VIDEO: Students present ideas for South Sunnyland

Submitted by admin on Wed, 04/22/2015 - 8:02am

Students from Western Washington University’s Huxley College of the Environment Urban Transitions Studio Program presented their planning concepts for the redevelopment of the South Sunnyland neighborhood during finals week of winter quarter 2015.

The student presentation will be aired on the city’s public access channel Mondays at 8 a.m., Thursdays at 6 p.m., and Fridays at 11 a.m. It is also on YouTube.

The Urban Transitions Studio program is a partnership between Western’s Urban Planning and Sustainable Development program and community officials and organizations. Through the program, students will examine implementation strategies and neighborhood sustainable development elements for achieving LEED ND gold certification in two separate classes during spring quarter. These three classes combine to examine neighborhood sustainable development planning, implementation, and sustainable design strategies to encourage Bellingham’s smart growth development.

“For us, it’s a real-life application,” said Ryan Olson, a student in Huxley College’s Urban Planning program. “We’re looking at the city’s population and its projected population growth, which is 38,000 over the next 20 years, and we’re looking at taking this industrial area that doesn’t have many uses right now and utilizing that land for more intensive and diverse uses. It’s important for us to be able to do this and apply that knowledge, because that’s what a lot of our jobs are going to be in the future.”

The program is intended to expand student learning by concentrating several planning studies over the course of an entire year and incorporating multiple dimensions of the planning process that aims to effect change toward sustainable community development in local communities. Several of past planning studio projects have led to important public policy changes, including the recent adoption of the Samish Way Urban Village Plan.

For more information, contact Western Washington University professor of Environmental Studies Nicholas Zaferatos at 360-650-7660 or

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