Seattle’s Urban Form

Post your thoughts about Seattle’s urban form as a response to this post.

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7 responses to “Seattle’s Urban Form

  1. Melea R. & Angela B.

    Multiple Nuclei Model:
    Seattle best represents a model without a definite center. While there is a major city within the city (the CBD), the remaining areas around it are not dependent to it. These remaining areas off of the CBD have their own set ups (clinics, stores, post offices, ect.). For example, if you look at Seattle’s China Town, it is a part of the city that is dependent from the center of the city. It has its own set of stores and specialty services. This makes it so the CBD is not the central hub of the city and is only needed for specialty services or work for the people who live there. There’s also no definite pattern as to where the different classes of workers take residence. There are zones which are randomly strewn about where certain classes seem to clump (the same goes for ethnicity), but it doesn’t have that radial or flower shape of the central ring or sector models.

  2. Alivia Richards

    Isa Ramil and Alivia Richards
    We believe that an accurate urban model for the city of Seattle is the multiple nuclei model. The central business district of Seattle is not the only module of non-residential land use within the urban sprawl of Seattle. The central business district has created a core of highly-specialized retail and office businesses in response to the growth of lower-functioning commercial downtowns to service the suburban and residential areas farther from the main retail and business core of Seattle. An example of this would be the commercial corridor surrounding Aurora Avenue. In the central business district, we are likely to see large, separate stores for things like different brands of popular stores, such as Sephora and American Eagle. In the urban realm of Aurora Avenue, it is more likely to see a store providing a variety of brands than just one singular brand, in order to increase its marketability to the surrounding market area. The CBD has been zoned into specialized districts, for example the retail core, the downtown office business core, and the Chinatown International District.

  3. We believe that Seattle is best described by the Urban Realms/Multi Nuclei Model. We have come to this conclusion because when looking at the maps we saw that Seattle’s urban layout is largely determined by terrain (especially bodies of water like Lake Washington, Puget Sound, and Lake Union) which creates multiple commercial districts (shown on the seattl.gov map). Also, the Urban Realms model states that outer cities are not “satellites”, but are in fact becoming cities themselves. We believe this applies to the relationship between Seattle and Tacoma. This is especially clear when looking at how the Seattle Tacoma Airport is placed in an overlap area between the central city and the edge city making it accessible to both. However, while these characteristics indicate that Seattle most closely follows the Urban Realms model, we simultaneously believe that there are elements of the Sector and Centric Ring Models present in Seattle.

  4. Lione Clare and Melanie Villanueva

    We’ve come to the conclusion that Seattle’s urban model is represented by the multiple nuclei model. The paper map shows multiple districts and zones that have their own unique functions similar to the shape of this model. The central business district isn’t centered among the city, because is not the only nucleus of non-residential land uses. For example, the paper map shows Seattle having zones with specialized districts (retail core, west edge, Pioneer Square, etc.) that compete with the CBD. The zoning map online shows agglomeration through housing by class. Lower class residential areas are closest to the specialized districts with middle class following and highest furthest from the districts, which fits with the model. There are also industrial zones present and the interconnections and transportation are abundant and efficient. Considering that the multiple nuclei model is the basis, the area surrounding Seattle fits the Urban Realms Model. Outer and edge cities aren’t satellites; they shape the metropolis. So depending on the scale, Seattle could fit both models.

    Lione and Melanie

  5. JD Chaya Jacob

    To us, Seattle appears to be a sector model because there are several clearly defined sectors in the Seattle area. The downtown Seattle area is the predominant commercial center, with the bulk of the city’s office spaces, high-end stores, hotels, and markets. To the south and northwest along the coastline, we see a greater density of industry, and higher-income housing is situated to the north of the city center. To emphasize this, we looked at maps of jewelry stores, five-star restaurants, and office buildings. Maps of traffic density also demonstrated that more people were driving to the city center than to any other sector. Lower-income housing is closer to the industrial areas, and there is a distinct division between higher and lower-income north and south of Seward Park. There is very little overlap between sectors, with the exception of some smallish neighborhood commercial zones along the northern part of the I-5.

    apps.seattletimes.com/pages/maps/rent-map – this was really interesting!

  6. Rosie Palof

    Nicole Carlos and Rosie Palof
    We have decided that Seattle can be modeled by Hoyt’s Sector Model. We have located, what we distinguished as, one central business district. When looking at Seattle all the corporate offices are located in one area, east of Lake Washington. This area is cushioned by industry and lower-class residential areas. Around the central business area there are heavy concentrations of minority groups. They are not seen as much outside of greater Seattle. We also saw a radii of higher class living stretching out east from downtown. It is seen as a green strip with many parks and country clubs. The other defining zone that points us to refer to the Sector Model is the industry zone along the river, and many single families surrounding that industry.
    The suburban life style of Seattle means that Multiple Nuclei Model could also be applied, as personal experience has shown that Seattle is made up of many independent communities, but the downtown shows a definite pull of big business.

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