Seattle Study

Seattle’s Public Life – Making it the Most Walkable City in America


Helle Søholt,
Managing Partner,
Gehl Architects

Seattle has just completed the most in-depth study of public spaces Downtown ever conducted in a U.S. city. The International Sustainability Institute led a team that included the City of Seattle and the University of Washington’s Green Futures Lab to bring the expertise of Copenhagen-based Gehl Architects to Seattle.

About Gehl Architects:
Gehl is a world-wide leader at creating walkable and livable public spaces. The firm has worked in more than 400 cities and on six continents, ushering in a paradigm shift in planning. The firm collects extensive and detailed data to quantify how many people are walking and what they are doing in public spaces.

The Study:
The Seattle Study suggests long-term strategies as well as quick-wins for the city. Study Boundaries: Stewart St. to King St. Station; I-5 to the Waterfront. Get the Public Space | Public Life Study here!

Data Collected:

  • Pedestrian and stationary counts, winter and summer
  • 40 Quality Characteristics evaluated for every street and alley, block-by-block
  • Interviews with 1,300 downtown pedestrians
  • All data is mapped to GIS and assessments can be replicated for apple-to-apple comparisons