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Growing A City - Density, Displacement and Policy in an Urbanizing Seattle w/ UDF

Seattle is growing. Denser, more efficient urban environment replaces existing structure. Businesses come and go. Infrastructure expands. Neighborhoods are redesigned around pedestrians and cyclists. Rents increase. Displacement occurs. But does urban growth lead to inequitable neighborhoods? How do we, as a city, design neighborhoods that serve the greatest share of the population? How do we encourage thriving businesses that serve their community?

We will host a panel discussion revolving around the drivers of change on a neighborhood scale and on the challenges facing a growing city. Our diverse panel features a local restaurateur that brings new and lasting contributions to our neighborhoods, a planner responsible for accommodating low-income housing and an advocate for large-scale development projects. Come listen and take part in a conversation on the factors behind Seattle’s urbanization and the policies aimed to guide it.



Erica C. Barnett, Journalist


Roger Valedez, Director of Smart Growth Seattle

Alex Brennan, Senior Planner Capitol Hill Housing

Linda Derschang, Capitol Hill Restaurateur


Speaker Bios


Erica C. Barnett is an award-winning journalist who has reported on city hall, transportation policy, land use, and politics since the time of electric typewriters, at publications such as PubliCola, the Stranger, Seattle Weekly, Shakesville, Grist, and the Austin Chronicle, among many others. At her blog, The C Is for Crank, she focuses on urbanism, transportation, neighborhoods, and building better cities.




Roger Valedez is the Director of Smart Growth Seattle. Over the past two decades Roger has worked at the state, regional, and local level on issues ranging from public education to public health. He was Neighborhood Development Manager for the City of Seattle and managed King County’s efforts to implement Washington’s ban on smoking in bars, restaurants, and other workplaces. Most recently he was housing director at a local non-profit, managing and developing affordable housing.


Alex Brennan is Senior Planner at Capitol Hill Housing (CHH) where he leads a new initiative to engage renters on housing, land use, and transportation policy.  During his time at CHH, Alex has spearheaded programs in shared parking, tactical urbanism, and transit access.  He has also collaborated with the CHH real estate team to identify community priorities and opportunity sites for new affordable housing including helping to ensure affordable apartments at the Capitol Hill light rail station. Before coming to CHH, Alex worked as an urban economics consultant in California. He holds a Masters in City Planning from the University of California, Berkeley.


Linda Derschang is a restaurateur, designer, and staple of the Capitol Hill food and nightlife scene.  She opened her first Seattle business (a clothing boutique called “Basic”) in 1987, and currently owns five restaurants and bars on Capitol Hill (Linda’s Tavern, Smith, Oddfellows Cafe+Bar, Bait Shop, and Tallulah’s) as well as King’s Hardware in Ballard.  She strives to create community, both through the unique and welcoming environments of each of her restaurants and through work with local non-profit groups that promote causes including global literacy, reproductive rights, and independent art.



For more information about the Seattle Design Festival, visit DesignInPublic.org!


September 19, 2016
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Price


Center for Architecture & Design
1010 Western AVE
Seattle, WA 98104 United States
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