Sustainable in Seattle: Urban Lifestyle Of The Emerald City

By PowerHouse Growers | Healthy Cities & Urban Planning

Seattle is quickly becoming a world-class player so it’s no wonder more and more Gen Y are looking to relocate to the Emerald City for work and play. The city of Seattle is definitely a growing leader in the Urban Lifestyle. As a collective, Seattleites have high environmental awareness and actively seek to preserve ecological surroundings. It’s one of the best cities in North America to take in nature’s surrounding beauty with mountains on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other. With the hustle and bustle of a big city but the comfortable feel of a small community, Seattle is a great place to live and work. So what does it take to be sustainable in Seattle?

Seattle-Pike-Place-Market

Seattle’s Pike Place Market. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Lifestyle And Community

When we think of what makes the perfect Urban Lifestyle we need to take not just sustainability into account but also activities, convenience, and a sense of community. Seattle hits the mark on each of these. The city is a one of the top locations for festivals and events not to mention amazing outdoor activities in and around the city.

Seattle is known for the Pike Place Market for shopping and supporting local business. Its downtown harbor is one of the most scenic places you can imagine and always full of life and energy. Within and just outside Seattle there are lots of kayaking and bicycling options to experience nature. Seattle also has a walkability of 79% and is one of the top 10 most walkable cities in the United States making it very convenient for urban dwellers to get around.

Urban Planning And Green Design

The City of Seattle is becoming more and more progressive when it comes to sustainable urban planning. New resources and permit options are allowing for more micro-housing development, while better tools and incentives are helping residents lower their impact. The city is also a strong proponent of waste management and toxin reduction for a healthier, more efficient place to live and do business.

Other positive initiatives by the City of Seattle include green transportation resources, the Food Action Plan, and energy conservation.

Seattle-City-Hall

The LEED Gold Certified Seattle City Hall building. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Green Building

Green building has become a widely adopted market in Seattle so it’s no wonder they’re one of the leading cities in sustainable construction. With incentive programs and city-funded resources, residents and business owners alike are strongly encouraged to upgrade or build new to meet green standards. The city is doing a remarkable job of promoting the value of green building and getting locals on board.

Seattle is actually home to the building boasting the title of “Greenest Commercial Building in the World”, the Bullitt Center. With an impressive vision for the building, the Bullitt Center Foundation wanted to challenge the most rigorous green building standards of today to obtain this elite status.

The Hyatt at Olive 8 is Seattle’s first Silver LEED certified hotel and condo building. With water and energy conservation systems, air quality and lighting control, and a beautiful green roof, residents and visitors enjoy the peace of mind of knowing their building meets high standards of sustainability.

Residents and visitors can take an eco-buildings tour in Seattle to discover all the leaders in sustainable construction helping make the city become a more livable and healthier place.

Urban Agriculture

Seattle is a great place to get involved in urban agriculture. The P-Patch Community Gardens is a 40 year-old community gardening program educating on new technologies and working with residents and community leaders to feed low income families .

The Seattle releaf community tree planting program helps and trains residents how to plant trees in and around their homes. Funding is provided to participants to set them up with all the necessary tools and equipment including the trees themselves, to make their planting successful.

Seattle-Urban-Garden

Sustainable in Seattle. An urban vegetable garden in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood. Image via Satrina0, Flickr user.

Sustainable in Seattle

Local Leaders Sustainable in Seattle

Seattle is full of innovators and leaders helping residents come together as a community promoting sustainability. Here are five awesome groups doing their part:

Seattle Urban Farm Co.: This company helps locals design and construct their urban farms, vegetable gardens, chicken coops, and green roofs. They also provide workshops and classes on various topics involving local food production.

Sustainable Seattle: An organization that brings together the community, local businesses, and government officials to share ideas on how to provide long-term solutions on the sustainability of the city. They organize community programs that create buy-in to the green concept.

Green Seattle: This partnership between the public and local private businesses works towards preserving parklands and forests in Seattle. Green Seattle involves the community to raise environmental awareness and engage in conservation.

Greendrinks Seattle: This social networking group meets monthly to build awareness and discuss ways of growing the environmental and sustainability community in Seattle. They organize various community events for fun and entertainment, and education and awareness.

Network for Business Innovation and Sustainability: The Seattle based organization provides professional collaborative development for businesses to become more sustainable using strategic and innovative tools. The result is a deeper impact on the local community and the building of long-term success.

Are there other amazing initiatives in Seattle that you would like to see mentioned? Do similar initiatives exist in your community? Send us an email and tell us about it to [email protected]

Feature Image: Seattle at sunset. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

About The Author

PowerHouse Growers
PowerHouse Growers teaches you how to sustainably integrate urban agriculture into your cities, businesses, and homes. We provide clear solutions and benefits for better health, increased productivity, and lower environmental impact. By connecting you with experts, we bring awareness to solutions that may not be top of mind.