The other day the Seattle Times had a front page piece on their "urban village" zoning concept from a generation ago.
The idea was to accommodate newcomers, revitalize the city and curb sprawl in the suburbs. The strategy, adopted in the 1990s, funneled new apartments, townhouses and condos into about two dozen neighborhood hubs, along with shops, parks and buses.
Nearly 30 years later, with Seattle’s population approaching 800,000 and the median home price recently topping $900,000,”it’s time to probably refresh,” Rice said in a recent interview....
The analysis recommends that the city change its zoning laws to allow more housing types in areas outside the urban villages that are now reserved for single-family homes. It also recommends the city adopt strategies to support low-income residents and residents of color who want to rent or own homes throughout the city.
|Seattle Times, front page July 2021|
Seattle's plan of course was for a metro considerably larger and more urban than Salem, with hubs commensurately larger also, but there are still some analogies with our hubs and the considerable swaths of mixed-use areas proposed along the great arterial corridors in the current draft of Our Salem.
|Much of the proposed change is|
for arterial corridors
Our Salem map
If problems with the detail don't always match up, problems with the general structure and vision do.
In both cases, the plans still work too hard to protect single detached housing and confine apartments and more affordable housing to restricted areas.
|A resident and climate journalist critiques.|
see the whole thread
A climate journalist who also lives in Seattle says that the "strategy of funneling all new growth into narrow corridors built around car sewers...is a...disaster."
That sounds a lot like the approach in Our Salem.
By itself this does not prove Our Salem is on the wrong track, but it is evidence that we need to think bigger, not smaller, if we are to avoid the same problems Seattle finds itself needing to solve.
Happily, revisions along those lines are also consistent with ways we still need to strengthen the plan to meet our climate goals.