SEATTLE–Approximately 200 Seattle residents, community leaders and experts from across disciplines joined Redfin and Mayor Ed Murray last night to discuss the future of Seattle and how to ensure the city is livable and accessible for all residents over the next 25 years. Redfin hosted the event titled, Shaping Seattle’s Future: Creating Livability for All.
Seattle is in the midst of rapid change. A booming tech sector is bringing growth and prosperity like never before. From 2010 through 2014, the number of Seattle families earning $200,000 or more went up by 22 percent. But along with this aggressive growth comes major challenges to affordability and livability. Local leaders and citizens came together seeking to answer important questions. How will we keep homeownership accessible for everyone? In the next 20 years, Seattle is expected to create 115,000 new jobs; how will the city adapt to meet the needs of its growing population? How can we preserve Seattle’s culture and foster thriving and diverse communities?
“There is a fundamental question that people are asking, ‘Will the opportunities of the high tech economy drive us apart or make us more equitable?’” Murray said. “We don’t want to become one thing–one generation or one income bracket.”
Mayor Murray also provided an overview of the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) committee’s recommendations including The Grand Bargain.
Following Mayor Murray’s opening remarks, Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman addressed the crowd. He presented data showing that new building hasn’t kept pace with homebuyer demand and wages haven’t kept pace with rising home prices. He advocated that Seattle needs to embrace becoming a denser, more urban city.
“There isn’t much choice. We’ve either got to grow out or grow up. I’d rather grow up,” Kelman said. “Seattle is going to have amazing prosperity, but can be a beacon for other cities going through the same change.”
The event also brought together a diverse panel of local experts to discuss their top concerns about the future of Seattle, as well as their policy recommendations to address the challenges. Panelists included Nela Richardson, chief economist at Redfin; Pamela Banks, the president and CEO of Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle; Dave Cutler, principal at GGLO Design; and Ed Lazowska, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Chair in Computer Science & Engineering and professor at the University of Washington. Natasha Chen, reporter at KIRO-TV, moderated the discussion.
For more information and resources from the event, please visit the Redfin blog. Redfin will post a link to the event video on that page in a few days. You can also join the conversation using the hashtag #LivableSeattle.
Redfin (www.redfin.com) is the next-generation real estate brokerage, combining its own full-service agents with modern technology to redefine real estate in the customer’s favor. Founded by software engineers, Redfin has the country’s #1 brokerage website and offers a host of online tools to consumers, including the industry’s most accurate home-value estimate, the Redfin Estimate. Homebuyers and sellers enjoy a full-service, technology-powered experience from Redfin real estate agents, while saving thousands in commission. Redfin serves more than 80 major metro areas across the U.S. The company has closed more than $31 billion in home sales, and saved customers more than $335 million in fees, and counting. For more information or to contact a local Redfin real estate agent, visit www.redfin.com. To learn about housing market trends and download data, visit the Redfin Data Center.