There’s a growing awareness in our culture of the benefits and importance of nature to our well-being. We all need opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. Whether it’s a park, waterfront trail, boat ride or the sight of an osprey fishing in the river, these experiences are a part of us. If we remove them from our lives, we diminish who we are and what we can accomplish.
We believe that bringing more nature into urban environments is essential to improving quality of life for people in the community. Ideally, everyone in our buildings would have access to a park or other green space within a 20-minute walk. In addition to attracting people, these spaces appeal to birds and other species that enrich our everyday experiences.
The Bellevue Towers, for example, share an eco-landscaped terrace, outdoor communal spaces and Cascade Mountain views. The South Waterfront is connected to nature by way of the river, ecoroofs, walking trails, views from buildings of Mt. Hood and Ross Island, a central park and green fingers that extend from the riverfront green way to and through the building.
Restoring native and adaptive plant life to support local ecosystems is another way we bring nature into the urban environment. For example, the garden streets at the South Waterfront incorporate a series of planters to collect sidewalk and street runoff and help keep harmful chemicals out of ground water. This project isn’t going to change the world, but our intention is to demonstrate a different way of doing things.