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Urban Planning

Urban Planning

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…

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…

Artists search for space from Seattle to Mumbai

The issue of living and work space for artists in Seattle isn’t going away soon, though the artists themselves might very well.  As a Seattle-based…

Fed up with Seattle? Here are 9 other cities you’ll love

Over the past year or so, there is been considerable kvetching in certain journalistic quarters about how Seattle (or perhaps more specifically, Capitol Hill) is…

City may push aside history, the poor in Pike Place & Pioneer Square

We know that Seattle’s rapid growth is putting pressure on our architectural heritage with demolitions and façadism. The city is being remade at an unprecedented…

The many forms of rage beneath “Seattle nice”

The Seattle Times recently did a story saying “pedestrian rage is on the rise.” The sidewalks are crowded, the intersections are dangerous, Amazonians are walking…

Weyerhaeuser’s new house

Several weeks ago I wrote an article about the significance of Weyerhaeuser moving out of and selling its iconic, 40-year-old home in Federal Way. So…

The death of the suburban corporate campus

Last week, political and economic shock waves rippled through two Puget Sound cities when Weyerhaeuser, the multi-national giant, announced that it was moving its corporate…

The Pioneer Square renaissance is through with fits & starts

In the thirty-five years that I’ve lived in Seattle, much of it working and living in or near Pioneer Square, I cannot recall so much…

Local architect receiving award at White House

Local architect honored at White House event Seattle architect Johnpaul Jones will be shaking hands with President Obama on Monday. During a formal, black-tie ceremony,…

A hole in Seattle’s downtown development

In the last six months, a considerable amount of ink has been spilled over the plight of Bertha, our famously busted tunnel borer. Due to…

Is this really the fastest growing city in America?

A couple of weeks ago, front page headlines in The Seattle Times declared Seattle the fastest growing large city in the U.S. Now, in some…

Bell Street Park: A noble bust

Disclosure number 1: I know most of the people who were involved in the design of Bell Street Park. I have greatly admired their work…

The waxing and waning of Seattle’s waterfront plan

Last Wednesday, James Corner Field Operations rolled out the latest thinking for Seattle’s urban waterfront. Occasionally, there were flashes of brilliance. At other times, just…

Why Stadium Place is the best new development in Seattle

First off, I’m here to say that the best new high rise buildings in Seattle are at Stadium Place along King Street and Occidental Avenue.…

For Lease: Tunnel. One of a kind. Never used.

Okay, Bertha is busted; and not in a good way. If it turns out she can’t be fixed, what are we going to do with…

Stealthbucks: The non-Starbucks Starbucks

Does anyone remember when Seattle was the espresso cart capital of the world? Back in the ‘90s, you couldn't walk a few blocks without encountering…

Lessons from Oakland’s waterfront district

Over the past decade I’ve been observing the gradual transformation of a section of downtown Oakland. Known as the Jack London District, it’s a four-…

Death of another corporate icon

Recently, I traveled to Billings, Montana for business. Prominently marking the skyline was a huge stylized “I” —  the exact same sign that had graced…

A new loo for Seattle?

In the mid-1990’s a French company by the name J.C. Decaux lobbied the City of Seattle for a contract to provide self-sanitizing public toilets. The…

Urban appeal

Over the last 40 years, our region has emerged from a little-known, backwater company town to a metropolitan area of global importance. These days, it’s…

NW Urban: Bringing Bremerton Back

Most people who have lived in Puget Sound for more than 10 years likely recall when Bremerton was all but pronounced dead. During the 1980s,…

NW Urban: Changing cities on the Sound

Throughout the Puget Sound area, many cities and towns have been rapidly changing. For the most part, the change has been propelled by the same…

Winslow (Un)Paves the Way

Over the past couple of years, the City of Bainbridge Island has been transforming its town center. A massive makeover of Winslow Way is the…

Activating Streets: The makeover of Pioneer Square

A few weeks ago, I came across a small clutch of tourists looking at a map and meandering along Yesler Way. I offered to help…