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Videos & Audio


90.3FM Seattle/KEXP’s DJ El Toro talks to Futurewise Urban Designer & Planner, Spencer Williams, about Futurewise on the May 26, 2015 Audioasis show. Listen Here.

2015 Annual Luncheon video:

2014 Annual Luncheon video:

2013 Annual Luncheon video:

Recent Comment Letters

Futurewise Comment Letter Re. Seattle 2035 Comp Plan (November 20, 2015) - Futurewise sent a comment letter to the Seattle Department of Planning and Development regarding the Seattle 2035 Comprehensive Plan Draft and the priorities we would like it to focus on.

Futurewise Comment Letter Re. Seattle 2035 DEIS (June 18, 2015) - Futurewise sent a comment letter regarding the Draft Environmental Impact Statement & Growth and Equity Analysis for the Seattle Comprehensive Plan Update.

Futurewise Comment Letter Re. Federal Way Link Extension Draft EIS (May 26, 2015) - Futurewise strongly supports the next phase of the Federal Way Link Extension. Building this kind of sophisticated, high capacity transit is a once in a century opportunity for south King County and for the central Puget Sound region.

Futurewise Comment Letter to Seattle Mayor and City Council Re: Move Seattle Transportation Levy (May 4, 2015) - Futurewise along with a coalition of eight organizations are working to ensure that the Move Seattle Transportation Levy makes the greatest possible contribution toward meeting the City’s wide-ranging and evolving transportation and equity needs.

Futurewise Comment Letter Re: City of Seattle’s Use of Sisley Properties (April 8, 2015) - Futurewise sent a comment letter to the Seattle City Council and Mayor regarding the City's use of the Sisley Properties.


Affordable Housing Strategies for Seattle (Feb. 2015) - This report outlines the many tools and strategies that should be explored as part of a Comprehensive Affordable Housing Strategy for Seattle. Our approach recognizes that there is no silver bullet. Instead, there are a number of strategies which should be considered and implemented. The scale of the problem as well as its difficulty calls for a number of complementary, effective strategies to be deployed together.

Community Engagement Toolkit (Jan. 2015) - In partnership with Public Health-Seattle & King County, Futurewise, Interim CDA, OneAmerica and El Centro de la Raza worked together in 2014 to develop and pilot new approaches for community engagement—and the methods and materials for these approaches are now collected in one place for community leaders and local government wishing to successfully engage residents in community planning efforts.

Implementing Shoreline Protections (Aug. 2014) - Futurewise guides for addressing implementation of regulations as well as voluntary actions to protect shorelines in Puget Sound. These guides are designed for local government staff, and agency staff, with a focus on cost-effective tools. Topics range from incentives for shoreline landowners to compliance and enforcement of regulations.

Lake to Bay, phase 1 report (June 2014) - The Lake to Bay Inventory and Opportunities work included a deep review of existing conditions; including research on transportation, topography, land uses, environmental conditions, current amenities, policy documents, and gaps along with future opportunities. This analysis resulted in a re-imaged vision of the Lake to Bay as a city-defining connection between the north end of the waterfront and South Lake Union, along with a focus on creating a high quality public realm for the Lake to Bay zone.

Futurewise Citizen’s Guide to Petitioning Growth Management Hearings Boards for Review of Local Legislative Actions - The Growth Management and Shoreline Management Acts depend on citizens and public interest organizations to enforce the laws' mandates.  This guide describes the process by which a citizen or group can bring a challenge under these Acts before a Growth Management Hearings Board, including which types of cases can be brought in front of a Board, the need to participate in the public comment process in order to gain standing, and the steps to a Board appeal.

What Role Does the GMA Play in Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions? The GMA Requires Communities to Mitigate and Adapt to Global Warming (Dec. 2009) – An updated version of a paper published for a continuing legal education seminar. The paper explains the Growth Management Act (GMA) provisions that require comprehensive plans to include measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to the ongoing effects of climate change. The report includes recommendations for comprehensive plans and development regulations and provides links to websites that have additional information.

Transit-Oriented Communities: A Blueprint for Washington State (Nov. 2009) - The TOC Blueprint describes how your community and Washington State can gain social and environmental benefits from maintaining and building better communities near transit stations and along major transit routes.

Recommendations on Shoreline Master Program Updates (Oct. 2009) – This presentation outlines recommendations on how to organize an updated shoreline master program (SMP) and recommendations on the provisions to include to mange and protect our state’s important shorelines. It also includes links to some key websites that include additional resources.

Successfully Participating in Permitting Decisions in Washington (Oct. 2009) – While Futurewise does not generally participate in permitting processes, this paper explains how to effectively participate in local government land use permitting processes. It also includes contact information for Washington’s larger counties and some state agencies if you want to inquire about development’s compliance with adopted regulations. The report includes links to websites that have more information.

Places to Play: Solving Snohomish County's Youth Sports Fields Shortage (2005) - A report on the status of ballfields in Snohomish County and a four-point plan to solve the problem.

Critical Areas Ordinance Updates: An Overview of What is Required (2005) – The report summarizes the requirements to designate and protect critical areas, the periodic update requirements for critical areas regulations and why the legislature adopted them, and the best available science requirement.  Critical Areas regulations updates are required for all counties and cities in Washington State.

Best Available Science Documents for Critical Area Ordinances (2015) – This is the table of contents to the Futurewise CAO on a CD, listing a broad array of public domain scientific studies useful in reviewing and updating critical areas and shoreline master program policies and regulations.  It also includes guides to the update process and critical areas regulations.  You can click on the links in Read Me and download the study or guide.  You can also request a copy of the CAO on a CD from Futurewise.  Call Tim Trohimovich at 206-343-0681.

Planning for Sustainable Rural Areas (2005) – Explains the Growth Management Act’s (GMA's) requirements for planning for the rural area and the rural element required for all counties fully planning under the GMA.

Growth Management Fact Sheet: Encouraging Urban Growth in Urban Growth Areas (2005) – This fact sheet for policymakers and citizens alike summarizes why urban land needs to be used efficiently, including the four dwelling unit per net acre safe harbor for urban areas.  It also includes a question and answer section.

Compact Urban Development: Requirements & Safe Harbors, Buildable Lands Reports, & Reasonable Measures (2005) – This report, oriented to the technical reader, summarizes the Growth Management Act provisions for wisely using urban land, including the four dwelling unit per acre safe harbor, and requirements for Buildable Lands Reports.  Links to Buildable Lands Reports are included.

Untold Value: Nature’s Services in Washington State (2004) – Washington’s natural environment provides services needed by people and the Washington economy such as recharging ground water which replenishes wells and reducing flood damage.  Untold Value synthesizes the current state of knowledge of the value of these services.  This report was prepared by the Asia Pacific Environmental Exchange in cooperation with Futurewise.  The report was produced through funding from the Public Involvement and Education Project, financed by proceeds from the Washington State Water Quality Account, and administered by the Puget Sound Action Team.

Smart Development: An Analysis of 10 Common Myths About Development (2004) – This report analyzes and responds to ten common myths about well planned development.  This report was prepared by the Asia Pacific Environmental Exchange in cooperation with Futurewise.  The report was produced through funding from the Public Involvement and Education Project, financed by proceeds from the Washington State Water Quality Account, and administered by the Puget Sound Action Team.

How the Growth Management Act Changed Annexation and Current Issues in Annexation (2004) - Describes the changes to the annexation process brought about by the GMA and identifies current issues and ways to resolve them.

How Your Tax Dollars Subsidize Sprawl (2002) - Identifies existing local and state policies and programs that contribute to sprawl. The report also suggests how they can be changed to encourage high quality, attractive communities.

You Can Make a Difference! A Citizen's Guide to Periodic Updates (2005) - This guide details the ins and outs of the upcoming comprehensive plan and development regulations review. It explains why you should participate, what is being reviewed, and how you can make a difference.  Newly revised!

The Growth Management Act After More than 10 Years: Another Look and a Response to Criticisms (2002) - Originally prepared for a Continuing Legal Education course, this report addresses a number of criticisms that are leveled at the Growth Management Act. A Power Point summary is also available.

Pricing Growth (2001) - The most effective land use plans are implemented by both carrots and sticks. This report describes the incentives and price signals that will encourage smart growth and result in high investment returns for communities.

Get Smart Washington: Managing Growth in the New Millennium (2000) - The report evaluates how Washington is fulfilling the promise of the 13 goals of the Growth Management Act ten years after the law's passage.  It also lays out changes Washington must make to growth management laws and regulations over the next ten years.

Infill Resources - This provides links for resources on infill development and upzones, transit-oriented development, Accessory Dwelling Units, cottage housing, and parking requirements.

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