Community Shapes Vision for Burien 2044

City staff and consultants gathered feedback through 21 online and in-person events, online surveys and maps, and small stakeholder groups.

Burien, like many other cities in Washington state, must plan for housing and jobs growth so we can provide policies, programs, services, and projects that meet the needs of our community. Last fall, the City of Burien reached out to the community to hear what they had to say about how to best plan for the next 20 years of growth. This feedback will inform the update to our Comprehensive Plan, Transportation Master Plan (TMP), and Parks, Recreation, and Open Space (PROS) Plan.

People point at a large poster during a community engagement event.
Community members provide feedback during the Burien 2044 Mini-Workshop on October 27, 2022 at the Burien Community Center.

Community engagement: How we gathered your feedback

Between August-November 2022, City staff and consultants gathered feedback through 21 online and in-person events, online surveys and maps, and small stakeholder groups. We attended back-to-school events, community centers, farmers markets, and community events like Welcoming Burien, B-Town Fiesta, Green Burien Day, Día de los Muertos, and the Boulevard Park Block Party, receiving feedback from people of diverse ages and backgrounds.

Visioning questions asked community members about their wishes for living, working, and playing in Burien now and in 2044. There were opportunities to contribute in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Amharic.

Illustration of concepts discussed at a Burien 2044 Visioning Workshop.
Natalie Dupree illustrated an overview of the conversation between community members during the Burien 2044 Vision Workshop on November 3, 2022.

Community prioritizes housing, economic development, community character, parks, and safety

Major themes emerged around the topics of parks and recreation, transportation (including transit, traffic, sidewalks, and crosswalks), land use and economic development, housing issues, community character, park amenities (features in parks), and safety. A more detailed summary of what community members expressed includes the following:

Land Use and Economic Development

  • An economic development strategy focused on small, locally owned businesses that create more places to gather
  • Communities that are within a 15-minute walk of key amenities like grocery stores, corner stores, banks, and shops
  • Zoning that accommodates a mix of retail and commercial uses and creates an allowance for taller buildings around an urban center
  • Urban design components that support community character and gathering places including sidewalk cafes, street-level park activation, first-floor retail and commercial spaces, and a dedicated pedestrian plaza


  • Need for affordable housing
  • A range of housing types (townhouses, multiplexes, accessory dwelling units, apartments, and single-family)
  • More senior and multigenerational housing
  • Locations for greater density or housing types
  • Housing that is equitable and fair for the Burien community

Public Safety and Social/Human Services

  • Larger police presence in parks, on residential streets, and in the business district to enhance the perception of public safety
  • Services that are accessible by a 15-minute walk

Parks and Open Spaces

  • More access to natural spaces, trees, and water (natural and built facilities)
  • More parks distributed throughout city
  • Small parks embedded in neighborhoods for play and gathering
  • Trails to connect parks

Recreation Programs and New Facilities

  • Free sports and afterschool leagues
  • Affordable recreation programs
  • Recreation programs in neighborhoods
  • Splash pads
  • Community center with pool and gym
  • Theatre or performing arts center


  • Better, safer places to walk, especially around high-density areas
  • Sidewalks and crosswalks to key destinations like schools, transit, and grocery stores
  • Transportation options from residential neighborhoods
  • Access from neighborhoods to recreational trail system, including sidewalks and wayfinding signs
  • People can get around Burien safely and comfortably by walking, biking, rolling, riding transit, or driving
  • Transportation assets including streets, sidewalks, bike facilities, and trails are well-maintained, connected, and vibrant community spaces that enrich public life, health, and the environment
  • Transportation decisions are made equitably to prioritize investments for those who have the least access

Public Art*

People would like to experience public art in the following places:

  • Parks
  • Streetscapes and plazas
  • Gateways into the city
  • Civic buildings
  • Neighborhoods
  • Non-City facilities like private buildings, water tanks, bridges

Community prefers the public art to be:

  • Integrated into infrastructure
  • Created by local artists
  • Themed to celebrate the culture and history of Burien and instill a sense of pride for the city
  • More varied in type and include interactive work, sculptures, performance, celebrations, walks, and art of different scales

*Results from a previous public art survey were incorporated into these results.

Next steps

City staff will develop strategies responsive to what we heard and test them with community. The next phase of community engagement has begun and will continue into early summer. Visit to find ways to stay informed and participate!

Emily Inlow-Hood
Communications & Public Engagement Manager at | More posts
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