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Neighborhood Planning

Seattle’s Neighborhood Plans: A tradition of community commitment

In 1995 Seattle embarked upon an effort to create vibrant, safe and healthy neighborhoods that continues today.

We knew growth was coming, and it did. During the past 10 years, the city’s
population increased by 50,000 people.

When we set out to write the first neighborhood plans, we asked tough questions. Where would all these people live? How would we provide them with public services, better roads and housing? How would we protect and nurture the character of our neighborhoods, and our quality of life?

The answers came from the neighborhoods themselves. Hundreds of people from all
walks of life worked together to develop blueprints for how their neighborhoods would grow toward a better future. We were already thinking then about creating communities where we could work near where we live — where we could find a healthy balance of housing for moderate-wage workers, jobs, schools, public transportation and the special amenities like neighborhood farmers markets that make Seattle so special. Today, many of those visions have become realities.

The 38 neighborhood plans have helped shape our city. New homes and new jobs are being created in areas best able to handle the growth — Seattle’s urban villages and centers. Each neighborhood is moving forward with its agenda to improve parks, libraries and community centers; to make it safer and more convenient to walk, bike or take the bus; and to keep their neighborhoods safe.

The success hasn’t gone unnoticed. Communities across the nation and overseas are emulating Seattle’s neighborhood planning process.

But the work isn’t done. Looking ahead, Seattle is projected to add another 100,000 people by 2024. With that in mind, it is time to build on the success and begin updating our neighborhood plans. The updating work began in 2008 and your participation is critical.

Use the links at left to find out more about existing neighborhood plans, efforts to update existing plans, and how to get involved.

More information on neighborhood planning accomplishments was published in the March-May 2009 issue of Neighborhood News. View the Neighborhood Plans article.

Neighborhood Planning is the cornerstone of a larger tool for guiding policy decisions about growth, Seattle's Comprehensive Plan. Learn more about the Comprehensive Plan here.

The Office of City Auditor reviewed the City's implementation of neighborhood plans in 2007 and produced a comprehensive report. View the report.

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