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Field Notes: Observing Lake Union

By Studio for Urban Projects

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Lake Union is a landscape that has been dramatically transformed. Over the course of 200 years the lake has been radically altered from its pre-Seattle days when it was inhabited for thousands of years by Native Americans. Field Notes: Observing Lake Union is an audio tour of the Cheshiahud Lake Union Loop that explores the complex interplay between human values and natural ecologies that have shaped Lake Union today. The tour focuses on the underlying ecology of Lake Union and its transformation through eras of geologic change, Native American stewardship, European settlement, commercial industry and large-scale infrastructural development as well as urban planning and park design. The project probes questions relevant to cities everywhere: what are the underlying ecologies of our urban landscapes? How do we understand the layers of human history that have shaped the landscape we experience today? And how might we design human systems to more thoughtfully integrate into natural systems? The tour explores four sites around Lake Union: Lake Union Park, Fairview Park, Gasworks Park, and the mouth of the Washington Ship Canal underneath the Aurora Bridge. Each introduction, narrated by the Studio for Urban Projects, is marked with a pavement graphic at the entrance to the site. Each episode in the podcast is marked with a flag marking places where you can hear observations collected from interviews with authors, inhabitants, local historians, plant experts, geologists, fisheries scientists, park designers and others who illuminate our understanding of Lake Union. You may also download a map from the project web site The map is a guide to the locations and themes of the audio tour and provides complimentary information to the recordings you will hear on-site.

Field Notes: Observing Lake Union
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  • Free
  • Category: Places & Travel
  • Language: English

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