Capitol Hill Ecodistrict: Exploring the Integration of Health and Public Life Planning

Mobile Workshop

This mobile workshop highlights Capitol Hill’s Ecodistrict. Set in the most densely populated urban village in the Pacific Northwest, the EcoDistrict partners with various community stakeholders, including residents, small businesses, community organizations, City agencies, and major institutions.

The Capitol Hill Ecodistrict is at the heart of Seattle’s LGBTQ+ community and is home to more artists than any other neighborhood in the city. Its residents, more than 80% of whom are renters, represent a range of identities, backgrounds, and experiences. Over the past two decades, Capitol Hill has faced unprecedented growth spurred by a new light rail station and proximity to South Lake Union, one of the fastest-growing tech hubs in the country.

The Capitol Hill EcoDistrict began in 2011 to address runaway growth in Seattle by ensuring that community priorities are reflected in the neighborhood’s significant developments. By engaging community leaders, small business owners, government agencies, and local media, the EcoDistrict has grown its capacity to shape development amid rapid growth, gentrification, and displacement that threatens residents, businesses, and community institutions. This public development authority has worked with Seattle Parks and other city departments to be a conduit for more equitable community engagement, particularly since 2020.

Join the executive director and board member of the EcoDistrict on this guided tour of the neighborhood and hear about their innovative community-centered approach to engagement, see public art installations (including a rain garden), and learn about actions taken to address disparities in pedestrian/vehicle safety, heat island, and access to green space. This holistic approach to health assessment and public life planning as an anti-displacement tool has captured the attention of City planning, parks, transportation, and council people. It has helped shape narratives that integrate diverse issues with health, such as the land use and design review process, the post-protest police consent decree, park management, and street use permits.