Consulting for Clean Water
Urban Systems Design brings multifaceted and adaptable talents and experiences to develop creative, resilient solutions that increase public involvement and improve urban ecological function.
The firm is dedicated to serving diverse communities, leveraging human capacity and resources, and making visionary projects and events happen from inception to completion.
Cari Simson founded the award-winning consulting firm, Urban Systems Design LLC (USD) in 2009. USD provides collaborative, whole systems approaches to improving public engagement outcomes for wastewater and stormwater planning, workforce development, project delivery, and partnership development. In 2023, USD became Certified by the Washington State Office of Minority and Women's Business Enterprises.
USD's business development services include fund-raising through grant writing and grant management, contracts and donations. The firm has a track record of raising funds for priority community-led projects, while growing diverse teams, including young adults, bilingual outreach staff, interns, subconsultants, and volunteers.
Projects are dedicated to promoting inclusive participation and service equity to develop creative, climate resilient solutions to clean water challenges.
"My professional work is committed to improving the built environment by ensuring multi-stakeholder collaboration in an innovative, participatory design process."
Urban Systems Design works with both community and municipal utility clients to implement projects that improve the built environment for people and wildlife. Urban Systems Design develops creative, engaging strategies to bring urban sustainability visions into reality through grant writing, project management and implementation, as well as facilitating multi-stakeholder collaboration towards larger local and regional goals.
Cultural understanding of communities' assets and challenges, and a proven track record of collaboration with diverse partners and community members to foster groundbreaking and sustainable outcomes.
Leadership with pragmatism, to see where there is desire and momentum that can be leveraged, and where there is a need for capacity-building and support.
Collaborative cultivation of visions alongside multiple partners who can see the beauty in the gritty eco-industrial environment, who dare to plant seeds in the tiniest patches of de-paved landscapes, to sustain a thriving riparian ecosystem alongside working waterfronts and businesses.
Urban Systems Design's projects bring together diverse public and private collaborators to leverage resources and implement creative solutions to our urban dilemmas. Whether writing grants, organizing events, developing outreach and educational materials or introducing new partners to each other, our projects address the social and environmental needs of the communities in which we work.
RainWise Contractor Skill-Building Series - Launch your RainWise Business
Through a Seattle Public Utilities Green Stormwater Infrastructure Program contract, USD developed, wrote, edited and recorded a five module series for new RainWise contractors. The series supported the development and ongoing support services for GSI workforce development; developed five self-paced training modules for the RainWise program; developed a mentoring process for new contractors to start businesses and increase skills to design and construct RainWise rain garden and cistern installations.
King County Clean Water Projects
Urban Systems Design provides interagency coordination, partnership development, communication services and public engagement support to King County's clean water programs by ensuring projects are environmentally just and benefit the communities they serve.
USD is working with King County Wastewater Treatment Division (WTD) to develop and implement community-led neighborhood benefit projects as part of the West Duwamish Wet Weather Storage Facility CSO control project. In 2023, USD will join the consulting team for King County, to launch the Mouth of the Duwamish project designed to improve water quality in Elliott Bay by controlling combined sewage overflows during storm events.
Our Plastic Planet
Representing the global problem of ocean plastics and marine debris, the macramé installation, "Our Plastic Planet" includes repurposed, salvaged, and upcycled materials from local waterbodies, including Elliott Bay and the Duwamish River.
Designed at Equinox Studios and displayed at Seattle Art Museum on April 7, 2022 for the opening of the "Our Blue Planet" exhibit. In the summer of 2022 "Our Plastic Planet had a 3-weekend series at Olympic Sculpture Park, and provided hands-on creative arts activities for families at the Summer at SAM.
The sculpture was also at Bellingham SeaFeast, and was a donated art piece at the Puget Soundkeeper Alliance Salute to the Sound event in October 2022.