West Port Arthur: SEED
The strategies developed for the West Port Arthur community are focused in three areas: Connections; Open Spaces; and Opportunities. The strategies are all considered “SEEDS,” programs that have the potential to begin small and grow into comprehensive and sustainable change in the community. For us, to SEED, is to address the social, economic, and environmental development challenges in communities and provide both pragmatic and visionary solutions.
This project is a partnership with the Community In-Power Development Association.
Connecting people with transit and art
The West Port Arthur community is disconnected from the greater city, isolated adjacent to the heavy industrial activity of major refineries. The segregation of the community has led to disinvestment and abandonment, and the area has few amenities or resources. Many buildings have been boarded up or abandoned in the wake of substantial population loss and nearly half of the population survives on incomes below poverty level. Connections to employment, basic necessities, and resources are very limited in West Port Arthur. As a result, the Mobility Connections strategies seek to re-connect the residents through transit and build the community through public art.
Transforming vacancy into opportunity
Over the last several decades the West Port Arthur community has experienced significant population decline as well as a shift in economic and employment opportunities. These changes have led to a number of issues that need to be addressed including the large number of small and large vacant parcels scattered throughout the community, the lack of employment and economic opportunities in the community, and the need to remediate many former industrial sites. As a result, the Open Spaces strategies seek to turn vacancy into opportunity by proposing new uses and landscapes that together will provide job opportunities, improve access to healthy food, and mitigate soil and air quality hazards while enhancing the spaces for community gathering.
Seeding opportunities for change
Over the last several decades the West Port Arthur community has experienced significant population decline as well as a shift in economic and employment opportunities. These changes have led to widespread disinvestment in the community as well as a lack of community resources and opportunities. Unemployment in the area is significant, educational attainment is below the city average, and poverty is widespread. To combat these issues the Community Opportunities strategies seek to seed change, creating local employment and business opportunities, places of gathering, and places of learning and fun, transforming West Port Arthur into a place of opportunity.