City of Edmonds Partnership: Final Report


 One component of the Sustainable Communities Partnership (SCP) program implemented by Western Washington University on behalf of the City of Edmonds was Anthropology 454, “Participatory Action Research,” which I taught in the Spring of 2017. The course teaches methodologies for developing and conducting research projects that directly benefit members of a community. An interdisciplinary group of 20 undergraduate students and 3 graduate students collaborated with community partners to conduct research on the “walkability” of 9 sites in Edmonds.

The sites included:

  1. Yost Park
  2. Five Corners roundabout
  3. Chase Lake Elementary
  4. Westgate Elementary
  5. West Village
  6. Edmonds-Woodway High School
  7. Swedish Hospital
  8. Community Transit Swift Stop
  9. Light Rail Stop (Future)

The students formed four teams to research the sites. The four teams designed, researched and drafted the final reports in this document. Aside from cataloguing the state of pedestrian assets in the target area discussed, the students interacted with residents to understand the human factors that influence peoples’ decisions regarding walking. The course utilized a mix of qualitative and quantitative data collected during 6 weeks and 12 field site visits, and includes participant- observations, interviews, surveys, policy analysis, and public health/planning tools, to evaluate the built  environment. The students visited Edmonds on June 9, 2017, to present their research (click to view slides) to the public and to city officials.

The city officials that served as liaison to SCP were Brad Shipley, Associate Planner and Ryan Hague, Capital Projects Manager.

Download the full report: Walkability Master 2017