The City of Seattle has selected six community-based organizations to help design and carry out public engagement strategies for the update of Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan. Each of the organizations submitted engagement proposals that center the voices of people of color as the City updates its vision for how we will grow and invest in our communities.
Mayor Bruce Harrell’s One Seattle vision will provide a framework for the Office of Planning and Community Development (OPCD) as it works with residents to update our Comprehensive Plan. The planning process will continue through 2024, when the City Council is scheduled adopt the final plan, as required by the state’s Growth Management Act.
“The Comprehensive Plan update is our City’s opportunity to envision the future we want to see in Seattle and to design the blueprint that makes that vision possible,” said Mayor Harrell. “Core to our mission – ensuring Seattle is a special place with enhanced affordability, climate resilience, and equity – is the need to center community. This thoughtful and targeted approach ensures that underrepresented communities don’t just have a seat at the table, but are actively shaping the conversation and helping drive forward our Comprehensive Plan update.”
Each of these six organizations will receive a $30,000 contract to help co-create OPCD’s community engagement efforts for the Comprehensive Plan update:
- Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA)
- Capitol Hill Eco District
- Duwamish Valley Sustainability Association
- Estelita’s Library
- Khmer Community of Seattle/King County
“The Capitol Hill EcoDistrict is honored to partner with OPCD to support all who live, work, and play in Seattle to have a voice in how our city grows,” Donna Moodie, Capitol Hill EcoDistrict. “We have faith in the creativity and compassion of our neighbors and look forward to helping OPCD create a shared vision for Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan.”
“Engagement with communities across the City will shape each phase of the plan’s development,” said OPCD Director Rico Quirindongo. “Consistent with OPCD’s Equitable Community Engagement Ethos, we will prioritize giving voice and power to communities, especially BIPOC communities, that have been historically marginalized, while also engaging all residents of Seattle in shaping the City’s future.”
The City is investing in a range of opportunities for all residents to participate in the Comprehensive Plan update. All residents will be encouraged to participate in a hybrid model of in-person events and online tools. The public will be invited to learn and provide input through community meetings, neighobhood walks, narrated presentations, surveys, and online open houses to help shape the plan.
OPCD’s initial online survey on the Comprehensive Plan update is available now as we launch this next phase of community engagement.
The Department of Neighborhood’s community liaisons will help develop and implement additional engagement opportunities in the months ahead. The community liaisons have deep connections with those who have been historically underrepresented in past planning processes. The City will incorporate translation and interpretation services to reduce barriers and increase participation.
Last updated in 2016, the Seattle Comprehensive Plan will guide where and how the City grows to add housing and jobs over the next 20 years. The plan will address many elements: land use, transportation, housing, economic development, environment and climate change, parks and open space, arts and culture, quality of life, and more.
Since 1994, the City’s goal has been to focus most new housing construction, jobs, and community investments within designated urban centers and urban villages. Updating the Comprehensive Plan will involve evaluating the current strategy as well as exploring new ideas for how Seattle can grow to be more equitable, affordable, and climate resilient. Last summer, OPCD presented to the City Council a racial equity analysis of the existing growth strategy.
The City continues to invest in strategies that reduce residential, economic, and cultural displacement pressures as costs for housing and commercial spaces continue to rise. The City has pursued a range of efforts, including investing in rent- and income-restricted homes, grants to support permanent homes for BIPOC-led service providers, small-business supports, and grants to arts, cultural, and community organizations. During the planning process, OPCD will seek community input on which strategies are most effective, as well as ideas for new policies, programs, and investments that can help reduce displacement pressures.
OPCD is also coordinating with the Seattle Department of Transportation as it crafts the Seattle Transportation Plan that will establish a renewed vision for the future of our streets and public spaces. SDOT is working with community to reimagine how we move through and enjoy Seattle’s streets. The plan is also our collective commitment – as a City – to a racially-equitable and socially-just transportation system that meets the needs of everyone, connecting us all safely and efficiently to the places that matter most.