Inclusive, Active, and Thriving Neighborhoods

Welcoming venues for diverse and active public life

The vision

  • Every neighborhood has a place for social gathering and civic activities
  • Parks and public space prioritize culturally-inclusive design, programming, and art
  • Walkable connections exist between key transit services and community destinations
  • Strong economies through thoughtful, accessible and welcoming design
  • The distinct character of each neighborhood is visible by design in the right-of-way
  • Seattle’s cultural histories, places, people, and events are celebrated and honored

How we'd get there

Ensure neighborhoods have at least one central indoor or outdoor gathering place


  • A square, or park, indoor plaza as a public focal point
  • A place to gather for play, people-watching, or socializing across generationst
  • Include a plan for stewarding and activating this central gathering space

Create, encourage, and promote no- and low-cost neighborhood assets or amenities distributed in public space across all neighborhoods


  • Trash cans, restrooms, weather protection, and drinking fountains, public spaces, parks, playgrounds, mobility/transit options

Express the distinctive qualities of each neighborhood’s identity in architecture and streetscapes


  • Customized streetlights, benches, building codes, and crosswalks

Promote each neighborhood's unique offerings and character


  • Provide signage to key sites to encourage visitors and spur economic vibrancy

Provide free and low-cost space to support culturally specific sociocultural and commercial activities


  • Live music, dance, food vendors, events, Tai-Chi, and celebrations

Involve people of all ages, races, cultures, incomes, and abilities in planning neighborhood spaces


  • Participatory decision-making processes, human-centered design principles

Name public spaces and existing signage after local and native tribes, sacred lands, native leaders, cultural elements, and other notable people in Seattle’s history


  • Artists, painters, poets, musicians, scientists, activists, entrepreneurs
  • Adding “bulacÊ”” to the sign for “Spring Street”

How we strive for equity

  • Neighborhoods define their own distinguishing cultural design features and are engaged in the decision-making process
  • Elevate culturally significant histories, places, events, and people through planning processes and design

icons of two people walking a dog with text bubbles above their heads

What we've heard

  • Add native names of spaces to existing signage to signify histories and culture (e.g. adding “bulacÊ”” to the sign for “Spring Street”)
  • People who are unhoused need amenities, services, personal safety, and shelter
  • Right now, many people of color do not feel welcome in greater downtown

Great examples from Seattle and beyond

Image of children walking beneath a highway overpass, the pillars of which are covered in colorful murals depecting people of color and symbols from a diverse array of cultures.

San Diego’s Chicano Park was created by people in the neighborhood in 1970, and includes the largest collection of outdoor murals in the country. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2016.
Photo credit: kellinahandbasket

Several people sit in the sun in a park with large red stairs as part of the landscaping. It is an open-air gathering space with trees and bushes in the background.

Hing Hay Park in Chinatown/International District is a popular plaza for social gathering, giant chess, flexible outdoor seating and cultural events.
Photo credit: Joe Mabel

Photo shows a large cloth dragon puppet is paraded through the street at a festival in an urban setting. A person in the foreground observes the puppet's passing in front of them. There is a tall brick building in the background and blue skies above.

Jackson Street is home to Chinese New Year festivals and celebrations.
Photo credit: SDOT