Thinking about the future of Seattle...

I really enjoyed this morning's ULI Seattle breakfast: The City in 2050: The Infrastructure of Innovation.

The speakers included: the Washington State governor from 1965-1977, Daniel J. Evans - Wonderful speaker - Here's a man who lead this state before I was born, and I felt like I could relate to what he said more than many current government leaders; David Brewster, and Uwe Brandes.

The entire breakfast was motivational and challenging. I really appreciated the message of citizen leadership that echoed during the discussion. (A conversation I could have listened to all day.)

A few interesting thoughts...

By the year 2050, it is projected that Seattle will absorb the equivalent of the entire population of Portland, OR. Imagine everyone in Portland getting in their cars, hopping on buses, trains and planes, and coming here. And staying.

When Metro was first proposed to this region, it was considered Communist. Just sayin'.

Second only to Austin, Seattle has a very high population of more recent transplants. Trying to find the exact stat online - not successful yet. This doesn't surprise me. I often find myself the only person in a group of people who is from here. I can only name a handful of other people who fit this description.

On a similar train of thought... Seattle used to be where people stayed. They had experienced bigger cities and smaller cities and found Seattle to be "just right." Now, Seattle is a "first city." We attract college graduates, who aren't necessarily tied down here.

Our world population is at a threshold - there are more people living in urban environments than rural.

All of these thoughts shape how we govern. There was talk of "de-centralizing" city government, and, although it seems paradoxical, perhaps we will see a renaissance in political involvement. The idea is to promote district/neighborhood level leadership.... hmmm...

It also shapes how we plan and build the future city of Seattle. How we create neighborhoods that discourage driving and offer people what they need. How we allow people to age in place.

The take away from this morning's breakfast is The City in 2050: Creating Blueprints for Change. I'm excited to read it.

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