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C200: Growing Well

2011 March 16
by Greg Nickels

< View of downtown Seattle from Beacon Hill - click to enlarge; photo: Dan Bertolet >

After more than 30 years in local government, 22 as an elected official, this past year has been one of discovery for me. Living in Boston and New York for extended periods helped me learn perspective—and to appreciate Seattle even more.

Teaching at Harvard University last “Spring” gave me a chance to sample Boston’s iconic “T” (and cannoli) and learn how climate, history and universities shape a city. I had never before seen a frozen river.

Representing the US at the UN General Assembly last Fall put me in the heart of Manhattan for almost four months. The scale was deeply unsettling at first but became more comfortable as I learned to enjoy the kinetic pace and remarkable diversity of offerings. (Ol’ Blue Eyes was right about those “little town blues”, they melted away.)

Our City is now home to 608,660 souls (2010 Census). Seattle is growing, and growing up. We are a center for innovation and we are embracing our place as the vibrant heart of a prosperous region.

This is important for a host of reasons: social, economic and environmental (think climate protection); but the challenge is to grow in the right way.

Can we preserve the things that make Seattle special while embracing a diverse, dynamic and low-carbon future?

Yes we can!


Greg Nickels is the former Mayor of Seattle.

3 Responses leave one →
  1. Sophia Katt permalink
    March 17, 2011

    But, gosh, he did a better than B job at handling the snow this year.

  2. Wells permalink
    March 20, 2011

    Leaving Seattle behind for awhile appeared in press photos to be good for Greg’s health. Wading back into Seattle’s noxious political swamp chanting “Yes we can” to the masses up to their necks in BS won’t help nor is it a sign of reinvigorated leadership. If this little fluff piece is all Greg has got to show for his political doings elsewhere, he’s still out of touch with most Seattlers and relating only to official deciders. I’ll never forget the question mayor-elect Nickels asked a plenary speaker at Rail-Volution San Francisco 2001 regarding the Embarcadero Freeway (paraphrased), “How do you get people to go along with the decision to not replace it?”

    How do leaders get the public to go along with beaurocratic decisions? The answer to that question an elected official should know before taking office.

  3. Brad permalink
    March 20, 2011

    Nickels was a great mayor and really worked and accomplished a lot. However, why is he attacking McGinn on the tunnel? Didn’t Mayor Nickels just advocate for a low carbon future and in growing in the right way? I look forward to more installments so that his new “enlightened” vision can be further delineated.

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