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Lake Union Laboratory

Year of Funding: 

Lake Union Laboratory: Curating Collaborative Urban Research in the Digital Realm supports a cross-disciplinary team exploring the potential for digital platforms and tools to generate new transdisciplinary knowledges in and of urbanism and cities. The complex challenges of 21st century cities demand that scholars, researchers, and practitioners work across multiple disciplines and constituencies. Our interest in using the digital to deepen and expand urban discourses and imagination is a critical cross-cutting element of a larger project, the Cities Collaboratory, which fosters next-generation inquiry, and generates creative responses to the grand challenges confronting contemporary cities.

What can we learn about Seattle and the growth of the city through access to multidimensional perspectives on the history and changing geography of Lake Union? How does the juxtaposition and integration of multiple data sources and knowledges lead to new questions and research areas? How might these syntheses inform future plans for Lake Union and Seattle? What do such collaborations entail, conceptually and methodologically? Building on research by participants in the Lake Union Laboratory (a project of the Cities Collaboratory) this project creates the Lake Union Digital Atlas. By drawing together existing digital data and resources about the lake and the neighborhoods surrounding it (e.g., maps, photographs, census data, historical records, ecological data) and digitizing additional resources, the project will develop a more comprehensive resource on Lake Union as a social, economic, cultural, spatial, and ecological place. The project also provides a foundation for exploring how transdisciplinary collaborations can produce and disseminate new knowledges about an urban place. These, in turn, shape the generation of potential future scenarios and related interventions.

Learn more about this project via its website and on Twitter.

Upcoming Event:

Edgar Pieterse (South African Research Chair in Urban Policy, University of Cape Town, and Director, African Centre for Cities) in residence as a UW Walker Ames Lecturer, April 11-15, 2016)

Related Course:

Southern Urbanisms: Edgar Pieterse and Jean-Marie Teno (HUM 597B, Spring 2016, 1 credit, C/NC)


Photo courtesy Betsy Anderson.

Primary contact

Kim England (Geography)

Susan Kemp (Social Work)

Thaisa Way (Landscape Architecture)