Ballard Urban Design

Our planning effort will help Ballard address the changes it's had over the past 10 years.
Partnering with the community to identify a vision that will shape growth and guide new development in Ballard.


After years of being a “sleepy” neighborhood, Ballard has been changing and growing. People are moving in, attracted to both Ballard’s heritage as well as its growing, urban vitality. We are undertaking a coordinated and strategic planning effort to create positive outcomes for the changes Ballard is experiencing.

Rich in character and heritage, the Ballard Hub Urban Village is a dynamic neighborhood with nearly 10,100 residents and 5,100 jobs. It is the center of a vibrant and engaged residential, business, and manufacturing community. Originally the home and workplace of Scandinavian fishermen, mill workers, and boat builders, Ballard has been known as a blue-collar enclave with strong Nordic ties, maritime atmosphere, senior population, and historic downtown.

Over the last decade, the neighborhood’s diverse, affordable housing and walkable streets have made it a magnet for younger people including families with children. Recent changes have been significant and the future promises more. Highlights of changes in Ballard over the past ten years:

The Urban Village is younger and more densely populated.

  • The total population increased by 24 percent
  • The adult population aged 18-64 increased by 35 percent
  • The number of households with children aged 18 or younger increased by 15 percent
  • See this chart of the 10 fastest growing Urban Villages between 2000 and 2010

The greater Ballard District is younger and more diverse.

  • The population of seniors over 65 declined by 21 percent
  • The number of persons of color increased by 26 percent

Jobs did not grow as rapidly as population, and there are different jobs now.

  • Since 2004, the Urban Village lost 206 jobs putting it 750 jobs short of its 2024 employment target
  • Within greater Ballard’s industrial and commercial areas and along its working waterfront, traditional fishing, maritime, building supply, and manufacturing industries now coexist with breweries, bars, restaurants, numerous independent businesses, and larger shopping destinations

Neighborhood Plans

Previous Zoning Studies

Industrial Lands in Seattle

Citywide Projects and Studies

Real Estate Market

Transportation & Traffic

Topics of Interest

Reports on trends and other policy issues that will help inform our study.

  • The Insourcing Boom, December 2012, The Atlantic Monthly
    An exploration of the startling, sustainable, just-getting-started return of industry to the United States.
  • Population and demographics
    Explore population, housing, and job growth trends in Seattle and within the Ballard Urban Village.
  • The Third Industrial Revolution, April 21, 2012, The Economist
    As manufacturing goes digital, it will change out of all recognition, says Paul Markillie. And some of the business of making things will return to rich countries.
  • The Urban Manufacturing Alliance connects small business advocates, city governments, manufacturing associations, and urban industrial experts in cities across the U.S. to grow small manufacturers and create thousands of good jobs through innovative land use strategies, local branding, and sustainable product design.

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