Monday, May 15, 2006

Progress for Public Spaces

More than 100 business and community leaders participated in recent activities with the Project for Public Spaces, sponsored by the Downtown BIA and its partners. PPS will be producing a final report in 4-6 weeks, but plenty of energy has already been released and some strong recommendations have already emerged:

  • Developing a regular "art mart" for Pacific Plaza that will offer local artists the opportunity to hawk their wares;
  • Identifying a location (under I-705?) and funding for a skatepark between downtown and the Thea Foss Waterway;
  • Exploring ways to better (more pro-actively) manage Pacific Plaza and promote its activation (e.g., fill it with people every day)

If you are interested in helping with one of these efforts--or if you think we've left anything off the list that needs to be pursued right now--please leave a comment.

9 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed the workshop last week. A couple people I know that attended were with me after for lunch and we talked about everything all through lunch! I posted audio of each groups feedback about the zone they evaluated on my website at http://www.kevinfreitas.net/journal/tacoma-public-spaces-workshop/ Feel free to link/distribute however you see fit. These are exciting times for Tacoma and I look forward to helping shape its progress from a good to a great place.

    Cheers! ~ Kevin Freitas

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  2. the meeting was really exciting and stimulated a ton of ideas. One question I have, if someone wanted to put on events there currently what would they need to do to get permission to do that?
    I'll write more of the ideas later when I have more time.

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  3. the meeting was really exciting and stimulated a ton of ideas. One question I have, if someone wanted to put on events there currently what would they need to do to get permission to do that?
    I'll write more of the ideas later when I have more time.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Carmen McIntyre11:00 AM

    As you all know, the City of Tacoma, our community leaders and many businesses have poured their heart, souls, time and money into what Tacoma has become today. The Convention Center is one of the largest public projects in decades, so we are working very hard to fill it with true Convention business, which will benefit all the our business partners and stimulate the economic growth for the city and community. We are almost always competing with Seattle & Bellevue for this business, so the more people and activities we have on our streets, the more impressed the decision makers for thes groups are when they come for their tours (when considering us)of the facilities & city. The energy here makes all the difference in the world, so we are very excited about all of the ideas and concepts that are now being discussed. It is great to be a part of the process.
    Grateful!
    Carmen McIntyre, GTCTC

    ReplyDelete
  5. As you all know, the City of Tacoma, our community leaders and many businesses have poured their heart, souls, time and money into what Tacoma has become today. The Convention Center is one of the largest public projects in decades, so we are working very hard to fill it with true Convention business, which will benefit all the our business partners and stimulate the economic growth for the city and community. We are almost always competing with Seattle & Bellevue for this business, so the more people and activities we have on our streets, the more impressed the decision makers for thes groups are when they come for their tours (when considering us)of the facilities & city. The energy here makes all the difference in the world, so we are very excited about all of the ideas and concepts that are now being discussed. It is great to be a part of the process.
    Grateful!
    Carmen McIntyre, GTCTC

    ReplyDelete
  6. The question of ownership came up throughout the seminar. It makes sense to me that the BIA would be the best entity for programing events throughout downtown - not just Pacific Plaza.

    I know the downtown merchants are very busy with their own events- but they are focused on retail shoppers for the most part.

    It would seem logical to me that the entire downtown, not just merchants, would be better served by having one entity in charge of programing events - and I'm guessing the BIA has the clout and $$$ to do a bang-up job.

    Thoughts?

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  7. I was recently in downtown Olympia’s Heritage Park, enjoying its interactive water fountain with my family. Heritage Park is a 1.11 acre site next to Olympia's waterfront. It is also home to shade trees, park benches and lawn areas for relaxation. The park was alive during the hot weather with adults and children alike enjoying the public space on Mother’s Day. I have included a link below to Heritage Park's information page, where a site plan can be found for reference.

    This is the kind of useable fountain/space Group 1 (from the May 11 PPS workshop) suggested in their presentation of needed and possible amenities for one of Tacoma's Pacific Plaza site locations. The Heritage Park fountain is an attraction, which is much different than the current static fountain serving little purpose in Pacific Plaza

    http://www.olympiawa.gov/cityservices/par/parks/HeritageFountain.htm

    Many thanks to Paul Ellis from the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber for coordinating the PPS effort. The possibilities are endless.

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  8. Here are a few more thoughts:

    1.People like to see and be seen.
    2. People love to eat and drink.
    3. Performers (i.e. skaters, musicians) want an audience.
    4. Downtown Tacoma doesn't suffer from a lack of visual art.

    Many groups in the workshop suggested food vendors but it's conspicuously absent from the list of immediate steps. Food vendors will not take business away from existing establishments in the area. If anything, they will draw more attention to the area as an eating and people-watching destination.

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  9. Tacoma Convention Center

    Change the courtyard! What is the point of all of those potted topiary bushes. What a disgrace to the openness and possibility of that space. Emptiness would be better. Pay an artist to come up with something. The topiary pots, speckled about, express no reason or noticeable composition. It's obviously a cheep substitute for a grand possibility.

    Sculptures
    Farmers Market
    Drama Performance
    Ice Rink
    Rotating Artist Installations

    Make it beautiful
    Make it grand
    Make Tacoma
    Better

    ReplyDelete