A massive bronze carp outside the Seattle Chinese Garden. (Nick Walker)

While we spend a lot of thought and effort on the words that go into The Urbanist‘s articles, the internet is still a visual medium. Some 1,600 images went through the publication over the last 12 months. They tell a story of a weird year. The memories of highs and rollicking events. The passing of moments that went too quickly or not quickly enough. The reminder of foods engorged. Good times. Here’s some of the snaps that we liked the most in 2023.

Our Favorites: January through March

Our Favorites: April through June

Our Favorites July through September

Our Favorites October through December

Special Recognition: Photo Essays

Every year, we get a couple of really good photo essays and 2023 was no exception. From a new art space in Ballard to a new convention center Downtown, The Urbanist‘s reporters had a lot of places to explore. Here are four of our favorites.

Inside Look at Seattle’s New Convention Center Expansion, by Ryan Packer and Ray Dubicki – January 29, 2023

View from The Hillclimb main staircase in the Summit convention center expansion. (Ryan Packer)

Seattle Street Ends: West Seattle to South Park, by John Feit – March 30, 2023

Water access is a key benefit of street ends, and the boat ramp at South Michigan (Street End #28) supports deploying vessels of all sizes. (John Feit)

Into the Slop: A New Type of Music and Art Space Opens in Ballard, by Ray Dubicki – April 3, 2023

Graffiti art featuring work by the MRSA crew: Guido, Due, Dotcom, Creature Panic, Vid Kid. Slop Gallery. (Ray Dubicki)

Photo Tour: Discovery Park in Its Full Summer Glory, by Doug Trumm – July 2, 2023

Now that’s a view: Magnolia Bluffs with wildflowers and Elliott Bay in the distance. (Doug Trumm)


Finally, there are times that pictures and words don’t combine to get the exact image that’s required for a story. So we have to put in some effort to illustrate it. The Urbanist does frequently share the skilled work of architects and designers who use graphics to round out their own reports. Sometimes we have to try and keep up with them to make an illustration in-house. Or make a new illustration to cut through the gobbledygook they’re shoveling. Here are a few from the year.

Article Author

Ray Dubicki is a stay-at-home dad and parent-on-call for taking care of general school and neighborhood tasks around Ballard. This lets him see how urbanism works (or doesn’t) during the hours most people are locked in their office. He is an attorney and urbanist by training, with soup-to-nuts planning experience from code enforcement to university development to writing zoning ordinances. He enjoys using PowerPoint, but only because it’s no longer a weekly obligation.