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Everything from the weather to traffic, to schools and the art scene are part of the cultural fiber of Seattle. How we feel about these elements plays a major role in the city’s story, so we took a look at our city’s culture in our third-annual State of Seattle survey.

As a city, we’re often defined by our notoriously “bad” weather. But here’s the big news: while it may often be wet and rainy, 72 percent of Seattleites are satisfied with the weather, and just 11 percent said they’d change it. Admittedly we conducted our survey during one of the hottest Septembers on record. There may be a change of tune if we ask again in February. The one thing residents would change? Nearly 50 percent said it’s traffic and transportation issues.

We like to think of ourselves as environmentally conscious (77 percent of respondents said we were), but 64 percent of those who are working or in school say they drive solo when commuting daily to work or school. And, while the new Sonics arena is moving full steam ahead, Seattleites say having access to the arts is more important than having access to professional sports.

The percentage of residents who describe Seattle as a “friendly” city this year compared to last year dropped from 48 percent to 36 percent—a point that could be related to the perceived problem with incivility.

Each of these results seems to indicate we’re not always on the same page—a sign that, as with any story, Seattle’s story is evolving. From plans to alter the skyline, to the 520 bridge construction, to the new waterfront Ferris wheel, the city is going through rapid structural changes, and we’re likely to see that come through in the ways we think and feel about Seattle in the future. Whatever it is that comes next, we can’t wait to dive into the next chapter—especially if it means more sunny Septembers.

Check out our infographic on the culture survey results below and be sure to return to the Weber Shandwick blog as we continue to dive into the State of Seattle findings.


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