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July 1, 2022

Managing Change: Seattle’s 21st Century Urban Renaissance

Idziorek, Katherine; Chalana, Manish. (2019). Managing Change: Seattle’s 21st Century Urban Renaissance. Journal Of Urbanism, 12(3), 320 – 345.

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Evolution of the urban planning and historic preservation disciplines has resulted in an “uneasy alliance” in practice, one further complicated by the back-to-the-city movement and increased development pressure in older urban neighbourhoods. In Seattle, as in other U.S. cities, the pace, intensity and scale of redevelopment has caused dramatic spatial and social transformations. Although research has shown that older built fabric provides economic and social benefit for cities, neither regulations created by planners for guiding redevelopment nor strategies created by preservationists for retaining urban heritage have been successful in reconciling these different, yet interconnected, sets of values. We engage three Seattle neighbourhood case studies to clarify and evaluate policies, programs and strategies used by planners and preservationists for reimagining neighbourhood transformations. This work suggests a need for more creative, integrative collaboration between the two fields to simultaneously engage – and reconcile – social and economic tensions caused by urban redevelopment.


Renaissance; Urban Planning; Biological Evolution; Historic Preservation; Seattle (wash.); Everyday Heritage; Seattle; Urban Conservation; Urban Renaissance; Redevelopment; Change Management; Neighborhoods; Regulation; Urban Renewal; Transformations; Cities; Preservation; Urban Areas; Planners; 21st Century; Cultural Heritage