Can you imagine a population in Seattle greater than that in San Francisco? Well, according to an article from The Daily Journal of Commerce, that imagined scenario may become a reality as early as 2040. As Nat Levy reports, “The Puget Sound Regional Council [PSRC] predicts another 1 million people will live in the central Puget Sound region by 2040” and “at least 160,000 of those new people will live in Seattle.”
A Washington Department of Licensing Report reveals growth now, as “a total of 20,979 out-of-state drivers obtained a Washington driver license” in October, a number up 6,382 from the previous year. Further, “the weekly average for the month of October 2015 compared with the same month a year ago increased by 15 percent.” Growth increase, largely attributed to the thriving technology sector, will mean a lot of things for Seattle, including increased demand for housing and affordability concerns. So what will the city to do address this growth?
First, the PSRC has established a Vision 2040 plan to anticipate and handle growth in the Puget Sound area. In addition, other groups are working to ensure the city handles consistent population growth well. Back in October, Annie Zak of The Puget Sound Business Journal described an initiative by the University of Washington called Urban@UW which addresses issues related to the nearly 62,000 residents the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area added in 2014. As Zak describes, the group “aims to bring UW’s urban researchers together with Seattle officials and citizens to address the most pressing issues in the city and the Puget Sound region. These include transportation, homelessness, affordability, growth, the minimum wage and much more.”