If Seattle’s MHA set a city-wide precedent, then a push by wealthy Wallingford homeowners to turn single family zoned areas into federally designated historic districts could be a new variation on restrictive covenants. …


Munich’s pedestrian zone. foto by author

For the last few years, and in the run up to the November election, U.S. cities led by Democratic councils and mayors have seen an increase in claims they are ‘too far left’ — as if there was either something wrong with that (nope), or that it was unique in…


Passivhaus social housing in Vienna

The City of Seattle owns a deep portfolio of buildings, while also overseeing a steady progression of new construction — schools, libraries, fire stations, office buildings— it is a long list. Many of these buildings were constructed before modern energy codes. Some need seismic retrofits. …


As our city starts to open back up, several issues are becoming quite apparent in our urban villages. In many, there is inadequate space on sidewalks to adequately social distance. There is also inadequate space to order and wait for food from restaurants for pick up. …


Easy to social distance on pedestrian streets

Yesterday, the Mayor’s Office announced on KUOW that several parks would be closing. Later in the afternoon, those specific parks were announced. The mayor claims, likely correctly, that some people haven’t been social distancing properly. Instead of using the opportunity to educate residents, and increase open space so residents can…


The city’s plan for pre-approved DADUs shouldn’t require uncompensated labor.

It has been nearly two years since Mayor Durkan directed the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections to fast-track pre-approved designs of backyard cottages. …


praha, foto via author

This year has been unbelievable. Early in the year, I accepted an offer to work for a firm doing innovative public work outside of Munich. In April, I moved to Bayern to start the process of obtaining my work Visa, finding a place to live, and all the minutiae needed…


Regensburg’s car-free plazas are a delight (foto: mike eliason)

This week, the International Energy Agency announced that growing customer preference for SUVs are leading to increased emissions.The gains in carbon emissions due to SUVs have decimated all emissions saved from electric vehicles. Today, there are 165 million more SUVs worldwide, as there were in 2010. In that same time…


Passivhaus-Wohnanlage Kaisermühlenstraße, Wien. Foto by Mike Eliason

Actually, Seattle needed a cohesive and comprehensive Wohnungspolitik forty years ago, but late is better than never. What is a Wohnungspolitik? The literal translation is Housing Policies, but I think a more nuanced translation is Housing Politics, that is, the activities rather than the ideas — though both are important…


This is a two-part series! The first part was a brief overview of the GMA, King County’s Urban Growth Boundary, and how we ended up with neighborhood plans. …

mike eliason

dad | designer | writer | Noted shill for housing. interests: Baugruppen, architecture, passivhaus, mass timber, staedtebau, not for profit housing

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