The 2019 studio and this report foreground two main issues. First, WE NEED INDUSTRY. The jobs and economic prosperity that are created through industrial development are essential to the sustainability of this region. People need reliable, living-wage employment in order to provide for themselves and their loved ones; contribute to the local housing, service, and retail economies; make use of their intrinsic capacities; and give back to the communities of which they are a part. Industry is the act of working hard, as well as a certain kind of production and manufacturing economy. People in the South Sound want and need to work. Industry is a big part of this region’s past – and for sustainable urban development, it is also our future.
Second, WE NEED A SHARED VISION for industrial development that respects, responds to, and sustains communities throughout the city and region. The tideflats and the deep water port are shared public assets. Yesterday’s industry will not necessarily support and protect the values that future generations rely upon, as we look to cleaner, innovative, broadly lucrative forms of growth. Elected officials and civic leaders must improve their ability to work with local constituencies, to build shared commitments around the use of resources and creation of opportunities that serve long-term investments in a healthy and prosperous region.
This project grew out of the convergence of research interests from the co-instructors (Anne Taufen and Mark Pendras) and emerging tensions and development related to urban industrial planning on Tacoma’s waterfront.
Ultimately, the students worked in teams of 2-3 to address these challenges; their findings are found in the following chapters, and described in some detail below. This introduction provides background and context on the need for industrial planning and sustainable waterfront development, in Tacoma and elsewhere, as well as offering perspective on the costs of failing to sufficiently engage local community constituencies in these investments and decision-making. At the end of this chapter we offer suggestions for next steps that can move the Port, the Tribe, the City, and local stakeholders forward in this regard.
Taufen, Anne and Pendras, J. Mark, "Urban Waterfronts and Planning for Industry" (2019). Urban Design. 25.