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Humans of urbanization

Katie Toft, Seattle, USA

CITY WITH A SMALL-TOWN FEEL

Our mission at KONE is to improve the flow of urban life. To capture the essence of urbanization, we bring you stories of people from 17 cities. Katie Toft, a would-be single mom, and manager for a technical team that works with electronic medical records, loves the community and culture of Seattle.

“I grew up as a U.S. Navy brat and moved around a lot. I moved to Seattle in 2001 to work at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and fell in love with the city. I love the little neighborhoods that make up the city with a small-town feel. We embrace different cultures that come to our city, through food, shows, and art. I think it brings an amazing richness to Seattle.

I’m going to be a single mother soon and I appreciate doing so in a community and culture that supports this non-traditional plan. I want to raise my daughter here, so she can go to all the enriching events downtown, grow up in a city, and be immersed in diverse populations. It has become more difficult to buy a house though. I worry I’ll have to move further out of town to afford the space I need to raise my daughter and host her grandparents occasionally. That’s one negative, but there are many transport options, like the light rail, now.

There is also a lot of development in downtown Seattle. It used to be hard to find a place to eat near my workplace downtown. Now buildings have come up everywhere around us, there are Amazon employees walking dogs, and more than 20 food trucks to choose from. I hate that in winter, we turn into home-bodies and adopt a sort of attitude like, “I’m not taking applications for new friendships.” But in summer, we’re the opposite – as friendly as if we’re from the Midwest or South. Seattle residents are into solo sports – hiking, biking, kayaking and camping. I’m usually a team sports person, but I’ve found that I like being by myself more than I used to, or in very small groups. The quiet time in nature gets into your bones.”

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