DSA Expands Role in Bell Street Park and New 2+U Urban Village, Directs Makeover of Busy Crosswalks

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2+U rendering

In 2009, the city embarked on its first shared street project, turning four blocks of Bell Street into a unique new park. The transformed space invited more people out to enjoy games, music and other activities while the design preserved a crucial bus route.

The park grew into a popular place as Belltown added restaurants, cafés and residents, improving safety and adding life to the neighborhood.

Starting in May, DSA began direct management of Bell Street Park on Saturdays and Sundays. Under a one-year agreement, DSA’s downtown ambassadors will oversee the park on weekends and help gather feedback from visitors. The new role builds on our success in Westlake Park and Occidental Square, where daily games, music, food and special events welcome families, tourists and locals.

Funding for Bell Street Park’s new features comes from the Metropolitan Improvement District and Seattle Parks & Recreation.

A short walk north, five zig-zagging crosswalks link Westlake and Seventh avenues. To add fun and brighten the pedestrian experience, DSA joined with nearby businesses and the city to paint the crosswalks into walkable art. Local artist Will Schlough developed and is installing the artwork. When complete, pedestrians will step onto maps reflecting the area’s topsy-turvy topography in the early 20th century.

DSA will manage a new outdoor music and activity space at Skanska’s 2+U building starting this August. The Square — a 1,100 square-foot venue — resides below a soaring, 85-foot canopy and is part of the larger Urban Village development.

The setting offers a much-needed and accessible public amenity in the heart of the city. DSA engaged with Skanska and other local stakeholders to shape The Square, and will program it with music, art and interactive events.

Activating parks and public spaces with programming and art is one way we seek to improve the public realm downtown, and we’re always exploring new ideas. Do you have a suggestion for art or a public space activation? Contact our parks team at