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Urban Planning

Urban Planning

What a park in the ID tells us about urban life

The expanded Hing Hay Park in the Chinatown International District (ID) is now open to the public. Not in the official sense with ribbon cutting…

Take the #3 or #4 downtown? Metro might be rerouting

This story originally appeared on The Urbanist. King County Metro is proposing to move the Route 3 and Route 4 off of James Street and…

At last: Seattle architecture crushes on color

Not too long ago, you could look around the metropolitan region and lament the absence of color in new buildings. It seemed as if everything…

In a more crowded Seattle, Discovery Park provides a lesson

On a recent sunny weekend, I was standing in Discovery Park with two of the people most responsible for the existence of this gem of…

Seattle and its suburbs: Not so different

Lately it seems to be quite the Game of Thrones between cities and suburbs, with claims for winners and losers. Certainly, many people — from…

3 futures for a city where the rent is too damn high

The first thing to know about Seattle’s dramatic plan to get developers to build more affordable housing — a plan celebrated by some and loathed…

Could Seattle Center become cool again?

Despite an administration in the “other” Washington that is pursuing trade and immigration policies antithetical to ones that have helped make this free-trade, diverse and…

No air conditioning? Boohoo

If you’re cold, put a sweater on. If you’re too warm, take a layer off. Everyone here learns to dress in layers, right? Not anymore.…

The cost of a public housing experiment: Community?

Looking out the floor-to-ceiling windows of her Raven Terrace corner apartment, Kristin O’Donnell can now see the jagged snowcapped outline of the Olympic Mountains. Swivel…

Pike Place Market gets a front porch for the future

The last piece of Pike Place Market is starting to fall into place. The new development, the MarketFront, will eventually connect to the waterfront, touching down…

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…