Public Life Study

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) believes that streets and sidewalks full of social and commercial activity have the power to improve the city’s health, prosperity, and happiness.

In the summer of 2018, SDOT collected data on our streets and sidewalks across the city. This type of research—called a public life study—documents the number of people using our public spaces and the types of activities they are engaged in. Our Guide for Data Collectors provides complete details on how the study was conducted. The results provide SDOT with people-centered data to make investment decisions, evaluate designs and interventions, and understand what makes a successful public space.

We encourage you to explore our interactive dashboard.

Preview of the dashboard


Guide for Data Collectors cover
Guide for Data Collectors

Public Life Study 2018 Executive Summary cover
Public Life Study:
2018 Executive Summary

Public Life Study 2018 Summary Report cover
Public Life Study:
2018 Summary Report


Complete datasets are published by SDOT through the City's Open Data Portal and can be accessed from the following links:

The data collected is consistent with the Public Life Data Protocol developed in a partnership with the Gehl Institute, the City of San Francisco, the City of Copenhagen and SDOT, which establishes a common format and structure for public life data to better facilitate comparisons across different cities and regions. You can find information about public life study methods on the Gehl Institute’s website.


Questions? For more information about this study, email us at

We look forward to hearing from you!