Our mission at KONE is to improve the flow of urban life. To capture the essence of urbanization, we bring you stories of people from 17 cities. Katie Toft, a would-be single mom, and manager for a technical team that works with electronic medical records, loves the community and culture of Seattle.

“I grew up as a U.S. Navy brat and moved around a lot. I moved to Seattle in 2001 to work at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and fell in love with the city. I love the little neighborhoods that make up the city with a small-town feel. We embrace different cultures that come to our city, through food, shows, and art. I think it brings an amazing richness to Seattle.

I’m going to be a single mother soon and I appreciate doing so in a community and culture that supports this non-traditional plan. I want to raise my daughter here, so she can go to all the enriching events downtown, grow up in a city, and be immersed in diverse populations. It has become more difficult to buy a house though. I worry I’ll have to move further out of town to afford the space I need to raise my daughter and host her grandparents occasionally. That’s one negative, but there are many transport options, like the light rail, now.

There is also a lot of development in downtown Seattle. It used to be hard to find a place to eat near my workplace downtown. Now buildings have come up everywhere around us, there are Amazon employees walking dogs, and more than 20 food trucks to choose from. I hate that in winter, we turn into home-bodies and adopt a sort of attitude like, “I’m not taking applications for new friendships.” But in summer, we’re the opposite – as friendly as if we’re from the Midwest or South. Seattle residents are into solo sports – hiking, biking, kayaking and camping. I’m usually a team sports person, but I’ve found that I like being by myself more than I used to, or in very small groups. The quiet time in nature gets into your bones.”

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