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March 2021
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CityLink Seattle

Did You Know?

Master Planning

Master planning provides a long-term conceptual layout of physical spaces to guide future growth and development. The process seeks to make meaningful and sustainable connection between buildings, social settings and their surrounding environments, offering the stated principles and objectives to keep projects focused on an organization’s goals and values. Master plans are necessary to maintain the condition, attractiveness and community appeal of those spaces.   

Over more than 60 years, several master plans have guided development at Seattle Center. In fact, the Century 21 Exposition Master Plan laid out the grounds for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair. In the 1980s, the City of Seattle retained a joint venture involving Walt Disney Imagineering to prepare a master conceptual and economic development plan for Seattle Center. However, that process folded to public pressure that opposed a kind of Puget Sound version of Disneyland. Instead, the Seattle City Council in 1990 adopted the Seattle Center 2000 Master Plan as a flexible guide to future redevelopment based on a set of community developed principles and goals. The Seattle Center Theatre District Master Plan of 2000 pursued redevelopment of eight blocks of performance and entertainment venues on the north edge of the grounds. Eight years later, the City Council adopted the Century 21 Master Plan after a lengthy public process, a 20-year plan still in progress today. 

Some of the plans were unfunded, while others came with voter-approved levies or small amounts of City/State funding. A mix of private and public investment has funded almost all development on the grounds. Upcoming Did You Knows will explore the components of the various master plans that have focused redevelopment at Seattle Center, so stay tuned for more on this subject through the month of March. 

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About Seattle Center:  Connect to the extraordinary at Seattle Center, an active civic, arts and family gathering place in the core of our region. More than 30 cultural, educational, sports and entertainment organizations that reside on the grounds, together with a broad range of public and community programs, create thousands of events on the 74-acre campus and attract over 12 million visitors each year. At Seattle Center, part of Uptown Arts & Cultural District, our purpose is to create exceptional events, experiences and environments that delight and inspire the human spirit to build stronger communities. Activities at the Center generate $1.864 billion in business activity and $631 million in labor income.

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