's long range plans call these neighborhoods 'urban villages', and lays out how they might develop over time into fuller service centers for community life. Few designated urban villages have the potential that Greenwood does. Starting with a historic main street commercial area at its core, Greenwood also has a 3 1/2 block area in the center that is ripe for redevelopment. The impetus for this thesis is the proposed expansion of a big box retail store within this 3 1/2 block area, and the community's desire to see the entire area planned comprehensively. This project starts with the solid policy base established over ten years of study, hard work, and consensus building within the Greenwood community. It analyzes this existing policy base against three critical elements of sustainable community design: Green Infrastructure, Liability and Placemaking, and builds on this base where it doesn't fully address these elements. Measures of sustainable community design are developed for use in later assessment of the alternatives. Through extensive inventory, analysis and research on the community, the physical and social opportunities and constraints for the project are developed. The two alternative master plans arising from this foundation provide a range of development options intended to meet the design strategy's requirements. Finally, this project presents an assessment of the two alternatives based on the measures of sustainable community design.

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