Hi folks, I'm Tacoma. You may recognize me by my iconic blue dome. Yes?
Anyway, there's been a lot of talk lately about the high-density housing I'm building, such as the Stadium Apartments and Proctor Station developments. Many residents are upset. That's OK. I understand rapid growth can be startling and you've gotten used to your living space being as it is for many years.
The truth, however, is that I'm growing. I won't stay a little city forever. Short of chasing people out with crime or a methanol plant, I will not stop growing.
High-density housing is what will keep housing costs affordable as demand increases. Even if this new housing is upscale, that means one less tech bro outsider buying up the houses until nobody else can afford them. Talk about changing the nature of my neighborhoods!
Never miss a local story.
High-density buildings will prevent the suburban sprawl that will lead to more pollution. What's more, these setups often lead to nice, dense shopping districts and other amenities everyone can enjoy.
Yes, this is partly Seattle’s fault. No, you cannot build a wall around me and have Seattle pay for it.
Population is coming to me because Seattle refused to grow up. Seattle is one of those millennial kids you've heard about - refusing to grow up and obsessed with nostalgia from when they were only 700,000 people.
I want to be a city that is responsible, one of those millennials who is on the ball. I want to be a city who is organized, a city attractive to clean, non-polluting employers. Seattle’s mistakes can be to my advantage. I want to be a city who has the housing to hold newcomers who are arriving regardless of what I do.
It's OK to be upset about new development and the pains of growing up. Adolescence is tough. Changes to my body can be a little frightening, but there’s is no stopping them.
I can either refuse to buy new clothes and keep wearing that same old Alf t-shirt until it stretches so tightly it cuts off circulation to my arms. Or I can get some new clothes. I may not like them as much as the Alf shirt, but I'll be more comfortable going forward.
Thanks for hearing me out.
Jason de Kanter-Gualberto is a resident of Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood and writes for Pixelkin.org, a family gaming website.