Leadership & Participation

Housing Density Rises As Urban Areas Absorb Most of Region’s Growth

Now in its second year, the Sustainable Thurston Report Card shows that the region is making significant progress toward meeting goals to increase urban growth and reduce sprawl. The region is falling far short of its goals to reduce waste and ensure residents have the resources to meet their basic needs, however.

The report card includes 30 measures of sustainability and builds on TRPC’s Regional Benchmarks for Thurston County, which tracked the region’s progress toward meeting goals of the 1990 Growth Management Act. Such sustainability measures are grouped into six categories — Community, Economy, Opportunities & Choices, Investment, Environment, and Transportation — and feature information about what’s being measured, why it’s important, and what we can do make progress. 

Progress is expressed like a weather forecast — sunny, partly sunny, and cloudy.

Four regional goals and targets are listed below; explore the complete list at www.trpc.org/reportcard

How well is the Thurston Region...

Planning & Acting Toward Zero Waste in the Region

Solid waste collected per person is above the levels needed to reach the region's 2035 targets. Per capita waste collected has increased recently from a low of 1,140 pounds per person in 2012.

Building Neighborhoods that Support Transit

The average density of new residential development in north county urban areas has increased since the late 1990s and exceeds the 2035 target. However, average density in urban centers, corridors, and infill areas has decreased and remains below the 2035 target. 
Conserving Environmentally Sensitive Lands & Rural Resource Lands
The share of new growth locating in rural Thurston County is decreasing, although still above targets for 2035. The density of new development in rural Thurston County is decreasing.

Ensuring Residents Have the Resources to Meet Their Daily Needs


The percentage of households that are cost-burdened is more than double the targets set for 2035. Since 1990, there has been no significant change in cost-burdened households and a slight increase in severely cost-burdened households.