U District Partnership

Mapping a business landscape 

Role Research & Design
Employer U District Partnership, Seattle
Client U District Partnership

Year 2020

The U District Partnership, a Seattle-based non-profit organisation, wanted to extensively research and map the business landscape in the city’s rapidly growing university district, to better understand the business mix and make-up.


Businesses of the U District

  • 600+ licensed businesses
  • Majority managed by owner-operators
  • A large percentage of woman- and/or minority-owned businesses
  • Diverse mix of cuisine types in food & beverage

My role was to research the businesses in the area and map my findings, to help the Economic Development team find out more about the U District economy, focusing on contact details, business category mix, the variety of cuisine options and diversity of ownership. 

All the data was collected,  recorded and sorted in a master database, providing a central resource for the team to reference and amend as required. This became particularly useful during the pandemic to facilitate communication between the U District Partnership team and the community they serve.

The Economic Development team wanted to visualise the business category mix to illustrate the diversity of the district’s business landscape.

The data lends itself to a number of outcomes, either in print or online. For this phase of the project it was decided that a large-scale printed map would create a visual overview of the area in the minds of the project stakeholders, communicating topline information that could help to inform decision-making.