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DSA Releases Downtown Density Report, Findings Show Benefits of Concentrating Jobs and Housing in Downtown

The Downtown Seattle Association (DSA) 2013 Downtown Density Report examines the benefits from employment and residential densities in Downtown Seattle. Although Downtown neighborhoods represent just four percent of the city’s total land mass, Downtown boasts some impressive statistics compared to the rest of Seattle:

  • Approximately 41 percent of jobs
  • Ten percent of the population (a 70 percent increase since 1990)
  • One-third of all local and state tax revenues

With Downtown’s population growing over the past several decades to approximately 60,000 residents, the growth presents opportunities and challenges for our communities and businesses.

By encouraging increased employment and residential density in urban centers like Downtown Seattle, the report finds many of the challenges can be mitigated and benefits realized.

“Concentrating jobs and housing in Downtown is great for Downtown, but also for local government, single family neighborhoods, the transit system and rural areas in King County,” said DSA Vice President of Advocacy & Economic Development Jon Scholes. “The benefits of density are well documented, this report quantifies the significant benefits derived from the increasing densities in Downtown Seattle.”

Key Findings of the 2013 Downtown Density Report:

  • Downtown density creates an efficient use of space which contributes a large share to the region’s jobs, salaries, taxes and revenue relative to its size.
  • Concentration of activity such as jobs and housing can help to preserve rural areas such as farms and areas for wildlife and outdoor recreation.
  • Downtown density increases transportation efficiency through increases in transit use, less need for car ownership and a more efficient system overall.
  • Downtown density creates environmental benefits, primarily through a decrease in carbon emissions from less reliance by workers and residents on the automobile.
  • A dense urban environment benefits society through more efficient delivery of good and services in both the private and public sectors.

To read the full report, click here.