Seattle's Rising Geographical Inequality

March 4, 2015

My hometown of Seattle has been recently praised for implementing measures to fight urban inequality, such as cutting public transit fairs for low-income commuters.  It was reported as one of America's least income-segregated large metros in a study by Richard Florida and the Martin Prosperity Institute.  


However, a Pew Research Center report showed that inequality has risen in the 27 of the 30 largest American metros.  Seattle is no exception, with inequality rising at a higher pace than other metros.  With a median housing price reaching half a million dollars (Zillow), Seattle residents are increasingly being pushed into the traffic-ridden suburbs and out of the urban center of economic and social opportunity.


The map above created by Lift Aerial illustrates the significant geographical inequality by indicating land values of King County, with open-source GIS data of parcel value, normalized by square foot.  The high-value areas of Downtown Seattle, Capitol Hill, Queen Anne, Bellevue, Kirkland, and Mercer Island stand out as centers of affluence, many exceeding a land value of over $300/SF, while areas around Renton, Seatac, and Shoreline have a land value of less than 10% of that.  This, of course, is not the only, nor the most accurate measure of geographical inequality (aggregating income data, median housing cost, etc.) would add another layer of accuracy), but it begins to tell a narrative of an increasingly divided urban fabric.  


Jordan Petersen, LEED AP

Site Designer, ColeJenest & Stone

Founder, LIFT Aerial Marketing



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Lift Aerial Marketing, LLC is a full-service aerial imagery company located in Raleigh, NC.  We offer a dynamic range of photography, videography, digital editing, and marketing services for public and private clients ranging from government agencies, contractors, architectural design firms, developers, real estate brokers, and other clients.  

With our versatile fleet of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), or drones, we were one of the first established companies in the Southeast and hold all commercial UAS permits, including an FAA-issued Remote Pilot's License under compliant with Part 107, and NC UAS Commercial Operators Permits (C0000831), and also carry specialty UAS aviation liability insurance ($1M limits). 

For additional legal information and documents, see our legal page.  Please contact us with your project details for more information and pricing.  

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Founder |  Jordan Petersen 

Director of Operations | Joe Hollowell


Raleigh, North Carolina 

p:  919.926.9667 or  919.818.8044



© 2014 by LIFT Aerial Marketing, LLC

All content and images shown are not for commercial purposes, copyright © Lift Aerial Marketing, LLC, all rights reserved. All photographs and videos herein are the property of the photographer and protected under the United States and international copyright laws and treaties which provide substantial penalties for infringement. The use of any images or other materials included herein, in whole or in part, is expressly prohibited without the written permission of the photographer.