urban planning | KUOW News and Information

urban planning

Jim Loter documented building a backyard cottage in Seattle. Here's a picture from day 25: erecting the walls.
Flickr Photo/Jim L (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/s/aHsju5PWuH

Seattle officials are conducting an environmental review of the entire city to look at the possible impacts of building more backyard cottages. Some lawmakers want to make it easier for homeowners to build them.

Residents can weigh in now on the scope of that environmental review.

Queen Anne Avenue is now zoned to allow 85ft buildings between Denny Way and Roy Street
Flickr Photo/Matthew Rutledge (CC BY-NC 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/5BRcDM

Taller developments will now be allowed in Seattle's lower Queen Anne neighborhood. The City Council unanimously passed a rezone measure on Monday.

It’s the last of five neighborhood rezones expected this year, after legislation was already approved for the University District, Chinatown-International District, parts of the Central Area, and downtown/South Lake Union.

Houses in Queen Anne
Flickr Photo/Harold Hollingsworth (CC BY-SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/9C1rMq

Seattle officials are preparing zoning changes for lower Queen Anne to make the area denser. The legislation gained preliminary approval from the city council this month.


Steve Moddemeyer on Brooklyn Avenue in Seattle's U-District.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Seattle doesn’t get hurricanes like the ones that recently dumped trillions of gallons of water on Texas and Florida. 

Downtown Seattle taken from Dr. Jose Rizal Park
Flickr Photo/Dave Lichterman (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/cyuYa3

It’s an exciting time to catch up on and get involved in envisioning the great public spaces that will help sustain our growing region. KUOW, The Seattle Public Library and Seattle’s Office of Planning and Community Development hosted this conversation with national and local experts to help the community at-large better understand the issues and opportunities we face. KUOW’s Posey Gruener moderated the discussion. The speakers include:

A mural on 20th Avenue in Seattle's Central District
KUOW Photo/Paul Kiefer

A plan to bring more affordable housing to Seattle's Central District was approved by the City Council today. 

It's one part of the city's goal to add 20,000 new units for lower-income households (those making less than 60 percent of the area’s median income).

Ivy grows rampant in Seattle, where roughly 10 percent of public land is infested with the plant.
King County

Ivy is perfectly picturesque when growing in the English countryside or climbing the hallowed walls of Cambridge.

But here in the Pacific Northwest, ivy is a bully. A tree-killing, rat-infested, bird-poop-traveling bully.

Where affordable housing could go in Seattle's Chinatown-International District
City of Seattle

Big changes for Seattle's Chinatown-International District are just one vote away. A Seattle City Council committee Tuesday passed zoning legislation to increase density in the historic neighborhood.

Based on requests from residents, though, the council is delaying its final vote on the matter.

Seattle's Chinatown-International District
Flickr Photo/Curtis Cronn (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/9hVGFD

Seattle officials are moving forward with plans to increase density in Chinatown-International District. It's the next in a series of neighborhoods undergoing a rezone. At a City Council meeting Tuesday, neighbors shared their concerns.

Flickr Photo/Steven Santiago (CC-BY-NC-ND)/https://flic.kr/p/q4dpg6

Downtown and South Lake Union are poised to get even denser. Seattle lawmakers have approved a rezone to increase the building heights for both neighborhoods. Mayor Ed Murray signed it into law on Friday, April 14.

A view of Seattle's future: Income tax and apartment construction?
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

The construction cranes could eventually be raised up a little higher in downtown Seattle. That's if Seattle lawmakers allow for taller building heights downtown and in South Lake Union.

The City Council started the process to rezone those neighborhoods in a meeting Tuesday.

Under a new city plan, apartment buildings could be as high as the UW Tower (tallest building pictured). They are currently capped at 65 feet.
Flickr Photo/Atomic Taco (CC BY SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/8cYwTm

Seattle lawmakers are getting closer to implementing their solution to the city’s housing problems. They call the plan HALA, or the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda.

As part of HALA, lawmakers will rezone most of Seattle to make a more a taller, denser city. The City Council will rezone the University District first and has already drafted new zoning rules for the neighborhood.

File photo of Interstate 5 passing through downtown Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Bill Radke speaks with senior editor at The Urbanist, Doug Trumm, about his idea to rip out I-5 from downtown Seattle.

In an recent article, Trumm argued that I-5 should be removed from I-90 to 520 and the land used for parks, affordable housing and business development. 

Former Mayor Mike McGinn, a biker booster, shakes hands with a campaign volunteer.
Flickr Photo/Luke McGuff (CC BY-ND 2.0) http://bit.ly/1V2tzdc

If you have biked the Burke-Gilman Trail and suddenly found yourself lost on Ballard streets, you've experienced the ‘missing link’ on the trail.

Amy Radil

Curious neighbors gathered near Roosevelt High School on Friday to hear about the strong measures city officials say they will take against the owner of many blighted properties in the neighborhood.

“It’s unfortunate that you’ve had to suffer through this for a long time,” Mayor Ed Murray told the crowd.

Marcie Sillman talks with urban planner and former Seattle City Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck about Seattle's Urban Village Strategy for guiding growth. Steinbrueck authored a report on how the strategy has worked over the past 20 years.

Flickr Photo/Seattle Municipal Archives (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Dave LeClergue is a Seattle city planner, but he may as well hold the title "citizen wrangler." LeClergue is the man who has the job of shepherding in a new development plan for Seattle's University District.

Flickr Photo/Eric P. (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks to Bruce Katz, vice president of the Brookings Institute, about the infrastructure behind having an "innovation district," and the benefits one can provide.

KUOW Photo/Ross Reynolds

Ross Reynolds speaks with Roger Valdez of the pro-growth group Smart Growth Seattle about how the last comprehensive plan helped create growth in South Lake Union and what the next comprehensive plan for 2035 should be doing.

Perhaps no Seattle neighborhood has changed more than South Lake Union. What was once low rise and low income is now shiny high rises and Amazon. They spoke at Stackhouse, an apartment complex developed from an old laundry building.

Flickr Photo/Matt Northam (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman speaks with Mike Powe, senior research manager at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, about the group's new research report "Older, Smaller, Better: Measuring How the Character of Buildings and Blocks Influences Urban Vitality."

Flickr Photo/jseattle (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Steve Scher talks with Seattle homeowner Erin Miller and Seattle City Councilmember Mike O'Brien about proposed regulations for building additional new homes on small existing lots.

Courtesy of the Low Income Housing Institute/Michael Walmsley

Ross Reynolds speaks with Sharon Lee, executive director of the Low Income Housing Institute, at Ernestine Anderson Place, an apartment house for homeless people in Seattle's Central District.

Flickr Photo/VeloBusDriver (CC BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds speaks with Josh Brower, member of the Seattle Planning Commission, about how the transit focus might affect his neighborhood in Beacon Hill.

The transit focus is one of the three planning alternatives being considered for Seattle 2035.

Flickr Photo/ brewbooks (CC BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds speaks with Margaret O'Mara, history professor at the University of Washington, about how Seattle's urban center focus might affect the University District. The urban center focus is one of three planning alternatives being considered for Seattle 2035 as the city prepares for population growth over the next 20 years.

Flickr Photo/craterdweller (CC BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds speaks with Tom Hauger, manager of Comprehensive and Regional Planning at the City of Seattle's Department of Planning and Development. Hauger talks about the three planning alternatives being considered for Seattle 2035.

Flickr Photo/cleverdame107 (CC BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds speaks with Seattle Mayor Ed Murray about the April 5 Neighborhood Summit and how the city could support thriving neighborhoods in the future.

Designing The Happy City

Mar 13, 2014
Charles Montgomery's book, "Happy City."

Steve Scher talks with author Charles Montgomery about his book, "Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design."

Port of Seattle, port, stadium, Century Link
Flickr Photo/ArtBrom (CC-BY-NC-ND)

The stadium district in Seattle is located at the northern end of a larger swath of the city that's officially known as the Duwamish Manufacturing and Industrial Center, but more commonly referred to as Sodo.

It’s the largest concentration of industrially zoned land in Seattle and home to Harbor Island, the largest container port facility in the Pacific Northwest, as well as the Seattle Seahawks, Sounders and Mariners teams.

From Honda of Seattle's Facebook page.

The rise in Seattle’s downtown density makes for scarce real estate and higher prices. As a result, one industry is heading south to the Sodo neighborhood: car dealerships.

Sodo has space and easy highway access, but it isn’t perfect. The high traffic can be a plus, but with three professional sports teams in the area, game days can be intense.

ced.berkeley.edu

Ross Reynolds speaks with former activist Majora Carter about her work organizing low-income communities around environmental issues.

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