June 28, 2006       

Western Seattle’s High Point neighborhood once had more than 700 units of public housing—mosly run-down buildings isolated from surrounding neighborhoods. The Seattle Housing Authority teamed up with developers to replace the housing and reintegrate the site into the surrounding neighborhood—and into the ecological system.

A 34-block natural drainage system protects nearby Longfellow Creek and its many salmon. Narrow streets and porous sidewalks reduce runoff, and rainwater flows into planted areas where it is filtered by the soil before reaching the creek. Designed by Seattle-based firms Mithun Architects + Designers + Planners and Streeter & Associates, housing includes townhouses, single-family homes, condominiums, and apartments.

The first phase of 829 units has just been completed; at buildout, 1,600 housing units meeting or exceeding Seattle’s Built Green standards will occupy the 120-acre site. The project also has a library, health clinics, a renovated community center, and a commercial center.

The preceding article can be found in the June 2006 issue of Urban Land.