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C200: A Successful Region Needs Successful Cities

2011 April 11
by Bob Drewel

< Click on image to see the complete map of the central Puget Sound region >

The future of our region depends on the success of our many different cities.

Passion for this place energizes lively debate about the best ways to grow – but often obscures important common ground.  Focusing growth in all types of cities has the overwhelming embrace of our region’s people and elected leadership.

VISION 2040 spells out details.  Built on an environmental framework, the focus for most future jobs — and homes for most of the 1.3 million more people expected by 2040 — is cities.

It’s about people being attracted to lively and diverse urban places, and more transportation choices – including 100% more transit.  We can preserve rural areas, sustain our waterways, our atmosphere — and make cities even better places to live.  Tax dollars go further.

Two new efforts help:

Growing Transit Communities provides resources to support neighborhood planning.  Plans grow more sustainable communities around about 100 new transit centers over the next 20 years.

A Metropolitan Business Plan to capture new low carbon jobs through something called BETI.  The Brookings Institution is helping us – and making this region a template to emulate.

Let’s grow our cities with more action, built on the strength of regional common ground and lift.

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Bob Drewel is the Executive Director of the Puget Sound Regional Council, which does regional transportation, land use and economic development planning with King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap counties and the 82 cities and towns within them.

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