By Dan Nolte, City of Seattle
Welcome to Seattle! We are excited to showcase our city to the delegates of the 2013 Congress of Cities this November. In five short months, elected officials from around the nation will land at SeaTac International Airport, hop aboard the newly-completed light rail line and take it through one of the most culturally and socio-economically diverse zip code in the nation, arriving mere blocks from their hotel in downtown Seattle.
NLC's conference will host a broad array of informational presentations, both unique to Seattle and applicable back home. Mobile workshops will take conference attendees into communities for on-the-ground experience and the opportunity to engage with topical experts.
A few of the many interactive mobile workshops include:
A tour of the Bullitt Center, the Greenest Commercial Building in the World, to learn how your community can implement strategies to increase your city's green building foot print and other sustainable development practices.
A visit to the up-and-coming South Lake Union neighborhood, home to Amazon.com, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and an array of biotechnology companies and research organizations. The neighborhood is in the midst of urban renewal with the opening of the Seattle Streetcar line and massive infrastructure upgrades, including road network redesign, the creation of a new electricity substation, and the recent opening of an expansive lakefront park.
An opportunity to learn about the City's Zero Waste Strategy to increase recycling and reduce trash with a tour of Republic Services' state of the art processing facility.
A tour of Microsoft headquarters to learn how a tiny operation was incubated into a technology giant.
We are pleased to be hosting the Closing Event at the Seattle Center at the newly created Chihuly Garden and Glass and the Experience Music Project Museum, which was inspired- by Seattle-native Jimi Hendrix.
From the Convention Center, you are only blocks away from Pike Place Market, the oldest continually operating farmers market in the country and home to the very first Starbucks coffee shop.
You may also want to visit Pioneer Square, Seattle's first neighborhood and historic preservation district, and home to eclectic, independent artists. It is also home to the Underground Tour highlighting how the city reinvented itself after the Great Seattle Fire in the late 19th century. CenturyLink Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks, is nearby and you can catch a game on November 17 (for those planning on staying in Seattle an additional day).
Congress of Cities and Exposition is hosted in a city home to iconic architecture, a historic music scene, and diverse restaurants. Enjoy the city, learn from native Seattleites, engage with fellow conference attendees, and bring those experiences back home.