New Community Engagement Practices for Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan Update

A major update of Seattle’s comprehensive plan is just getting under way, with new opportunities for local groups to get involved with outreach and engagement.

2 minute read

May 16, 2022, 10:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Mount Rainier

CK Foto / Shutterstock

“Capitol Hill EcoDistrict, along with five other groups, will assist with outreach and connecting with residents as the city looks to review its comprehensive plan,” according to an article by Ari Cetron for the Capitol Hill Seattle Blog.

The city is launching the public engagement process for the One Seattle Plan, a major update to the city’s comprehensive plan, scheduled to take place over the next two years. The planning process is expected to address several critical issues: the cost of housing, questions of whether to intensify density around the city’s urban villages, the realities of climate change, and the need to respond to the discriminatory and inequitable practices of planning in the past.

“That is where the EcoDistrict comes in. Last month, the Office of Planning and Community Development announced it had partnered with six organizations across Seattle to help with early outreach for the One Seattle Plan. Each group will be paid $30,000 for their efforts,” according to Cetron.

Covid-19 is making it hard to definitively plan new methodologies, according to the article. Large, in-person meetings, for example, might or might not be a possibility in the fall.

“For now, the city has a 15-question survey posted on its website as it seeks to identify issues that are of concern to Seattle residents,” explains Centron.

The city is expected to begin working on the scope of the environmental impact statement this summer before releasing a draft plan and statement in the summer of 2023.

The city last updated its comprehensive plan in 2016, when it adopted the Seattle 2035 plan. Leading up to the process for the One Seattle Plan, Rick Mohler, co-chair of the Seattle Planning Commission, described the One Seattle plan the “major plan update in the city’s history.”

Ryan DiRaimo, boardmember of the Aurora Licton Urban Village neighborhood group, recently wrote an op-ed for The Urbanist calling on the city to do far more to add housing to the city than in previous updates of the comprehensive plan.

Monday, April 25, 2022 in Capitol Hill Seattle Blog

Chicago Intercity Rail

Amtrak Ramping Up Infrastructure Projects

Thanks to federal funding from the 2021 infrastructure act, the agency plans to triple its investment in infrastructure improvements and new routes in the next two years.

September 25, 2023 - Smart Cities Dive

Google maps street view of San Francisco alleyway.

Ending Downtown San Francisco’s ‘Doom Loop’

A new public space project offers an ambitious vision—so why is the city implementing it at such a small scale?

September 26, 2023 - Fast Company

Google street view of yellow "End Freeway 1/4 mile" sign on 90 freeway in Los Angeles, California.

Proposal Would Transform L.A.’s ‘Freeway to Nowhere’ Into Park, Housing

A never-completed freeway segment could see new life as a mixed-use development with housing, commercial space, and one of the county’s largest parks.

September 26, 2023 - Los Angeles Times

Unhoused encampment on dry lawn with Art Deco building in background in Oakland, California.

California Legislative Package Seeks to Address Homelessness and Mental Health

The state is investing $22 billion in supportive housing, mental health services, shelter beds, and housing units for its most vulnerable residents.

7 hours ago - Office of Governor Gavin Newsom

Aerial view of residential buildings in Koreatown, Los Angeles with downtown skyline in background

Advancing Shade Equity in LA’s Koreatown

Koreatown is one of Los Angeles's densest and most park-poor communities. A privately funded tree planting initiative will bring some much needed greenery and shade to the area.

October 3 - LAist

Cars passing through flooded street after Hurricane Sandy in New York City.

Federal Government Announces National Climate Resilience Framework

The document is designed to guide federal investment into community-driven solutions tailored to local conditions and needs.

October 3 - Smart Cities Dive

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.