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Comparing Seattle density to NY, Boston, Paris and more

With all the talk of Seattle’s growth, one company decided to take a big-picture look at how the city sizes up to other major metropolises. Depending on how you look at it — and your comfort level — Seattle density is pretty good … or bad.

A recent project by storage company SpareFoot lines Seattle up with other major cities. SpareFoot often covers real estate and moving topics on its blog, and writers kept coming across the density issue. So they put Seattle density to the test.

Related: Seattle has more construction cranes up than any other US city

“Many residents see a downside to density and urban development, particularly when it spreads into formerly low-density areas,” said Roger Telosa with SpareFoot, noting that there has been a trend of people moving back into cities over the past few years.

Comparing Seattle density

Seattle has certainly seen that trend in recent years as a tech boom has brought more people to the region, with development exploding along with it. This raises a question about Seattle density: How close to their neighbors do Seattleites want to be? Telosa said that many people fear “Manhattanization,” dramatically increasing their density.

“As you can see here, not only are cities like Seattle a long way away from New York’s density, but New York isn’t really all that dense compared to many cities in the world,” Telosa said.

“That isn’t to say that Seattle is a sprawl, either,” he said. “Compared to Houston, Phoenix, and Jacksonville, Seattle actually is quite dense. So we hope that our maps help inform both sides of the debate by providing a frame of reference in discussions about density.”

The original SpareFoot post notes that it only took into account Seattle density, and not the surrounding cities and communities. As locals know, there’s a lot of commuting that occurs around Puget Sound.

SpareFoot put together this comparison of Seattle to other major cities across the globe. (SpareFoot).
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