Creating density is a big part of Seattle’s plan to house an additional 120,000 people in upcoming years. Seattle’s economy is growing along with job creation and the job of figuring out how it all works falls on Diane Sugimura, the head of the city’s new office of planning and community development.
Sugimura says her new office will work to remedy those concerns. “It’s urban planning…(that’s) much more integrated,” said Sugimura in an interview with King5. “… how we work with the community… We’re looking at equitable development of the city.”
Growth means traffic congestion, higher rents and home prices and less open space. Last month, the Seattle Times reported that Seattle jumped over Baltimore into the Top 10 cities in the US for population density. Branden Born, UW professor argues that density doesn’t have to be crime and dirt, but can be vibrant and electric with proper planning. When density is done right, it gives people more of what they like, and less of what they don’t like in their neighborhood.
Whether Seattle plans for growth or not, people are coming. To keep housing affordable, increasing density is inevitable. There’s a new sense that if Seattle wants to be a global city, we need to focus on ways to work on the problems of housing prices, lack of high-quality mass transit and reducing congestion in the freeways.