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Neighborhood Centers Serve Community Needs and Offer Sense of Place

Burien has a thriving “downtown urban center” with businesses, residents, social services, transit, sidewalks, and community events. During the Shape Your City Community Visioning phase, we heard interest in supporting our smaller “neighborhood centers” throughout the city.  

Neighborhood centers are walkable, transit-friendly business clusters with apartments or other homes, and services nearby. These places serve the day-to-day retail and service needs of residents and workers and provide opportunities for neighbors to interact with each other. 

Neighborhood centers provide a sense of “place” and neighborhood identity. They also help achieve Burien’s goals of growing into a more walkable community, reducing our carbon footprint, improving human health, and fostering neighborhood connections and resilience. 

Burien already enjoys many smaller neighborhood center locations that vary in size and character.  Some are thriving retail areas, and others are small clusters of businesses and residences. Downtown Boulevard Park may be one example of a neighborhood center. The area around Ambaum Boulevard SW and SW 136th Street may be another example where shops, homes, a park, and a transit stop are located, and where cultural activities take place. 

The Burien 2044 Comprehensive Plan can identify where neighborhood centers are located. Over the years, some of these neighborhood centers may see additional transit or travel options, new businesses or residents, more coordination around open space, or other investments. 

Is there a neighborhood center that you call home? Are there areas in our city that should be identified as “neighborhood centers”? 

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