1. A new study by the federal Environmental Protection Agency confirms what environmental groups like the Sightline Institute have been saying all along—the future is in cities, not in suburbs. Over the past 20 years, the share of new building permits in Seattle proper, as opposed to Seattle suburbs, grew from 11 percent in 1990 to a whopping 31 percent in 2008. When Tacoma and Bellevue are included, that number rose from 13 to 34 percent, meaning that more than a third of all new growth was in dense urban communities, not in sprawling suburbs.

2. Enviros are expected to turn out at today's city council meeting (2 pm, City Hall, 1000 Fourth Ave.) to push the council to commit to reducing the number of vehicle miles traveled in Seattle as part of the city's comprehensive plan. The comp plan commits Seattle to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions 80 percent by 2050, but says nothing about reducing driving, the main cause of greenhouse gas emissions in the region. The council does plan to adopt two modest upzones around the Rainier Beach and Beacon Hill light rail stations, which have been the subject of formal complaints by neighborhood activists who say six-story buildings (as opposed to the four-story buildings currently allowed next to the stations) will destroy the character of their neighborhoods.



3. Next month, the Sound Transit board will vote on a new "fare simplification" policy. Seattle Transit Blog has all the wonky details—basically, Sound Transit is ditching fare "zones" in favor of one fare inside each county, another fare across multiple counties—but the news for folks who ride Sound Transit's light rail is that fares, already higher than King County Metro's in many cases, will be going up a quarter next year. Starting June 2011, light rail will cost a minimum of $2; going from downtown to the airport, now a $2.50 one-way trip, will cost $2.75.

4. On Friday, PubliCola editor Erica C. Barnett and FoodNerd Angela Garbes hosted a conversation with Kurtwood Farms founder Kurt Timmermeister at Town Hall (after Moby, a longtime vegan discussed his new collection of essays on factory farming, Gristle). Foodista blogger Jameson Fink was at both events; check out his thoughtful writeup here.

5. The second installment in PubliCola's inaugural PubliQuestion poll—conducted by Seattle polling firm EMC Research—will be available later today. We asked voters which option they preferred for replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct—a deep-bore tunnel (the city and state's preferred solution), a new viaduct, or a surface/transit option (preferred by Mayor Mike McGinn)? Check back for the answers, and buy all the data, including full cross tabs and demographic breakdowns, on both questions here.