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On the history of sustainability in the Pac NW, Part 2
Contents:


  1. Search Tips
  2. A Bibliography for the Capital of the Pacific Northwest: Seattle
  3. Seattle and the roots of urban sustainability : inventing ecotopia (Book, ) [tozidawolata.tk]

Such a positioning makes it is impossible for urban Cascadia to fool itself into believing it is the center of the universe. It can foster, instead, an awareness of marginality, an appreciation of the local as both intimately place-bound and constituted through connections to elsewhere. On the ground, urban Cascadia is obviously green. Visitors frequently comment they have never seen such intense, abundant green before. The verdant landscape owes much to steady if typically light precipitation through the winter months, and a temperate climate year-round. Evergreen forests — although routinely clearcut — are the natural terrain of this region.

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But green is also political in urban Cascadia. Neoliberal i. Political categories aside, Cascadia is home to some of the most landscape-focused cities in North America. In surveys about resident priorities, Cascadians have repeatedly placed environmental concerns above crime and the economy e. Partly building on environmental superlatives, urban Cascadia has gained fame as atypical — both reflecting and shaping the local cultural realm.

In the early s, Seattle was the epicenter of the grunge aesthetic and the bands that spearheaded its sound Bell , serving as home base for Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and others. As Portlandia heads toward its seventh season, it pokes fun at local quirks but has thrust the city into a popcultural limelight like never before London ; Wrotham-Galvin Across these different modes of ascent into broader view, there is a consistent narrative about each city being different as hip, beautiful, and liveable.

While economic opportunities play a part in this scenario, these flows do not necessarily follow an abundance of jobs on offer, but demonstrate instead an elective affinity for a certain Northwestern lifestyle real or imagined that embraces nature, art, and alternative values. While most cities now engage in some kind of branding and selfpromotion, deploying local slogans and iconic images in the service of touristic and commercial development, the Cascadian version of this takes a turn. There is widespread local consciousness as different, and pride in that difference, which is apparent in official and clandestine or artisanal ambits alike e.

It is impossible to miss how much these are cities in love with themselves and their uniqueness. Bucking trends — and setting new ones — is part of what makes urban Cascadia so in love with itself. Portland, the smallest of these cities, has perhaps the longest and most specifically urban history of innovation. While dismissed as beautiful but boring and aimless by Lewis Mumford ; in Artibise et al , on a planning consultation visit, Portland quietly transformed in the last quarter of the 20th century, using techniques atypical elsewhere in the US, at least at first. Innovations in Portland have continued through the present, but largely within this framework: in particular, the massive retrofitting of transportation infrastructure in favor of pedestrians, bicycles, and a proliferating railbased network has occurred since the late s.

Seattle evinces the most prototypical North American urban patterns among Cascadian cities. One field where Seattle has successfully innovated is in its community policing program, becoming a nationwide model by the early s Reed The city around Puget Sound has fared much better at fostering entrepreneurial endeavors over the decades: Starbucks, Microsoft, and Amazon were all born here, going on to become massive, mainstreamed, global corporations.

Vancouver, like Portland, has innovated in the channeling of its urban development, but with a far greater priority placed on design, and the use of megaevents. But more than simply promoting itself to the world, Vancouver has increasingly been host to the world — not just as visitors, but housing the largest foreign-born resident population in the region.

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Immigration is especially prominent from Asia; flows began from China and Japan a century ago, but now all Asian subregions are represented with sizeable populations of immigrants and Canadian-born descendants. Taking the form of compact mixedused development that aims to foster neighborly interaction and discourage car usage through walking and public transport, this is a major feature of Northwestern planning Ozawa ; Sterrett et al These elements, although far from uniform in their application, have been aggressively applied in urban Cascadia, placing the region on the cutting edge of some citymaking and remaking techniques being rolled out around the world.

This is especially about craft cuisine and beverage production, but it exceeds this as well — in the prizing of all kinds of local goods, businesses, ideas, and strategies Fitzgerald This has been part of the flourishing food — and especially food cart — scene in these cities, underlining their status as innovators from donuts to whiskey to coffee e. Yet locavorism runs the risk of romanticization Heying , much the same as New Urbanism. These susceptibilities points to the need to look beneath the surface of this innovation and those above to understand more thoroughly the sociology of urban Cascadia.

The pristine image of Cascadia often appears too good to be true, and in some important ways it is. Racial inequality has a less straightforward trend as the demographic structure of each city has shifted in the same period, and earlier histories of diversity including both its promotion and its suppression continue to exert local influence.

To be sure, inequalities intersect clearly with the innovations and overall distinctiveness outlined above. The ethno-racial profiles of Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver have diverged from each other despite shared origins as settlements with relatively large, homogenous white populations and comparatively sizeable indigenous populations.

All three metropolitan areas are home today to more robust indigenous populations than most large North American cities, but this share is now decreasing. The white proportion of the population is also in relative decline. Within the heterogeneous Vancouver population of color, there are significant pockets of extreme poverty Hiebert ; this minority population is predominantly Asian, whereas Latinos 1. Seattle and Portland have significantly smaller immigrant populations, especially Portland.

Both were disproportionately white as large US cities until the s, having also — relatively — larger indigenous populations US Census Bureau In Seattle, the African American population has historically been numerically and politically more robust Singler et al Since the s, however, while th population size of black Seattleites has remained steady, their relative wealth has declined due to gentrification and their composition has become more foreign-born, due especially to the influx of some African refugee flows Balk According to recent research, these shifts in Seattle have accompanied decreased access to quality education for K students of color, especially African Americans Oliver Asian Americans have relatively high household incomes by US urban standards, and are often on the positive side of gentrification scenarios in Seattle Hwang American Indians in Seattle, with a long and influential presence in the city, face the most structural disadvantage as a demographic group, in terms of rates of unemployment, poverty, and homelessness Thrush These snapshots of change in urban Cascadia point to connections between the innovations for which the region is known, and its inequalities which receive less widespread attention.

New urbanism especially its emphasis on sustainability , rising economic tides, and locavorism can obviously all shape unique, inspiring urban places. Yet several lines of research show how Cascadians of color are significantly excluded from these forms of development: most basically, these are almost never geographically uniform in their rollout; not everywhere benefits from new transit-oriented development, not everyone can afford or physically reach new city amenities Bae et al ; Podobnik ; McKenzie ; Moos ; Mills et al Nonetheless, important efforts are underway in some of these cities to rectify wrongs of the recent past.

This trend — albeit small — includes a program in Portland to counter African American neighborhood displacement by returning former black residents to gentrified areas that were majority African American within the last generation see Theen ; Tremoulet et al Such approaches could represent a new paradigm for urban sustainability that goes beyond simply shifting risk and hardship, as is currently the norm in Cascadia, in ways that are disproportionately detrimental to poor communities of color Dierwechter ; Abel et al Thinking about inequality and innovation together is important for grasping how urban Cascadia is a place with real challenges rather than a kind of utopia where somehow the prosaic dilemmas of city life have been resolved.

This joint consideration is also paramount for finding new, more just solutions. Urban Cascadia has aimed at inclusion, at least in broad strokes. This is a part of the world that continues to attract rapid growth, and has endeavored to find solutions to that growth other than mere expansion. It is a place that has inspired many with its sense of identity, but from many quarters there has been a constant effort to push that identity to evolve rather than to cordon itself off.

Yet with little concept of how to live in this landscape, the newcomers relied heavily on those who did. Chicago, , Settlers traded with Natives not only for salmon, but also for potatoes, meat, clams, baskets, and canoes. They learned from Natives which berries to eat, which to avoid, and where to find them. Native networks in the region were not destroyed by this new network of trade; they were necessary to it and supplemented by it.

Indians helped settlers harvest and load logs. Native knowledge and Native labor were essential to the survival of early Seattle. With a single-minded focus on resource extraction, the major timber capitalists had no interest in town building or community development. Nonetheless, much of that coal passed through Seattle before heading south. Seattle was a major exporter of coal in the late 19th century. Whereas Native people wielded the power of salmon, settlers attached themselves to the power of Douglas fir and coal. Connections were obviously crucial.

With the arrival of the Northern Pacific in and especially with the Great Northern a decade later, Seattle had access to midwestern markets for the first time and far better access to the East Coast. Hill—to buy nearly one million acres of forest land in Washington State. In the spring of , a man named O.

A Bibliography for the Capital of the Pacific Northwest: Seattle

Johnson was headed to the Klondike goldfields. As the purchases of Johnson and hundreds of others like him suggest, the Klondike gold rush was a bonanza for Seattle. The arrival of electric lighting at the turn of the last century revolutionized urban life.


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Frank H. Two things were significant here. Local merchants now routinely traveled to Chicago and New York to place their orders. Before the gold rush, Seattle sat at the periphery of the American empire, a small town only loosely and erratically connected to larger networks of capital and power. Electric lights extended shopping hours and opened up new advertising possibilities.

Central to this transition was a new form of power: hydropower. As Seattle leaders came to recognize the crucial role of energy in urban growth, they began to think seriously about hydropower. Cities, however, do not typically have raging streams with large vertical drops running straight through them. In , the city would build its own small hydro plant as part of a larger project to tap the Cedar River for its water supply. But these were small-scale ventures. With the appointment of the charismatic James Delmage Ross or J. The upper Skagit was a beautiful but remote landscape.

The steep drop promised lots of power, the glacier-fed river, a reliable flow. Native people viewed the Skagit as a rich river that sustained all five species of salmon; engineers saw it as a near-perfect setting for a dam. The Skagit River Hydroelectric Project captured the energy of the river and brought it to Seattle, an example of how urban areas extended their control over resource hinterlands. It was J. Ross and his engineers who planned the electrical lines that flowed away from the Skagit; those lines made no stopovers in towns or at farms along the way.

Yet there were impacts along the river. A beautiful canyon lay submerged beneath a lake, as did key fishing sites belonging to the Upper Skagit tribe. At other times rapidly rising water flushed out eggs and juvenile fish while drowning local cows caught grazing too close to the river. The wires through which electricity flowed were made of copper—an element perfectly suited to the task because each copper atom contains a single, weakly attached electron, which makes this metal an excellent conductor.

As electricity became a standard feature of modern urban life, the demand for copper skyrocketed. But the Guggenheims were producing more than copper. Today many of these places, including Ruston, are Superfund sites. Electricity, however, was here to stay. Roosevelt then authorized a second large dam downstream at Bonneville. Ruston was home to the once highly profitable American Smelting and Refining Company, pictured here circa ; it was declared a Superfund site in Again, it was Native Americans who paid the highest and most immediate price.

McKay and Nancy F. Suddenly, all of this was wiped out.

Seattle and the roots of urban sustainability : inventing ecotopia (Book, ) [tozidawolata.tk]

The river was blocked, the land was flooded. Our homesites were gone. The fordings were made impossible. The root-digging prairies were cut off. The salmon came no more, and with the disappearance of the salmon, our traditional economy was lost forever. Aluminum, by all accounts, was a thoroughly modern material. It played a still more crucial role during World War II. Between and , U. Almost overnight, aluminum captured the Columbia River, and it would not release its hold for more than half a century.

To manufacture just one pound of the metal from raw material requires more than 30 kilowatt-hours of electricity. To support the war effort, the U. Materials, as any engineer will tell you, are essential to design.