Small town of Renton smartly evolving from industrial to knowledge economy

The city of Renton, just south of Seattle, has long been synonymous with Boeing. However, visit their website today and there’s not only no mention of the airline giant on their home page, but missing from their economic development and vision, mission, and business plan pages as well. There’s just a picture of a jet on the business home page, but no mention of Boeing when listing the city’s assets.

Why? The City is steadfastly, wisely, deftly moving Renton away from the industrial economy into the knowledge economy, and the NY Times recognized as much in their article, Daylight in Boeing’s Shadow. What you’ll instead see on the aforementioned web pages is a consistent focus on quality of life, affordability, and entrepreneurship.

What’s more important is that you’ll see this vision actually manifested throughout the city, from attractive, attainable, transit-oriented mixed-use development (images above) to hosting twice the national average of college-educated workers to providing a streamlined permitting process to reward rather than impede innovation.