The Inside Story of Seattle's First Green, Mixed-income Neighborhood (Paperback)
The task: transform a 120-acre, run-down, high-crime, isolated, low-income housing project into a thriving, safe, healthy, mixed-income community with public and market rate housing, and shared green spaces and a street network linking the neighborhood together as well as to the surrounding community. Today, Seattle's High Point is an internationally acclaimed model of green, mixed-income development. In the beginning, however, it was a visionary and highly risky experiment that would require strong leadership, grit, and determination to make it a reality.
Enter Tom Phillips, the urban planner who agreed to take on High Point. The story follows his team's journey from inception to completion, navigating the myriad needs and expectations of a broad range of stakeholders, from government agencies to the design team, contractors, residents, and the broader community, all while keeping his eye on the greater vision and expanding it to include green building and design, at the time a new and fairly radical concept. Throw into the mix the 2008 housing crisis and the subsequent economic recession, and the result is a highly instructive and entertaining narrative filled with wisdom, insight, and lessons learned. It is also, most importantly, a critical, as well as celebratory, look back 18 years from the project's inception, to ponder what worked and what was learned to inform and inspire the next generation who are engaged with the transformation of communities.