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Urban Planning

Urban Planning

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…

Despite perceptions, housing production down in 2015, single family home construction up

Signs of Seattle's continued boom can be seen across the city. Cranes stand over the rising concrete frames of skyscrapers in Denny Triangle. Across the…

Living in a micro-apartment — and loving it

I didn’t really choose the pod life. The pod life chose me. It was about one year ago, and I was living in Cambridge, Massachusetts,…

Best of 2015: Seattle installs new system to track individual drivers

Gray boxes, holding the wiring for nearby traffic signals, dot more than 1,000 intersections throughout Seattle. They fade into the background by design, many of…

Best of 2015: How much of Seattle’s housing is affordable? No one knows for sure

This week Crosscut is running some of our best stories of the year, as selected both by our writers and by popularity with readers. We will…

Best of 2015: Why the city’s new buildings often look the same

This is the first in a 2-part series on changes in Seattle's built environment. You can read Part 2 here. Tucked into a side street…

South Lake Union could have been Seattle’s Central Park

Walking through South Lake Union, you feel a kind of urban bounce in your step. Mothers with strollers, joggers, and cyclists move along the tree-lined…

The return of the backyard cottage idea

Councilmember Mike O’Brien wants to pick up the pieces of a bygone housing recommendation from last summer. The proposal, once a piece of Mayor Ed…