Seattle’s Urban Beautification Project (UBP) is getting ready to launch a major overhaul of its cityscape, one that will transform the face of the Puget Sound and its historic neighborhoods.
The plan calls for removing nearly all of the street lights and street art, turning over the historic neighborhoods to private developers and installing LED streetlights along with more landscaping and sidewalks.
UBP is already under construction along the waterfront and in the city’s commercial core.
The project, which has the blessing of the city council, is expected to cost around $30 million.
The Seattle City Council approved the $35 million, 20-year plan on Wednesday, according to the Seattle Times.
“We are now committed to a vision that is more than the sum of its parts,” City Councilmember Bruce Harrell told the newspaper.
“The city needs to be green, it needs to have an open, vibrant and diverse city, and we have to get that done.”
The plan is expected be completed by the end of 2019.
The council approved a plan to add a green roof to the Capitol Hill neighborhood in April.
Harrell said the Capitol area has been the site of more than 1,500 parking violations in the past decade, which cost Seattle taxpayers $1.5 million a year.
The city is now looking to hire a consultant to come up with new ideas to curb the rampant parking.
“Seattle has lost a great deal of good neighborhood character and character over the past 15 years,” Harrell wrote in a letter to city staff.
“While it is possible to get the city to adopt an integrated plan that is inclusive and in keeping with the spirit of the historic preservation laws, we cannot afford to do so until the neighborhood is fully recovered from the past.”
The Seattle city council approved the new plan to remove street lights.
(AP) “This is a very challenging time for Seattle,” Mayor Ed Murray said at the time of the vote.
“Our streets are crumbling, our streets are being abandoned, our parks are being destroyed, our neighborhoods are being lost.”
UBP also has a new goal: creating a green city that will also protect the integrity of the existing historic neighborhoods, Harrell noted.
“If we’re going to keep our streets green, we’re also going to want to preserve the integrity and beauty of our historic neighborhoods,” Harrel said.
“This project is about taking back these historic neighborhoods that we’ve been losing for a very long time.”