Two large-scale master planned communities have been proposed in the Puget Sound area over the past decade. Cascadia would provide 6,500 homes and office parks on 5,000 acres, on a forested greenfield site 21 miles east of Tacoma and 43 miles southeast of Seattle.
The Yesler Terrace project replaces a low-rise public housing project with up to 5,000 homes and 1,500,000 square feet of commercial development, on a 30 acre site directly across I-5 from downtown Seattle.
The Puget Sound region is expected to add over 1 million new residents in the next few decades. It sounds logical that the metro area must continue to expand at its edges to accommodate all these people. But 30 acres near downtown can accommodate nearly as many people as were proposed for 5,000 acres on the exurban fringe. There is plenty of capacity within existing urban areas to accommodate everyone, if we choose to build the city.
As of September 2010, the proposed Cascadia community is defunct, repossessed by a bank from the bankrupt developer. For the Yesler Terrace redevelopment the City will issue the project EIS in February and plans to begin construction in 2012.