City of Seattle Creates New Incentive Program to Stimulate Development of Carbon-Neutral Buildings

Contact Information:

Susan Wickwire

(206) 877-2400


For Immediate Release


City of Seattle Creates New Incentive Program to Stimulate Development of Carbon-Neutral Buildings 


[Seattle, WA]  With a stroke of the pen, Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan has launched the 2030 Challenge Pilot Program - an innovative new land use incentive program for major renovations of existing buildings.

The 2030 Challenge Pilot Program will provide up to two additional floors and a 25% floor area ratio bonus (30% for unreinforced masonry buildings) in exchange for projects meeting the performance goals of the 2030 Challenge for Planning which call for a 70% reduction in energy usage, a 50% improvement in water management and a 50% decrease in transportation emissions from established baselines. The 2030 Challenge for Planning is an internationally-recognized standard for decarbonizing the built environment.  The legislation provides eligibility criteria for participating buildings and allows for up to 20 pilot projects in the city’s Urban Centers (Downtown, First Hill/Capitol Hill, South Lake Union, Uptown, University District and Northgate). 

Upon signing the legislation that was unanimously passed by the Seattle City Council on June 25, Mayor Durkan said, “Seattle has always invented the future, and the creation of this new pilot further establishes us as a leader combating the negative impacts of climate change. Our city doesn’t have the luxury of entertaining climate change denial. With building energy as a leading cause of pollution, our City can remain on the leading edge of construction and operation of buildings that meet the highest green standards while fostering a healthy environment.”

Seattle 2030 District Board Chair Sabrina Villanueva of Clise Properties commented, “The Seattle 2030 District is thrilled to have this pilot program up and running after working effectively with City departments and the City Council. It will promote sustainable building renovations by Seattle 2030 District members and other developers which will protect the environment while preserving the character of our existing buildings.”

Susan Wickwire, Executive Director of the Seattle 2030 District, remarked, “We really see the 2030 Challenge Pilot as a catalyst for transformative change at scale by incentivizing developers and owners to make substantial green investments that make business sense.”

The Seattle 2030 District, a private-public, non-profit collaborative and part of the 2030 Districts Network, is working to decarbonize the built environment in downtown Seattle and surrounding neighborhoods. Using the 2030 Challenge for Planning performance goals, the Seattle 2030 District works with property owners, developers, managers, architects, engineers and community stakeholders to use energy efficiently, manage water and stormwater, and lower carbon emissions from transportation.