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March 30, 2009

In 50 words: What is livability and how can Seattle achieve it?

Join the discussion
Words like affordable, sustainable and livable are thrown around regularly in conversations about how Seattle should grow. But we want to know what these words actually mean, and how the city can achieve them.

This week, we asked people from the community to weigh in with 50-word pieces on livability. Bloggers at the DJC blog SeattleScape will also take on the debate. We hope you will join us. Here’s how you can participate:

• Email our AE editor, Shawna Gamache, at shawnag@djc.com with your thoughts.

• Join the discussion here or on SeattleScape at www.djc.com/blogs/SeattleScape.

A livable city provides safety, a clean environment, mobility, affordability, educational opportunities, parks and open space, good jobs, decent food and a strong sense of community to all of its residents. To become even more livable, Seattle should break down inter- and intra-governmental silos and focus on achieving these outcomes.

Craig M. Benjamin
Cascade Land Conservancy

We thrive when we are connected — to people and place; to work and play; to past, present and future. A good city fosters connections. Diversity, local ownership, the public realm and environmental stewardship are all profound connectors. But above all, to achieve its full potential for cultivating connections, a city must be a place where people walk.

Dan Bertolet

Livable cities have housing for all income levels that is near jobs, amenities and transit. Neighborhoods are pedestrian-friendly with green space, vibrant retail, goods and services. City, community and developer interests need to collaborate to reduce parking requirements where feasible, and adequately incentivize transit solutions and transit-oriented development.

Denny Onslow
Harbor Properties

The arts are essential to livability because they communicate across barriers of language, class and culture. Creativity adds to Seattle's character, making it a better place to live and work. Investing in the arts in troubled times fuels the economy and creates a better environment in which our communities can thrive.

Michael Killoren
Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs

“Livability” in my view has to do with having lots of different choices... choices in forms of living; places to work, shop and eat; and locations to linger and spend time — whether singly or with other people. Its a combination of diversity and sociability.

Mark Hinshaw
LMN Architects

In order for livability to be attained, people, ALL people, have to exist without fear. For people to live without fear, in and out of our city, there has to be transparency and equality within the systems that govern and employ us. Eradicate fear to achieve livability; culture will follow.

Miguel Guillen
La Sala Arts Collective

The requirements and delights of life are readily available to people of all ages and incomes; easily accessible by the most egalitarian travel modes, by foot in particular; and safely reached by all, from a young child onward. Concentrate the resources and bring people closer to them, and to each other.

Lydia Heard
VIA Architecture

Seattle's cutting-edge entertainment and arts spaces are animated by local talent and situated within living neighborhoods. The social and economic viability of these spaces are entwined with the livability of their neighborhoods. The Cultural Overlay District Advisory Committee (CODAC) has made a proposal that would benefit these spaces and neighborhoods through a cultural district economic development program.

Paige Weinheimer

Tell us what you think...

The Daily Journal of Commerce welcomes your comments.

  • E-mail: Phil Brown

  • Phone: (206) 622-8272

  • Mail:
      Daily Journal of Commerce
      83 Columbia St.,Suite 200
      Seattle, WA 98104

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