Giving back: Amazon plans to open a temporary homeless shelter.

Big plans: Seattle University reveals plans for a new 10-story office and dormitory tower.

Another record: Central Link sees new year-over-year ridership high in February – one month before the University Link extension.

Sit back and relax: The Guild 45th in Wallingford was recently nominated for historic preservation status; the cinema could become four or five small theatres.

Sky terraces: Forget lidding I-5, connecting the waterfront to Freeway Park with rooftop green spaces via skybridges and stairs in Downtown Seattle is the next big idea.

Goodbye brutal reactor: The University of Washington wins its case against the City of Seattle over local historic preservation laws.

Water wars: Colorado just approved the use of 55-gallon rainwater barrels for domestic use, but a battle is still brewing over water rights doctrines in Western states.

For the little guy: A Seattle committee will evaluate rent control for small businesses.

Raw deal: Knute over at Crosscut says that local politicians need to end their enthusiasm for the ill-advised arena proposal in SoDo.

Urban art: An artist used 50 buildings in Cairo as a massive canvas and the results are stunning.

Long-range planning: What the bus network in Capitol Hill could look like in 2025 and beyond.

Pedestrianized street: Capitol Hill piloted nighttime festival streets in Pike-Pine last summer, but some businesses are not so keen on a return for this year.

Energized: The Seattle Department of Transportation is looking to fill in trolley wire gaps on 23rd Avenue to fully electrify Route 48.

Rising fears: Sea level rise by 2,100 could be much worse than many experts have thought.

Crime fighter: Green space can be a big solution in fighting urban crime.

Retrofit the suburbs: City Observatory explores the curious case of an affluent area in Chicagoland that wants more transit, but where existing land use patterns essentially prohibit effective use of transit.

Vote early, vote often: Help nominate the worst Seattle intersection for 2016. And then take the ST3 Draft Plan, Metro late night bus, and Metro long-range plan surveys.

Bikes are transit: DC’s Metrorail closed down for a day in March and Capital Bikeshare saw a huge spike in usage.

Map of the Week: What if America was formed around seven mega city-regions instead of states in the Lower 48?

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Stephen is an urban planner with a passion for promoting sustainable, livable, and diverse cities. He advocates for smart policies, regulations, and implementation programs that enhance urban environments by committing to quality design, accommodating growth, providing a diversity of housing choices, and adequately providing public services. Stephen primarily writes about land use and transportation issues.


  1. I grew up in DuPage County!

    Our suburbs are laid out with destinations along the freeways, too! We have been successful running freeway buses in ways they haven’t. With the size of today’s cities, if you’re not fast, you’re irrelevant. This is doubly true in the Chicago area, which is quite large, and has extreme racial and income segregation as a result of actual redlining and sprawl-and-abandon development patterns, which lead to longer commutes. Seattle’s booming eastside suburbs of Bellevue and Redmond are close enough to connect with arterial transit; Chicago’s booming western suburbs of Schaumberg and Naperville are not.

    Development patterns have been frustrating all over America. The map of destination density against Metra stations in DuPage County might as well be a map of Silicon Valley with Caltrain or VTA stations plotted (in some ways Oakbrook Terrace is worse than Silicon Valley), or of Seattle, where SLU (the great urbanist hope!) has been conceived and built up with full knowledge of its lousy transportation infrastructure while much better connected areas haven’t seen an explosion in destinations.

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