Recreating the Social Environment of Salmon Beach: An Analysis of the Salmon Beach Community and Applications Within the Field of Urban Design
Salmon Beach is a community in Tacoma, Washington that remains relatively hidden and unheard of, even to the local population. To get to this community, one must first find the unmarked entrance, which looks more like an off-limits road that leads into the nearby forest than an entrance to a neighborhood. This road leads to two different parking lots at the end of a long, winding driveway. Once at the parking lots, one must leave the car and descend stairs of over 200 steps down a steep bluff covered in poison oak. Upon arriving at the bottom of the stairs, you have entered the Salmon Beach community, but most likely have not reached your destination which might involve an additional quarter mile walk. Or another alternative to getting to your destination is to come around Point Defiance by boat during high tide or on foot during low tide. If this commute seems bad, the residents also deal with issues ranging from landslides and dangerous tides to a lack of public services and exceptionally rigorous housing regulations and laws. One may wonder what it is that makes these residents put up with all of the inconveniences. The objectives of this thesis are: (1) to review the history and development of Salmon Beach to see what draws people to this area and keeps them there; (2) to examine the neighborhood layout of Salmon Beach and how the layout helps impact the residents? ?sense of place? and social connections within the community; and (3) to address current problems within urban design and propose an alternative neighborhood design inspired by Salmon Beach.