The Seattle Story: Shifting from Capital Improvements to Maintenance and Asset Renewal

Cohort Peer Conversation

In 2014, Seattle voters approved the creation of a Metropolitan Park District to provide a sustained and dedicated source of funding for park and recreation operations and capital projects. This transition away from a levy-dependent system for capital funding was initiated in large part to address a backlog of major maintenance that hadn’t been adequately addressed by past capital levies. In addition to bringing in more resources in total, the Metropolitan Park District allowed Seattle to shift a large portion of its capital planning and resources toward asset renewal, as befits a largely built-out park and recreation system. 

This Peer Conversation will focus on the ongoing transition from a more reactive “triage” approach to asset renewal planning to a more proactive programmatic approach to asset management. It will cover how Seattle Parks and Recreation conducts condition assessments, uses its asset management system and GIS to strategically plan for asset renewals, and uses this process to advance departmental equity goals. It’s an opportunity for colleagues across the country to discuss finding the right balance between major maintenance and new developments or improvements, the processes used for asset renewal project identification, scoping, and prioritization, and the essential link between those processes and equitable community investments.

Note: This Peer Conversation is a closed session for public agency leaders and is not available to general conference participants. If you represent a public agency, please add your name to the waitlist. Conference organizers will regularly review the waitlist and notify those who are moved into the session or are ineligible to attend so they can register for an alternative.