Salishan Neighborhood HOPE VI Revitalization

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Location: Tacoma, Washinton. WWII-era low income, multi-ethnic urban neighborhood near fragile stream

Salishan is a neighborhood in the East Side of Tacoma, Washington. Built in the early 1940's, the Salishan neighborhood provided temporary housing for ship workers during World War II. Throughout a week-long charrette process, Torti Gallas visited with the residents of Salishan, listened to their concerns, and developed a master plan and unit designs appropriate for the needs of the community.

The site holds several unique features including a 30 acre wildlife rich gulch that bisects the site into two halves. A salmon stream running through the gulch suffers from serious pollution caused by nearby runoff. One of the challenges for the project was to sensitively address the issues of the nearby stream by implementing water measures to filter and slow water runoff. By creating family parks containing bioswales, the plan protects water resources while providing educational and recreational opportunities for residents.

Salishan's special atmosphere is also evident in the spirit of its diverse blend of residents, who represent many ethnic groups and multigenerational households. The needs of neighborhood residents included creating housing that could accomodate families as they transition through stages of life, including spaces and housing floor plans that can accomodate elderly or extended family members. Providing easy access by foot and public transit for children and the elderly were also high priorities that were included in the plan.

In addition to a stronger social and economic base, the plan provides a new town center, complete with retail shops, a fire station, university teaching space, senior congregate care, and additions to existing amenities. Most important to this town center is a public forum and open air market.

In summary, goals of sustaining the natural integrity, ethnic diversity, strong love of the community, and social empowerment directed the neighborhood revitalization process.

Read more at this project's website.

Transect Zone(s): T1 preserve, T4 general, T5 center.
Status: 26-50% Built
Project or Plan's Scale: Region
Features: Affordable/subsidized housing, Bus transit, Civic buildings & parks, Sustainable infrastructure, Transit oriented development.
Land area (in acres): 212
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Civic uses (type and size): Community center, elementary school, educational center, medical center, parks, community garden
Parks & green space (in acres): 40
Project team designers: Torti Gallas and Partners
Project team developers: NA

Previous site status: Redevelopment

Starting/Ending date of construction/implementation: 2000 - 2009