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Urban Planning

Urban Planning

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…

Green group turns attention to affordable housing

An organization best known for saving large natural areas in rural areas is taking on a new task: affordable housing in the city. Forterra, formerly…

Fighting Seattle’s ‘economic apartheid’

When Ubax Gardheere’s son was starting kindergarten, she made a tough choice. The single mother of three lived in SeaTac, worked in Seattle, and belonged…

Tiny house living: Coming soon to Seattle’s backyards

Councilmember Mike O’Brien unveiled legislation Thursday meant to spur Seattle homeowners into developing more backyard cottages and mother-in-law units, potentially significantly more. Although it’s difficult…

Anti-density forces rally to “save the U District”

Framed as an effort to “Save The U District” and  prevent the area’s housing and businesses from “all” being replaced with “steel and glass towers,” last…

Micro housing: Facing the cooking challenge

This story originally appeared on YES! Magazine If there is anything that pairs well with the soggy mood swings of early spring in the Pacific…

While city appeals, UW plans to knock down historic building

The battle between the city of Seattle and the University of Washington over the city’s landmarks ordinance is not over. But in the meantime, UW…

Despite warnings, Seattle still dangerously unprepared for megaquake

When it comes to our pathetic lack of action on earthquake safety in some of our most-used buildings, you can’t really blame the infamous Seattle…

No room for trees in Seattle’s new parks

Forget what you think you know about green Seattle parks. A new park just south of Seattle University shows us an important aspect of the future…

Are you part of the affordable housing problem?

The bulk of Seattle’s “natural” or “market-rate” affordable housing is found in old apartment buildings and homes. But there's serious stress among some at City…

How Vancouver revived itself. And lost the millennials.

The 30th anniversary of Expo 86 is coming in early May, but there doesn’t seem to be much celebrating in Vancouver. Few dispute the fair…

Beautiful density: housing design for a more livable city

In Seattle, as in most of America, the most common form of home ownership is the single-family house. While personal preferences may vary, it’s fair…

Council bails out Seattle’s bike share program

Optimism beat trepidation Monday, as the Seattle City Council overwhelmingly voted to release $1.4 million in city funds to bail out the insolvent "bike share"…

New showdown between density and preservation advocates

It may be time to show some sympathy for Kathy Nyland. In recent months, the besieged director of the city’s department of neighborhoods has become…

Hundreds vie for a chance at affordable housing

It's a street-level reminder of the intense competition for affordable housing: People begin lining up on Sunday afternoon, 24 hours before they could apply for…

How Seattle could save Pronto bikeshare, as funding dries up

Elizabeth Kiker doesn’t want to armchair quarterback the 2014 rollout of Pronto, Seattle's citywide network of "bike share" stations. “It didn’t happen exactly the way they wanted it…

Why luxury high-rises are taking over Seattle


In this living city, layers of meaning and memory

The landscape is squishy with memory for me, like a soggy sponge or bed of moss. Memories ooze when I step onto familiar ground. Two…

A park over Interstate 5? Not a new idea

A recent issue of the Stranger featured a story by Matt Baume about an intriguing proposal to cover a portion of Interstate 5 next to…