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Urban Planning

Urban Planning

Has Seattle finally figured out redevelopment?

Over the last few years, virtually every neighborhood in Seattle has seemingly been inundated with large development projects. Entire blocks have been transformed with new…

Want to connect with Seattle? Get journaling

No one wants a “better city” more than Seattleites. Much of our civic discourse is about how to live up to our ideals, to be…

Seattle in 2017: Less talk, more walk

It’s 2017. God help us. A few weeks ago, the good people at CityLab, the Atlantic’s website celebrating all things urban, asked me to get out…

Seattle’s best new building of 2016 is a total dump

We will soon have a couple of spectacular new additions to Seattle’s skyline. One is The Mark, a quirky, angular tower being built by the…

Best of 2016: Why luxury high-rises are taking over Seattle

The strange saga of Sonny Kahn – the Miami developer who wants to build a 102-story apartment building in downtown Seattle – took a new…

What Ben Carson, Trump could mean for affordable housing

There is hardly a bigger issue for Seattle than the lack of affordable housing and its unfortunate cousin, homelessness. And on no other issue have…

Vancouver’s housing mess: Could it happen here?

Listen up, Seattle: That rushing noise you hear to the north? It’s the sound of capital gushing out of Vancouver’s collapsing housing market. Home sales…

Why Seattle can’t let go of the past

The media is full of stories bemoaning change in Seattle. Old cafes closing, landmarks demolished, efforts to save legacy businesses like that dive bar down…

Suburban farms no match for hot real-estate market

On a small farm in the Sammamish Valley on the urban fringe just 13 miles northeast of the Space Needle, Hampshire pigs squeal for their breakfast.…

How animals have shaped Seattle. And still do.

Animals have played enormous roles in shaping of modern cities, though few of us stop to think about it. Take Boston, which was developed around…

A welcome break from Seattle’s architectural horror show

Pioneer Square has seen an influx of new people this fall, as 800 Weyerhaeuser employees move into the company's sparkling new headquarters. Almost immediately, the impact was…

Uber denounces survey meant to inform driver unionization law

Even before city administrators finalize the specifics a law to allow Uber drivers to unionize, the ride-hailing company is crying foul. In a letter to…

Rethinking Seattle: What if we could start over?

Consider our “natural” city. In the last 150 years, we have reshaped the local landscape on the greatest scale since a vast ice sheet moved into…

Mayor: New taxes may be needed to fight homelessness

Hours after a young man camped near a University District off-ramp was struck by a car and killed, Mayor Ed Murray spoke from the scene. And…

Will these condo owners derail Seattle’s affordable housing plan?

A glimmering, 30-story high-rise in downtown Seattle, Escala is perhaps best known as the home of Christian Grey, the sadomasochistic billionaire at the center of…

Seattle considers limits — or taxes — on Airbnb rentals

What does Airbnb have to lose with Seattle’s new proposed regulations on rentals? By one estimate, a lot. Last Thursday, the data-centric news website FiveThirtyEight…

Why huge cost overruns are so common in Seattle

In the last year, the budget overruns of just four city projects, or run-ups over original estimates, have totaled more than $200 million. That’s quadruple the…

Just in: Read the city’s report on neighborhood councils and inequality

Following Mayor Ed Murray's executive order to cut ties with neighborhood district councils — arguing they are mostly comprised of white middle-aged homeowners, and therefore unrepresentative…

Seattle demolitions bring displacement, not enough density

Whenever something new is built in a city, something old is inevitably lost. Sometimes the tradeoff is clearly worthwhile, as when a parking lot or…

The surprising ties between poverty, gentrification and asthma

There’s a map that simultaneously illustrates Seattle’s rich/poor divide, and shows how quality of life can differ in unexpected and dramatic ways across that divide.…

Tough new tenant protections pass in city council

Someday, groups like the Rental Housing Association of Washington (RHWA) may sue the city over what is known as the "Carl Haglund law," which forbids…

McGinn: Seattle Times continues phony ‘war on cars’

Brier Dudley of the Seattle Times has just “had it up to here” with the “War on Cars.”  His frustrations came pouring out in a…

Preservationists are wrong on housing affordability, says math

When it comes to the merits of desecrating graveyards, you’d likely find champions among some local housing density zealots. “Sure, it’s disrespectful to build micro-apartments…

Beneath downtown Seattle, Bertha faces biggest test

The Seattle Mariners and the tunnel boring machine Bertha are following similar arcs lately. After years of wallowing in failure, both have shown a bit…