Measuring the Success of the Urban Village Strategy

In 1994 the city adopted a new Comprehensive Plan centered on the innovative “urban village strategy.” Rather than scatter growth throughout the city, or squeeze growth along corridors, this plan called for guiding growth and City investment to mixed-use, walkable villages. So 20 years later, how successful how this strategy been?

On January 28 over 250 people crowded into Bertha Knight Landes to find out. Peter Steinbrueck and Mikaela Winter of Steinbrueck Urban Strategies presented the results of Seattle Sustainable Neighborhood Assessment Study (SSNAP). SSNAP is a data-driven study that measures results and achievements of the urban village strategy. Steinbrueck explained, “as we prepare for the next 20 years, we need to measure the success of the last 20 years.”

They assembled data for 22 neighborhood indicators in 10 representative urban villages. The study concluded the urban village strategy is working, but identified opportunities for improvement, especially in the areas of social equity, transit, employment, and tracking city investments.  The results will inform Seattle 2035, the current effort underway to update Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan. SSNAP report is available at 2035.seattle.gov. A video of the presentation will soon be available on the Seattle Channel.