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Seattle City Council Extends DSA’s Role in Occidental Square and Westlake Park

The Downtown Seattle Association (DSA) will continue to program, staff, manage and provide permits for both Occidental Square and Westlake Park for years to come after today’s 8-0 Seattle City Council vote to renew DSA’s role in these two iconic urban parks.

Occidental family web“We’re thrilled with the City’s decision to extend DSA’s position in a management role in these two public spaces for five more years,” said DSA President & CEO Jon Scholes. “Our work over the last 14 months to enhance these parks and ensure they remain welcoming for all has changed the way people interact with these areas, making them vibrant and full of activity. This is a continuation of a partnership with the City that’s produced results and DSA is looking forward to expanding the programming we’ve already provided in these parks.”

“This public-private partnership is a good example of programs that really do have an impact on positive outcomes in terms of how we want to activate our public spaces without displacing those who may, for example, be unsheltered and in the park,” said council member Lorena Gonzalez.

During the pilot period, DSA worked with Seattle Parks and Recreation, Alliance for Pioneer Square, Friends of Waterfront Seattle, the Metropolitan Improvement District (MID), Pioneer Square Business Improvement Area and Seattle Parks Foundation to enhance these urban spaces. This partnership produced consistent programming in these Downtown spaces, with the following statistics in 2015:

  • 928 food truck appearances
  • 464 hours of live music
  • 49 fitness classes and athletics activities
  • 44 children’s programs

The dependable attractions and activities led to a welcoming environment. In a recent survey of parks users, 82 percent indicated they feel safe in Occidental and Westlake and 95 percent said they plan to return. As a result of the work in these two parks, the DSA and MID were named one of “Seattle’s Most Influential of 2015” by Seattle Magazine.