Staff Biography

Owen Pickford

Founder and Former Executive Director

Owen Pickford does servicing and consulting for a software company to pay the bills. He spends the majority of his free time learning and writing about urban policy. Owen started grassroots advocacy in 2004, organizing over 400 volunteers in three counties for a presidential campaign. Since then he’s continued volunteering for political organizations, cycling and transit groups. Owen primarily wrote about housing issues. He founded The Urbanist and served as executive director through 2019.

Recent Articles

Owen Pickford holding a beer, wearing a Sounders shirt in front of a bridge, river and large towers in Tokyo.

Seattle Needs a Powerful Urbanist Media Outlet

Founder Owen Pickford reflects on a decade of The Urbanist and urges urbanists to chip in to keep this institution strong. Please make a donation during our spring member drive.
A small crane move materials to the top of a three story townhome complex where a construction work receives them.

Seattle’s Housing Construction Booms While Permitting Flashes Warning Signs

Plummeting permits could point to a housing slowdown and less affordable housing money after a banner year. Seattle’s housing production set a new record in 2023, producing 12,853 new homes, according to data from the...

Despite Slowdown Worries, 2021 Sets A Townhouse Production Record in Seattle

Last year, The Urbanist covered a Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties (MBAKS) report suggesting that townhouse development in Seattle might be dropping off a cliff. However, nine months later, data from...
Alaska Airlines plane takes off from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport with Mt. Rainier in the background.

High Speed Rail Is a Solution for Terrible Airlines

The winter holidays gifted Seattle thousands of cancelled flights, likely affecting over 100,000 travellers. Today, weeks later, people are feeling the impacts as airlines try to work through the backlog. I can relate. I’ve...
King County Metro Bus in the Snow

Spring 2021 Subscriber Drive Financial Update

Last year, The Urbanist started paying an Executive Director for the first time since its founding. The new director started in December 2019 and spent most of last year learning the ropes of fundraising,...