Have you or another person, organization or agency achieved something awesome recently? Is your project or program a strong example of smart growth principles, protecting natural resource lands, or increasing access to transit, housing, healthy foods and local opportunities? Has your local government made a great policy stride toward these goals?
The election of Futurewise's former executive director, Hilary Franz, to the role of Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands was a win for all who live in this region. Futurewise now seeks a qualified candidate for executive director to continue the crucial work of strengthening cities and protecting our state's precious natural resources. Read more about the position here.
Futurewise is the lead behind SB 5024, a bill that responds with proactive solutions to ground and surface water challenges highlighted by the Hirst decision. The bill is a priority for the Environmental Priorities Coalition. Read the 1-pager on the bill here, and the bill language here.
Futurewise works closely with legislators and partners every year during the legislative session to protect and enhance Washington State’s growth management laws. This year, our legislative agenda covers a wide range of urban livability and natural resource protection issues.
Seattle for Everyone's broad coalition of affordable housing developers and advocates, for-profit developers and businesses, labor and social justice advocates, environmentalists and urbanists joined neighbors from across Seattle and U District residents to support a more affordable and inclusive city at the Seattle City Council public hearing on the U District upzone.
The work is just beginning! Together we can make Sound Transit 3 a successful investment - not just in transit - but for how the region tackles land-use and regional transportation that will combat the impacts of climate change. In the next few days we'll be posting more about how our region can leverage this incredible opportunity.
Futurewise’s Director of Planning and Law, Tim Trohimovich, was invited to speak at the Washington Section of the American Water Resources Association’s Annual State Conference on October 26, 2016. Tim’s presentation documented that the water levels in wells in Washington State are going down, that overdevelopment in rural areas and on farmland is causing the wells of rural residents and farmers to go dry, and that rapidly increasing permit-exempt wells are threatening the water fish need for their survival. Tim explained solutions that address these serious water problems and that comply with the Washington State Supreme Court’s landmark Whatcom County decision that Futurewise and its local partners won on October 6, 2016. The Whatcom County decision was widely discussed at the conference.
Futurewise participated in "scenario planning" with other state-wide transportation partners to determine how the Washington State Transportation Plan (WTP) could be updated to deal with an uncertain future. In accordance with the graphical image shown here, WSDOT determined that two factors in the future with the highest level of uncertainty and the highest level of importance were "technological change" and "natural disasters and climate change." The four teams involved in the planning exercise discussed the opportunities and challenges resulting from four scenarios:
On October 6, 2016, the Washington State Supreme Court concluded that Whatcom County's "comprehensive plan does not protect water availability because it allows permit-exempt appropriations to impede minimum flows." This decision builds on Futurewise's 2011 win in the Kittitas County decision.
The Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) is a comprehensive strategy for addressing Seattle’s housing affordability crisis. HALA contains 65 recommendations aimed at increasing the city’s supply of both affordable and market-rate housing, increasing protections for vulnerable tenants and homeowners, and creating streamlined processes to reduce the time and cost of housing development.