Seattle CityClub is hosting an event called “Civic Boot Camp” on August 1st and 8th.  It is open to the public!

What: Civic Boot Camp

When: 9 A.M on August 1st  and 9 A.M. on August 8th

Where: Starts at Olympic Sculpture Park

About the Event:
Civic Boot Camp is a day-long program for a cohort of 25-30 participants that is a fast-paced crash course into local history, culture and politics. During the day, Civic Boot Camp visits key historical and civic institutions, hears from civic leaders in the region, networks, develops participants’ civic skills, and gives them tools to design their own personal plan for civic engagement. This edition of Civic Boot Camp is themed around civic engagement along the downtown waterfront. We will learn the history of ecology and settlement along the waterfront, industry and trade based out of the Port and the new development plans for the waterfront rebuild.

It will start at 9:00 a.m. at the Olympic Sculpture Park, and end at Pike Place around 5:30. With the fee of $125/person, comes lunch and evening happy hour, along with the speakers and sites we will visit.
Dates: August 1st and another on the 8th (they are not connected, we do the Boot Camp twice)

For contact information on the Calendar, please put Bridget Anderson at


All School Walk Day at Roxhill, Media Advisory

Two years of Safe Routes to School grant activity at Roxhill Elementary School will culminate in an all-school walk to school day on Friday, May 16.

WHAT: A remote bus drop-off will allow students, who take the bus, to walk the remaining three blocks to school, while other students in the neighborhood are encouraged to walk to school by joining parent-led Walking School Buses. A Walking School Bus is a group of children and adults who walk to school together from particular location.

Representative Eileen Cody of the 34th Legislative District and Seattle School Board Member Marty McLaren, representing District 6, will join students on their walk to school. Band Director Marcus Pimpleton and the Denny International Middle School Marching Band will march with the students and perform in front of the school.   

WHEN: Friday, May 16, 2014. 9:00 am

WHERE: School buses will drop students off at 29th Avenue SW and SW Barton Street, at the northwest corner of Roxhill Park. Students will then walk to Roxhill Elementary School, 9430 30th Ave SW, Seattle Washington 98126.

WHY: Roxhill Elementary School was the recipient of a Washington State Department of Transportation Safe Routes to School grant. Feet First has been working with the school to implement the grant that has helped make walking and biking easier and safer for Roxhill families.

For more information , please contact Feet First by emailing or calling 206-652-2310 extension 1.


Tomorrow’s Neighborhood Summit brings us an important opportunity to connect with community leaders and let our voices be heard. Great City is committed to the kind of smart dense urbanism that is a key solution to our challenges. Show up and show your YIMBY (yes in my back yard) spirit! Together, let’s change the conversation between the city and us, as community members.

Let your voice be heard tomorrow at Seattle Neighborhood Summit and help city officials understand smart urban growth within the Great City of Seattle.

Join the Conversation: Seattle Neighborhood Summit 2014

WHEN: Saturday, April 5th; 9:00 A.M.-1:00 P.M.

WHERE: Seattle Center Exhibition Hall

Can’t make it tomorrow? Your voice can still be heard. Take a Survey.


Proposition One  
Proposition 1 replaces expiring Metro funding – preventing planned cuts that will affect 80% of bus riders, put 30,000 cars back on congested streets, and leave some seniors, students, people with disabilities, and working families stranded.

The Great City Board voted unanimously to support Prop 1. Please join us and vote yes on April 22nd. Your ballots are coming in the mail this week.

More Information


In the United States, the food that we consume has traveled between 1,500 and 2,500 miles before we eat it. That distance is up to 25% longer than it was in 1980. As we think about creating and living in more sustainable cities we need to be conscious of the systems and networks that support cities. Our food system is one urban support network that has changed drastically in the past 40 years. We are aware of the consequences of eating and living this way and many are interested in changing those patterns.  Incorporating more urban agriculture into our cities is part of the methods we can use to create sustainable food systems. Urban agriculture is the practice of growing, processing, and distributing food in or around a city.

Monoculture of potatoes in Maine. Photo by NightThree

Monoculture of potatoes in Maine. Photo by NightThree

Modern industrial agriculture involves practices that are resource inefficient, for both nutrients and water. The methods of cultivation like monocropoing and factory farming increase our exposure to heavily processed foods. The dual impacts of our current food system and climate change can been seen in the increase in algal blooms from runoff or droughts impacting production and consumers.

We can begin to integrate urban agriculture into the fabric of our cities to address the growing demands on consumption and the limits on production. Urban agriculture isn’t limited to P-Patches or rooftop garden retrofits. Planning to include urban agriculture in our cities has to expand to encompass the entire spectrum of potential urban agriculture presents. Urban cultivation can happen in soil or water; volunteers or employees can preform labor; it can benefit the community or a corporation. The range of possibility presented by urban agriculture is what it so challenging to incorporate into the fabric of our cities.


We need to embrace the gamut of urban cultivation from the low-tech, soil based programs that enrich community bonds to the tech heavy, commercial rotating tray systems. Understanding there isn’t a one size fits all approach on how to grow food in cities will help us plan and design a flexible system that encourages these projects to be built. It’s easy to conceptualize how organizations like Growing Power could fit into the voids in urban fabric. However, it becomes more challenging when we try to quantify the rent per square foot for hydroponic growing in new construction. Time will present developments in technology that allow us to move beyond the examples we currently grasp and see built. Completed projects like the Bio Intelligent Quotient building are helping us see that conceptual projects like Weber Thompson’s Eco Laboratory could be feasible in our cities.

In order to create a food system that sustains the cities and region it serves as well as the environment we need to incorporate the spectrum of urban agriculture into our cities.  We have examples from other cities to draw from. The seedlings of urban agriculture business here in Seattle are planted in Seattle Urban Farm Co. or Urban Harvest. The next step is to begin to think about the place urban agriculture has in the process of creating our city. By approaching the incorporation of urban agriculture from the perspective of retrofit, reuse, and new construction we can help produce the food to feed our cities more sustainably.

Q: What are YOU doing this Thursday? 
A: Hmmm…. I’m not sure.
Q: Would you like to talk about the future of our Great City?

Enjoy some local libations as we roll out plans for a variety of upcoming Brown-Bag topics and discuss ways to support the long-term sustainability of parks and green space in Seattle!

Great City’s Annual Member Meeting

When: 5:30 P.M. on Thursday, March 20th

Where: Pike Brewing Company, 1415 1st Avenue


Please join us for lunch at GGLO today as we welcome Nancy Bird, Sandy Fischer, and Mike Kent. Nancy, Sandy, and Mike will present neighborhood streetscape reinvention projects and participate in a Q&A about lessons learned and the potential for more creative thinking about how we use our rights of way. Our Streetscape 2.0 series continues in September; we’ll take a look at two exciting “green street” projects in development.

But first, here’s a bit more on Mike and the Melrose Promenade project he’ll be presenting today: 

Mike Kent Photo.jpgMike Kent has lived in Capitol Hill since 2009 and founded the Melrose Promenade project in 2010. He currently works as a Project Manager for Pastakia & Associates, and prior to that he worked for more than 10 years in the non-profit and public sector. His background is in urban planning, and he presently serves as chair for Leadership for Great Neighborhoods. Mike also served for two years as Vice President of the Capitol Hill Community Council.

Project Description:

The views from Capitol Hill’s Melrose Avenue are among the best in the city, but the poor quality of the street itself threatens the public enjoyment of them. Since 2010, a group of community members has been working to remedy this. The Melrose Promenade project aims to create a more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly street by widening and extending the sidewalk and adding benches, trees and other landscaping, pedestrian-oriented lighting, and public art. The project has earned the support of numerous community and civic organizations, property owners, businesses, and residents.


Our friends at Futurewise are looking for a few good folks to join in the fight for our future.

Farms, forests and the families who love them will all benefit from the skills you’ll build working with this great organization.

AdvocacyCorps is an intensive ten-week summer bootcamp for aspiring urban & environment advocates. It is organized by Futurewise, Washington State’s premier advocacy group for saving farms and forests, protecting rivers and lakes, and building strong cities and towns for all.

AdvocacyCorps is exclusive to 12 outstanding young leaders between the ages of 19 and 26 who can dedicate their summer to leadership development and political organizing to make a difference for Washington State’s communities and environment.

The 2012 program will run from June 15 to August 24; the last week is optional for students returning to school. Participation is paid in serious experience, not in dollars.

Applications are due by May 15. Review and acceptance of applicants as applications are submitted.

Learn More via Futurewise.


From the Seattle Times here’s evidence that libraries continue to open doors and serve a vital role in our communities.

America’s public libraries, fast turning themselves into “one-stop shops” for digital job searches, appear to be staging one of their great historic transformations.

Responding to a rush of recession-time visitors, 88 percent of our libraries now offer access to job databases. And at least two-thirds of library staffs are helping applicants complete online job applications, according to a national survey by the American Library Association and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

As for access to free wireless services, 82 percent of libraries now provide it — up from just 37 percent four years ago. In two-thirds of cases, the libraries are the only source of free Internet service in their communities.  More…


Cascade Bicycle Club, a leader in creating more livable communities through bicycle education, advocacy, events and commuting and riding programs, announces that Wednesday, April 1, 2009 is “Jurassic Petroleum” Drive to Work Day.

Cascade Bicycle Club invites regular non-drivers to join millions of car commuters for “Jurassic Petroleum” Drive to Work Day. While almost two thirds of Americans drive, 37 percent are pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders, and can’t or don’t get behind the wheel each day.

In the state of Washington, over two million people do not participate in the act of driving an automobile. Alarmingly, this number may be increasing. The INRIX National Traffic Scorecard showed a three percent decline in vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in 2008 from 2007. This resulted in a reduction of road congestion by 30 percent, meaning that our citizens spend much less time in their vehicles. Increases in the number of people who walk, bicycle and ride transit are contributing to a decline in driving that, if continued, would one day make cars scarce on our roads. Our citizens, as well, may shrink in size and become gradually healthier. Something must be done to curb excessive fitness, as increased life expectancies would further tax our broken Social Security system.

Cascade Bicycle Club would like to ask Americans to renew their commitment to driving by leaving their bus passes or bicycles at home. If the cost of parking or gas is a burden, employees may request that their employers help offset those costs by participating in Jurassic Petroleum’s Drive to Work Day.

For media inquiries or more information, click here.


A safer Nickerson Street is in the works to connect Seattle neighborhoods- but your comments are needed to make it happen. The City plans to add bike lanes and create better conditions at intersections that will create a far more comfortable – and less nerve-racking – ride for both commuters and recreational riders.  This is an important connection to the Fremont bridge and the Burke-Gilman, the new Chesiahud trail along Lake Union, Queen Anne, and points west in Interbay and beyond.

Please stop by the open house  this Wednesday, March 4 between 5 and 7 p.m. to comment in favor of a better Nickerson for bicycling, at Seattle Pacific University’s Demaray Hall, at 509 West Bertona St.

Thank you for your advocacy!


Is anyone else sick of hearing the phrase ‘shovel ready’ in reference to stimulating the economy and rehabilitating our infrastructure? Most projects that are truly shovel ready (drawings, check. permits, check. fire up the bulldozer!) aren’t what will truly aid the regeneration of 21st century cities. They are very likely to be things like road widenings and interchanges that fuel sprawl and shred urban fabric. Some estimates suggest that three quarters of infrastructure stimulus funding will be for roads. The other quarter will be used to buy the silence of all us bike, tree, transit, urbanism, art, ped, waterfront, etc. advocates. We’ll all get in line and try to get a few good things done with the crumbs from the stimulus table, but can’t we HOPE for more?

Republicans are already rallying around giving more money to rich people instead because even the shovel ready projects can’t get started until 2010. I saw a CNN interviewer chew out a mayor that requested money for parks and trails in his city’s stimulus package. She asked him if he was ashamed of himself since everyone knows those aren’t ‘real’ infrastructure projects like roads and bridges. Frankly, i’d rather leave our economy a little less stimulated than waste the resources of many generations on the shovel ready road projects cluttering the shelves our our state highway departments.

Eighty years ago the united states stimulated itself out of a depression, but also made civic art of our public works. will a random-ass extra lane to redmond be viewed as such eighty years from now? And don’t forget that after this splurge funding of all types, perhaps for decades, will be diminished to pay for this bump. Whether we get it right or wrong now, we’ll be paying for it for a long time to come. So it is time for all urban and environmental minded folks to remind our politicians that great projects in this day and age-reconnecting seattle to a healthy puget sound, mass transit and mobility options, vibrant neighborhoods, and a robust network of green infrastructure-are complex in a good way. They will need talented artists, NGOs, designers, engineers, lawyers (yes, even them), inventors, community organizers, legislators, and developers to make sure the bulldozers and shovels are headed in the right direction on the right projects. If we want to strengthen the economic and environmental foundations of cities for the long-term, we don’t want to waste this opportunity on what happened to be shovel ready in the panic of 2008. we need pencil ready, people ready, carbon ready, future ready!

I’d be interested in your thoughts on how we can shift the messaging on this subject.