Seattle's Bullitt Foundation doubles down on urban sustainability
By From the Puget Sound Business Journal
The ultra-green Bullitt Center is under construction at a site in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood.
The Bullitt Foundation is taking a new direction, focusing less on its past as a wildlands and oceanic preservation organization and more on improving the urban environment.
As reported by the Puget Sound Business Journal, the 60-year-old foundation decided it was time to target its limited resources, about $8 million in annual grants, on urban sustainability projects in Washington and Oregon.
A symbol of that new direction is the $30 million that the foundation is investing in a new building that’s intended to be a global example of how to create urban landscapes that work with the environment instead of against it.
The Bullitt Center, a project that has often been compared to Portland's stymied efforts to erect the Oregon Sustainability Center, is being hailed as the "greenest commercial building in the world."
“When you think of the degradations on the land that overdevelopment and thoughtless development have made, the (new Bullitt Center) building is a symbol of what can be done — in an extraordinary way — to build a building that doesn’t rip off the land as buildings have historically done,” said Harriet Bullitt, a founding member of the foundation and current vice chair of the board of trustees.
As the foundation looks forward, some may wonder about what role the prominent Bullitt family will have.
While no family members are currently lined up to take the reins in the future, that doesn’t mean the Bullitts won’t stay involved with the organization, Bullitt said.
But for now, her children and grandchildren aren’t living in Seattle – a necessity for board involvement.
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