Autumn 2012: URBDP 450/598W Introduction to Land Use, Growth Management and Environmental Planning

Please forward widely–lots of space still available! This is a great course for students interested in urban planning, environmental planning, transportation planning, or pursuing the undergraduate minor in Urban Design and Planning–may also be great for public/environmental health and social welfare interested students. Open to seniors, juniors by permission of instructor, and all graduate students–undergrads should register for the URBDP 450 section; grad students should register for the URBDP 598W section. Thanks!

Autumn Quarter 2012

URBDP 450/598W: Introduction to Land Use, Growth Management and Environmental Planning (3 credits)

Instructor: So-Ra Baek, Ph.D. Candidate in Urban Design and Planning, College of Built Environments (sora100)

Class sessions: Monday/Wednesdays, 12pm-1:20pm

Location: Gould Hall 102

Course Description: This course deals with the overview of the linkages among land use, growth management, transportation and environmental impacts. Many cities and only a few states in the United States have adopted a variety of growth management measures and land use controls to attempt to maximize the social welfare benefits, including environmental benefits, from smart growth. The focusof this course will be given to contemporary land use issues, especially sprawl, sustainable development, the Washington State Growth Management Act, New Urbanism, Transit-Oriented Development, and strategies for active transportations. The prime purpose of the course is to understand and toevaluate this experience, and to offer guidance on best-practice techniques of growth management. Because this course is an introductory course, we will focus more on the issues than the details. Students are encouraged (although it is not obligatory) to use Washington’s Growth Management Act as a case study for the term paper.

Course Learning Objectives:

1. To understand the implications of “sprawl.”

2. To develop a typology of growth management techniques.

3. To conceptualize the links between land use regulations and environmental, transportation and other social benefits.

4. To evaluate some of the controversies in the field relating to New Urbanism, Smart Growth, Transit-Oriented Developments (TODs), pedestrian pockets, energy conservation, urban growth boundaries, etc.

5. To assess the relative effectiveness of alternative growth management instruments.
6. To evaluate the relative success of the Washington GMA.


Rocking Out Geology visit in WALLINGFORD, anytime between AUGUST 6th-10th

Looking for volunteers to lead a 1-2 hour lesson with ~20 8-11 years olds. I just led a lesson with this group yesterday, it was a lot of fun. @ the Meridian School in Wallingford (~10 min. drive). We have supplies and transportation, we just NEED YOU TO VOLUNTEER!

RSVP if interested, i’ll give you the details.


Karl A. Lang
University of Washington
Dept. Earth and Space Science
Box 351310
Seattle, WA 98195, USA

From: Skye Grace <missskyegrace>

Hi Karl,

My fellow group leader Lisa at the Meridian School recommended I email you. We are having a career themed week the week of August 6th-10th, and was wondering if you would be willing to come in and visit with my students one day that week, hopefully on Tuesday the 7th or Friday the 10th? We have 20 students ages 8-11 that would love to learn about being a geologist!!

Thanks so much!


“Ancient quake and tsunami in Puget Sound shake researchers”: John Vidale Featured

Ancient quake and tsunami in Puget Sound shake researchers

The last time the Seattle fault ripped, it jolted shorelines and unleashed a tsunami. Now a new study suggests that quake might have rocked an even bigger area than anyone thought.

By Sandi Doughton

Seattle Times science reporter

Recent UW graduate Beth Arcos works the site in Gorst Creek near Bremerton showing evidence of a 1,000-year-old tsunami following an earthquake on the Seattle fault.

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Recent UW graduate Beth Arcos works the site in Gorst Creek near Bremerton showing evidence of a 1,000-year-old tsunami following an earthquake on the Seattle fault.


Beth Arcos picked her way through muck and pickleweed just west of the Bremerton waterfront, on the trail of an ancient earthquake and tsunami.

"Here’s the first evidence," the former University of Washington doctoral student said, kneeling to pluck clam shells from what used to be a tidal mud flat — but now sits well above the waterline. More than 1,000 years ago, Arcos explained, the Seattle fault let loose, lifting the ground here nearly 10 feet.

In this quiet bay, Arcos also confirmed what scientists long have suspected: The tsunami triggered by that quake walloped the coastline that is now home to Naval Base Kitsap, with its shipyards and aircraft carriers, as well as hundreds of waterfront houses and businesses.

The ground warping that Arcos measured around Bremerton was bigger than expected. That means the earthquake probably affected a wider swath of Western Washington than previously thought — which, in turn, nudges it toward the upper end of its estimated magnitude 7-7.5 range.

"It’s a reminder that this is a location where we can get these big earthquakes, and that we need to plan and prepare for them," Arcos said. The results from her research were published in the June issue of the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America.

The Seattle fault isn’t a single strand, but a zone of subterranean fractures that extends across Puget Sound, passing under Seattle and reaching as far east as Issaquah. Arcos’ work suggests the fault may extend farther west than previously thought, said Tim Walsh, chief hazards geologist for the Washington Department of Natural Resources.

The study also underscores the fact that a repeat of the most recent Seattle fault quake, dated at about 930 A.D., would be catastrophic for the cities and ports that have sprung up since then, Walsh said. Tsunami modeling suggests waves up to 16 feet high would swamp harbors and waterfront property from Olympia to Everett.

"The damage from the earthquake itself would be far worse," Walsh said. "Then the tsunami would add insult to injury."

U.S. Geological Survey scientist Uri ten Brink, who did some of the first computer modeling of the 930 A.D. quake, said Arcos’ work is a valuable addition — but he would like to see similar results from a wider area before changing current assumptions about how big the quake might have been.

One scenario predicted that even a moderate Seattle fault quake of magnitude 6.7 would kill up to 1,600 people and cripple the region’s economy.

There’s comfort in the fact that quakes on the Seattle fault — and the dozen or so other shallow faults that crisscross Western Washington — don’t strike often, said John Vidale, head of UW’s Pacific Northwest Seismic Network.

Geologists found evidence for at least two other quakes on the Seattle fault in the past 2,500 years. But neither was nearly as big as the 930 A.D. event, Vidale said.

Earthquakes on shallow faults are particularly destructive, but they’re just one of the seismic hazards facing the Pacific Northwest. Deep quakes, such as the 2001 Nisqually quake, seem to rattle the Puget Sound region every few decades. Megaquakes and ocean tsunamis, like those that devastated Japan last year, strike off the coast every 500 years or so.

It wasn’t until 1992 that geologists first discovered that the Seattle fault was active, linking it to terraces on Bainbridge Island and Alki Point in West Seattle that were lifted 20 feet or more in an instant. Submerged forests swept into Lake Washington helped pin down the date of the most recent quake. Geologists found sand layers deposited by tsunamis along the Seattle shoreline and as far north as Whidbey Island and the Snohomish River delta, confirming that the quake displaced a huge volume of water and sent giant waves ripping through Puget Sound.

Taking up the story almost two decades later, Arcos was the first to make a detailed examination of the creeks and marshes of Bremerton’s Sinclair Inlet. The uplifted shellfish beds helped her estimate how much the ground was displaced during the quake, she explained on a sunny day last week.

"These are 1,000 years old," she said, prying an intact clam the size of a mango from the banks of Gorst Creek. The small waterway, which joins the inlet near its head, also proved the best tsunami recorder.

At low tide, Arcos dropped into the creek bed, standing ankle-deep in the rushing water. With an Army surplus trenching tool, she hacked at the cutbank, exposing layers of mud and sand.

"This is the tsunami deposit," she said, pointing out a 4-inch-thick band of sand. The wave swept through the low-lying area, leaving this layer behind. For her research, Arcos also used a core barrel to extract nearly 100 mud cylinders from the mash, and map out the tsunami’s reach.

The waves 1,000 years ago were nothing like the walls of water that drowned Japanese communities last year, Walsh said. But they were big enough to wreak havoc with the type of waterfront facilities that line the shores around Bremerton today.

If that’s not enough, Arcos also unearthed evidence of another hazard. Lying atop the tsunami layer in the stream bank is a much thicker layer of mud — the signature of a massive landslide, probably shaken loose by the quake.

Sandi Doughton: 206-464-2491

or sdoughton