Strategic Plan 2016-2020

In June 2016, the Downtown Seattle Association board adopted a new five-year strategic plan. The plan was inspired and informed by more than 500 stakeholders through year-long discussion groups, interviews and surveys. With input from DSA staff and members, MID ratepayers and numerous community partners, our plan outlines three strategic priorities: economic competitiveness, the urban realm, and transportation and access. Essential to our plan is a vision of downtown Seattle as a global and growing 24/7 center for business, residents and visitors that is vibrant, welcoming, clean and safe. An urban center that serves as the region’s hub for innovation and culture. An active and diverse downtown with something for everyone.

Urban Experience

Creating a 24/7 urban experience that is inviting, clean and safe

With more people visiting, working and living in downtown, we need vibrant, inviting and well cared-for public spaces. As the steward of downtown’s public realm, DSA works – in a variety of ways – to create and maintain an urban realm that is inviting safe and clean for everyone. With funding from Metropolitan Improvement District, we employ more than 120 ambassadors who provide cleaning, concierge, park staffing and outreach services to those in need. We’re also working on longer-term enhancements to downtown’s public realm, including a re-visioning of the Pike-Pine corridor and myriad public space improvement projects.


Transportation & Access

Ensuring effective, safe and reliable transportation options to and through downtown

Hundreds of thousands of people commute to and visit downtown every day. To keep the city moving, DSA is working with a number of partners to develop and implement a 20-year strategy that will better connect downtown’s diverse neighborhoods. Called One Center City, the plan envisions a world-class transportation network and public space improvements, including enhanced pedestrian wayfinding.

We also coordinate with local businesses, organizations and transit agencies to increase the share of people who commute into downtown via bus, rail, bike, rideshare and on foot. Together, we are ensuring downtown’s transportation network keeps pace with the growth of our region.


Economic Competitiveness

Strengthening our center city’s economy

The Downtown Seattle Association administers a number of economic development programs to help ensure a thriving urban core. From recruiting new businesses to retaining existing merchants, we seek to increase the number of local independent retailers and achieve a unique merchandise mix. Downtown businesses also have access to DSA’s in-house research for current downtown data and trends.

To keep downtown accessible, DSA supports Seattle’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA). We also advocate for amenities that invite a diverse mix of residents and visitors. We facilitate pedestrian and public space improvements and are working with the Seattle School District and downtown families to locate public schools in downtown. We believe economic diversity makes us stronger and are positioning downtown to accommodate future growth.

Annual Report


The Downtown Seattle Association is your advocate for an economically competitive downtown, a vibrant urban experience, and dependable, effective transportation to and through downtown.

View the Report

A year of City Making