The Sierra Club has named the University of Washington Tacoma campus as one of America’s Best New Development projects, according to a report the group released Wednesday.
“Too often local governments accept poorly planned development, and the traffic that goes with it, because they believe they have no other choice,” said the Sierra Club’s Carl Pope. “Our hope is that Americans will be inspired by the Tacoma campus and demand better projects in their own communities.”
According to the Sierra Club, establishing a new campus in downtown Tacoma was an example of local leaders — primarily businesspeople — getting fed up with an eyesore at the citys gateway, and taking initiative to create a vision, put their own resources into that idea, and then working relentlessly to sell the idea to state and local officials and university administrators. The organization also cited the partnership between businesses, local and state government, and the University of Washington to create a better Tacoma, reduce crime, increase economic activity, protect historically significant buildings, and create an area where it is easy to walk and use public transportation.
Bliss Moore, Chair of the Sierra Clubs Tacoma area group, commented, The revitalization of downtown Tacoma over the last 15 years shows how a city can turn itself around. The visionary leadership from public officials, the business community and community at-large have made the proverbial silk purse out of a sows ear.”
A profile of the Tacoma campus and other the winning projects can be viewed at http://www.sierraclub.org/sprawl/report05.