transitional edges and injera

There sits the space-age office building, next to an empty lot covered with mature trees — including what looks to be about a 50-foot big leaf maple — next to an Eritrean restaurant. This is urban form on the transitional edge, at 20th and Jackson in the Central District. Go two blocks west and you’ll find the two mixed-use projects under construction noted here. About ten more blocks and you’re in the heart of the International District. Ten more still, and you can touch a skyscraper. Go a mile or so the other direction and you’ll be surrounded by million dollar homes with lake views.

Places like Hidmo make a neighborhood worth living in. I went there with my two small children one Sunday night for dinner and we watched live African music along with one of the most diverse crowds you’ll ever see in Seattle. But unfortunately, Hidmo probably won’t survive the inevitable march of redevelopment up Jackson. Homogeneity in the built environment breeds homogeneity in the social environment. This is a big downside of Seattle’s ongoing densification, and I see no easy remedy.

3 Responses to “transitional edges and injera”

  1. kkurmudgeon

    Thanks for this. I totally agree. I want to live in a city where I can go hear African music with my kid, and not have to got to a hippie shop or a Bumbershoot. What makes a great city? I’m rereading my Jane Jacobs and thinking about the stories that need to accompany planning… you know?

  2. Phil McCrakin

    “Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now.”

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