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Theo Chocolate- This Seattle Chocolate factory- the first organic and Fair Trade chocolate company in the U.S.- offers tours seven days a week. These tours present the story of cacao, from fruit to artisan chocolate, while delving into social and environmental problems that plague the chocolate industry. And, of course, the tour includes delicious chocolate tasting!

Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour: At this center, located just north of Seattle, you’ll find the only North American tour of a commercial jet assembly plant where you can watch jets being assembled during a 90 minute tour. Interactive exhibits include an opportunity to design your own plane as well as learn about the history of airplane design. The tour does require participants to be a minimum of 4 feet tall.

However, ‘a Place must not only fit with our bodies, it must fit the way in which our mind works: how we perceive and image and feel’. None of these efforts will be effective unless the community connects to its environment holistically, both socially and through aspects of memory and functionality. This plays an important role in creating high-quality connected places. A better way to generate place making involves identifying and building on that place’s distinctive character. This is a creative interaction between the physical setting, the activities that take place there, and the meanings and cultural values created by the individuals and community who inhabit and experience the place in the everyday. A key finding of the empirical research undertaken by Dovey and Woodcock at four transit-oriented developments was that the residents conceptualized the character and image of these places according to their everyday experiences of them. Thus, activities in the everyday, reflective of the lifestyles and sociocultural values of the community, become the primary determinants of place character, rather than physical form and appearance.

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Research clearly establishes that high-quality places conducive to walking, cycling, and transit riding can generate many significant mobility, economic, and environmental benefits. The greatest challenges, however, lie in building broad-based support for and market acceptance of new urban forms and green alternative modes of travel among increasingly diverse groups of stakeholders. NIMBYs and FRUITs, among many other urban protestors, resist alteration to patterns of spatiality and mobility due to their fear of the need to change lifestyles. Implementation strategies must be developed with an understanding of human psychology and social behavior. Done properly, true place making can yield many positive benefits. Community outreach with collaborative and ethnographic approaches are important considerations. The community will mobilize if given the opportunity to ‘make their own place’, since ‘it’s the people who make the place’. By injecting their personality and verve, the community will have a heightened sense of ownership and pride. Local information, local perspective, smooth implementation, and the legitimacy of the project in the eyes of the community can all make the decisionmaking process more rationalized, effective, and democratic.

The result will be a connected place-a place that has all of the three key attributes of people, place, and transport connectivity.

Bringing the people and place connections to fruition also depends on an accurate diagnosis of the connectivity attributes and a precise prognosis of the required actions.

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