The Seattle Public Library, in partnership with the city of Seattle's Office of Planning and Development (OPCD) and Office of Housing, will host a panel discussion on affordable housing solutions with city planners from Vancouver, Seattle, Portland and San Francisco from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 7 at the Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Level 1, Microsoft Auditorium, 206-386-4636.

Library events and programs are free and everyone is welcome. Registration is not required. Parking is available in the Central Library garage for $7. The event will be filmed by the Seattle Channel.

West Coast cities continue to struggle with high housing costs. Low- and moderate-income housing is difficult to develop given the cost of construction and price of land. Yet successful, thriving cities are pursuing innovations that are creating thousands of affordable homes. Seattle has invited city planners from Vancouver, Portland and San Francisco to share what's working in their efforts to support more affordable housing. Local experts will also share their successes with innovative public and private strategies that address this need.

The discussion will be introduced by Mayor Ed Murray, moderated by KUOW reporter Joshua McNichols, and will include the following speakers:

  • Gil Kelley, General Manager, Vancouver Planning, Urban Design and Sustainability
  • Joe Zehnder, Chief Planner, Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
  • John Rahaim, Director, San Francisco Planning Department
  • Samuel Assefa, Director, Seattle Office of Planning and Community Development
  • Steve Walker, Director, Seattle Office of Housing

This event is the first in the Urban Innovations Speaker Series presented by OPCD, which aims to increase public awareness of global best practices used to achieve an integrated approach to planning for livable cities. The series will bring recognized experts to Seattle, joined by local and regional speakers to help ground the series in issues specific to Seattle and the region. Other topics will include: urban design for community health, community-based resilience, new trends in urban development, and integrated land use, open space, transportation design and sustainability.