Urban Village Strategy Critique with Peter Steinbrueck

It has been 20 years since Seattle adopted a comprehensive plan that emphasized Urban Villages.  Before we look forward to the next 20 years it makes only sense to examine the results of our past planning. To this end, Mayor Murray hired architect and former Councilman Peter Steinbrueck to take a critical look at the effectiveness of Seattle’s strategy.

On January 28th, 250 people turned out to “Measuring the Success of the Urban Village Strategy” at the Berth Landes Room in City Hall to hear Peter Steinbrueck talk about his long awaited report.

The result is the Seattle Sustainable Neighborhood Assessment Study (SSNAP). If you want to peruse the data, read the full report.   SSNAP reviews 22 separate “neighborhood indicators” from 10 of the City’s 38 urban villages. The study concluded the urban village strategy is working, but identified opportunities for improvement, especially in the areas of social equity, transit, employment, and tracking city investments.

We strongly urge that you watch Peter’s presentation (a little over an hour long) from the January 28th in preparation for the SNC meeting on Saturday.  The corresponding charts from the presentation are here.

[At this SNC meeting we will not be covering the background information that Peter presented on the 28th, which includes the rationale for the study, the methodology used, and a review of some of the specific indicators.  Hence we make the recommendation to watch the video first.  This will allow us to get into more detail in areas of his findings.]

Among the trends that Peter discovered is that while Seattle has been meeting its housing goals, the city is falling far short of providing employment opportunities with many of our neighbors having to commute outside of the city.  This should provide an interesting conversation as we delve into the why of the situation.

This meeting should provide you with the foundation necessary to take an active role in the many opportunities for updating the Comprehensive Plan that will guide our growth to 2035.

[by Robert Rosenberger,  3/6/14]

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