Thursday, August 14, 2008

Neighborhood leader Heyward Watson in Seattle Times on sustainable communities

West Seattle resident and long-time leader in affordable housing Heyward Watson penned a terrific editorial in this morning's Seattle Times about what it takes to build truly sustainable communities:  
How do we make existing communities sustainable? How do we transform distressed communities — places plagued by crime, poverty or lack of opportunity — into healthy places to live, work, conduct business and raise children? The answers go beyond green...

...Sustainable community development goes beyond green measures, addressing the full range of a community's needs such as housing, health care, education and public safety. It expands our definition of sustainability to include physical and social environments as well as the natural environment...

...The Delridge Neighborhood in West Seattle and the International District are two more examples of city neighborhoods embracing a broad definition of revitalization and sustainability. Both have developed vibrant community spaces and vital services that connect residents and address the full spectrum of their needs.

The Youngstown Cultural Arts Center in Delridge embodies the spirit of comprehensive, sustainable development. The Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association rehabbed this historic building into affordable housing for low-income artists and an arts and cultural center with a dance studio and 150-seat theater. The center offers various youth arts programs and acts as a community meeting space...

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