Sammamish Town Center
Location: Sammamish, Washington
The City of Sammamish was incorporated in 1999 after experiencing spectacular suburban growth during the 1980s, which resulted in an extensive network of disconnected yet amenity-rich, cul-de-sac-style neighborhoods. The lack of transportation planning during the building boom resulted in a community that was overwhelmed by traffic on its one central arterial road. The residents desired a new urban town center that incorporated sustainable design for walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods, and convenient access to commercial, recreational, and residential areas.
DEA's team of landscape architects, traffic planners, infrastructure engineers, and ecologists produced a town center plan that reflected the community's forward-looking goals. While the city had completed several key components of the town center, such as a new campus for the combined city hall/library and a large natural open space, the greatest part of the new town center would be developed by the private sector on land under several ownerships. The town center plan, therefore, had to identify certain "catalytic" actions that the city could take in the provision of major infrastructure elements such as roadways, open space, stormwater management, and utility networks that would simultaneously offer appropriate guidelines and incentives to the private sector to develop the town center district in alignment with the community's desires.
In the plan, this highly pedestrian-centric, mixed-use environment was supplemented by a "green spine" of public open space that provides a network of connecting open spaces and also functions as the district-wide stormwater management system. Since the private sector will develop the town center, the city views the conceptual plan as a guiding document, from which development guidelines are extracted and codified, and against which the city will evaluate development proposals, in the form of master development plans.