UW Growth Plan Will Advance with Stricter Transportation & Housing Requirements


The University of Washington proposed its latest growth plan to the Seattle City Council Committee earlier this week and it will now advance with stricter requirements to driving and housing, as it works to massively expand its Seattle campus and construct the highly anticipated Innovation District. As Seattle Times reports, the master plan “calls for the campus to swell by 6 million square feet of academic, athletic, research and office space over the next 10 years and beyond.”

In their meeting, the land-use committee added a number of conditions to the plan, which included the construction of 450 affordable housing units for university employees and a reduction in single-car commuting by students and employees to 12 percent, lower than the university’s proposed 15 percent.

UW has said that this growth is necessary in order to “accommodate another 7,000-plus students and employees to create the innovation district, where students and researchers would partner on startups with companies, government institutions and nonprofits.”

The new Innovation District is a branch-off from the university’s “Innovation Imperative,” which their website calls an integrated approach that empowers “students and researchers to learn, discover and build solutions to tomorrow’s challenges.” The Innovation District is aimed at bridging the gap between the university and the community at large.

According to the 2018 Best Colleges U.S. News Rankings, the University of Washington is tied for fifty-ninth place in the nation’s best universities. It is among the oldest public colleges on the West Coast and is heralded as a “cutting-edge research institution, receiving significant yearly federal funding, and hosting an annual undergraduate research symposium for students to present their work to the community.”

The University of Washington ranks even higher for innovative schools, at thirty-seventh, and is the top twentieth public institution in the nation. Once the council clears the plan it will be passed to the Board of Regents and other parties for their opinion, before returning to the council for final approval as soon as the end of this year.