Nature in the Right of Way

How is nature, age-friendly?

Nature, including plants, flowers, and trees, all create a happier and healthier city. Tree-lined streets are nicer to walk down and create a buffer to vehicle traffic for pedestrians when the landscape/furniture zone is to standard (at least 6' wide and between the roadway and the sidewalk).

Kids planting a tree

Where should nature be prioritized?

Landscaping where there is enough space in the right of way (see Clearance standards). Leverage existing street trees to provide shade and protection from rain, buffers from passing cars, or streetscape enhancements. It is always important to plant the right plant or tree in the right place.  Trees should be picked based on the location, for example, if the tree is under a powerline or other vertical obstruction, a shorter tree species should be planted in that location. 

Primary agencies responsible for nature in the right of way

  • Seattle Department of Transportation
  • Seattle Parks and Recreation
  • Seattle Public Utilities
  • Seattle City Light

Estimated cost*


* Cost levels:
$ = Under $100,000
$$ = $100,001-$500,000
$$$ = $500,001-$1,000,000
$$$$= Over $1,000,001


Trees for Seattle
Streets Illustrated Clearance Standards
SDOT Street Tree Manual


Greg Spotts, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 3800, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34996, Seattle, WA, 98124-4996
Phone: (206) 684-7623

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The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is on a mission to deliver a transportation system that provides safe and affordable access to places and opportunities for everyone as we work to achieve our vision of Seattle as a thriving, equitable community powered by dependable transportation.