Communities across Oregon and Washington are growing increasingly concerned about the risks of coal exports and oil trains. Even so, a new analysis by Sightline finds that government officials are investing huge sums of the two states’ pension funds—that is, Northwest public money—in some of the region’s most controversial coal, oil, and natural gas projects. Read more.
Associated Press | Fossil fuels
The Seattle Times | Climate
The Oregonian | Transportation
EarthFix | Land Use
Sightline | Housing
Seattle Transit Blog | Transportation
The Seattle Times | Transportation
Publicola | Transportation
EarthFix | Energy
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife | Wildlife
As we pointed out yesterday, inclusionary zoning (IZ) ordinances—rules that encourage private developers to provide some housing to lower-income tenants at below-market rates—were largely a reaction against “exclusionary zoning” practices that made it hard to build low-cost housing in many municipalities. Starting in the early 1970s, hundreds of cities and towns across the United States began to adopt IZ policies. This raises a key question: how effective have these programs been in boosting the supply of affordable housing, and reversing the legacy of exclusionary zoning?
The truth … read more »
At last count, Seattle ranked as the fastest growing major city in America. The city’s growth has easily outpaced the projections of its decade-old Comprehensive Plan, which foresaw 47,000 new households (as well as 84,000 new jobs) between 2004 and 2024. Between 2005 and 2012 the city added 29,330 net new housing units---roughly 62 percent of its 2024 target in just 7 years.
This rapid growth has stemmed in large part from the city’s relatively robust economy. From March 2013 through March 2014, for example, King County (which includes Seattle) ranked fifth among all US counties in net job growth, trailing only the likes of Los Angeles County and Manhattan.
But the population boom has sent housing prices and rents trending upwards---creating real anxiety among many renters, and fears that Seattle’s housing market will price out residents that once could afford to live in the city.
My favorite wrap-up of this week’s UN Climate Summit.
We put this in the Daily—about how Cascadia could become a climate refuge, attracting immigrants from harder hit locales—but have you considered this? The region’s cities all have comprehensive plans that assume certain amounts of population growth then indicate where they expect those people to live. The projections may all be way too low, and unless cities plan to accommodate climate refugees in compact, walkable urban zones, they’ll end up … read more »