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Where do all the people go? Let’s talk density

A growing population requires a changing landscape in the city of Olympia. ​Thurston County expects an additional 120,000 people to call our region home​ in the next 20 years​ — with 20,000 of those living in Olympia​. Olympians for People-Oriented Places — or O-POP — says that w​e must decide where all those people will live to support an affordable and walkable community, while protecting our rural areas from sprawl. Important land-use decisions must consider the needs of the natural environment as well as the ​requirements for the built environment. How do we balance the benefits of environmental restoration and the benefits of urban density?

Toward that end, O-POP will hold a panel discussion, “Urban Density and the Environment: Planning and Priorities,” on Wednesday, October 18 from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Coach House, 211 21st Avenue SW in Olympia.

The panel will include specialists working on environmental planning in our region. They will share their past and current planning efforts, and talk about how decisions are made to prioritize environmental restoration and preservation projects. The panelists are:

  • Veena Tabbutt, Research and Data Director | Thurston Regional Planning Council
  • Scott Steltzner, Fisheries Biologist | Squaxin Island Tribe
  • Jesse Barham, Habitat Coordinator | City of Olympia

For more information about Olympians for People-Oriented Places, check out their website at
 or on Twitter at @OPOP_NOW.


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