SeattleDan Lamont

Seattle, Boom Town

SeattleDan Lamont
Seattle, Boom Town

People are pouring into greater Seattle. Given the area’s beautiful natural environment and ample high-paid employment, who can blame them?

Each month, 1,100 people move into the city’s snug 84 square miles, with another 3,000 or so moving into suburban areas.Finding affordable housing has become a challenge. With a low inventory of single family homes on the market, $700,000 houses are hard to find, much less afford. And the development of more affordable suburban housing gobbles up the natural green space that made people want to come in the first place.

But there are upsides to Seattle’s growth. IT and bioscience industries are contributing to the city’s preeminence as a hotbed of academic research and innovation. Those well-paying jobs help support an incredibly diverse array of exceptional restaurants, a vibrant arts scene, and retail shopping that less vital cities could not sustain. Seattle’s architecture, going up at a breakneck pace, is visually exciting and cutting edge.

Each of these places has its own look, its own vibe, its own center. They also have their central characters and communities—people who look out for a place and help define what it is. These photos offer a glimpse from across Seattle of the place and its people.

Photos: Dan Lamont

An award-winning photojournalist and filmmaker, Dan Lamont’s work covers the intersection of environmental issues and social policies. He is a regular contributor to The New York TimesTimeNewsweekDer SpiegelSmithsonian, and National Geographic.