Former Vice President Joe Biden will be in Seattle on Wednesday speaking to a group of more than a 1,000 at the Convention Center downtown. Biden will address the Congress for New Urbanism and the Urban Land Institute.

The Vice President will speak at 5 p.m. at an event that is not open to the public. Organizers say they hope his appearance has a “fireside chat” feel to it.

The city of Tukwila was recently awarded a grant from the Congress for New Urbanism (CNU), and the organization is still working with the city to this day. According to their website, CNU is a group that “helps create vibrant and walkable cities, towns, and neighborhoods where people have diverse choices for how they live, work, shop and get around. People want to live in well-designed places that are unique and authentic.”

Consultants from CNU recently went to Tukwila to talk with them about how they can continue to grow in a way that promotes walkability and community. The light rail, new library, community building, and housing on Tukwila International Boulevard is a reflection of their vision as a city and CNU came in to help them on their mission to move forward with their goals.


“They’re an organization that has a vision that is similar to our vision for this area. So they are looking at creating modern, main street downtowns, and our vision for the Tukwila International Boulevard has been to create that really neighborhood feel,” Tukwila Deputy Community Development Director Nora Gierloff said. “It’s been a corridor, and it’s been an area that people pass through, but we have a really strong community here, and they want to have a main street with more residential and people who live and put down roots in the neighborhood.”

“I think it was a really positive experience for people to come together and feel how much they shared the same goals for the area. So it was great for CNU to give us some tips that was an achievable vision if we did certain things and changed our code in certain ways,” Gierloff added. “Like many places, we have a lot of people who come and go, the school district has a lot of children who kind of come through, the idea is to make a place where people want to put down roots, kind of make a good neighborhood and come together as a community, so we’re trying to make it a place where people want to stay.”

More than 1,400 participants are taking part in the Congress for New Urbanism’s convention this week, along with the Urban Land Institute. The three-day event kicks off on Wednesday.

WSDOT says that because the former Vice President is no longer in office he doesn’t have the full security escort, but they did say if you are in downtown Seattle around 5 pm on Wednesday you may experience traffic delays a bit longer than usual.