Tours
  • Historic arcade houses young professionals
    <strong>Microlofts at The Arcade Providence</strong>&nbsp;<em>Providence, Rhode Island</em>

    Build Great Places / #thisiscnu

  • Jazz Market New Orleans Audience Seating
    Jazz Market New Orleans Audience Seating
    Trumpeting a cultural revival
    <strong>Peoples Health New Orleans Jazz Market</strong>&nbsp; <em>New Orleans, Louisiana</em>

    Build Great Places / #thisiscnu

  • Southside
    Ten acres that transformed a city #thisiscnu

    Build Great Places / #thisiscnu

  • A unique building becomes a hub for historic neighborhoods
    <strong>Ponce City Market</strong> <em>Atlanta, GA</em>

    Build Great Places / #thisiscnu

  • Mercado District | Tucson, Arizona
    A timeless place from the ground up. #thisiscnu

    Build Great Places / #thisiscnu

  • A mixed-use center for town and gown
    <strong>Storrs Center</strong> <em>Mansfield, CT</em>

    Build Great Places / #thisiscnu

  • Expanding options for a car-oriented suburban area
    <strong>Village of Providence</strong> <em>Huntsville, AL</em>

    Build Great Places / #thisiscnu

  • From parking lot to urban tour-de-force
    <strong>UCLA Weyburn</strong>&nbsp;<em>Los Angeles, California</em>

    Build Great Places / #thisiscnu

CNU 25.Seattle tours offer a unique opportunity to explore Seattle and the Cascadia region first-hand. Tours require pre-registration and cost an additional fee. 


Tuesday, May 2 / Pre-Congress

 
Tour: Seattle Satellite Town Spurs NW Coastal Renewal
7:30 AM - 7:30 PM
$100 member / $125 non-member

From the Gold Rush to the Tech Revolution, the Pacific Northwest has long been known for its boomtown growth patterns. In this tour, participants will explore Seabrook, WA, a planned community that has added a rush of New Urbanist tourism to Grays Harbor County, WA’s natural resource–based economy. Seabrook aims to revive traditional town-building in a scenic location nestled between the Pacific coast and Olympic National Park, providing a new vision for sustainable prosperity and civic pride in a region shaped by both boom and bust throughout its history.


Wednesday, May 3

 
Tour: Greatest Hits: Chart Toppers and Heart-Stoppers
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
$15 member / $25 non-member

It’s a new riff on the city as we focus on the construction, context, and culture which shaped our skyline, from golden oldies like Kirtland Cutter’s Rainier Club to popular favorites like the Rem Koolhaas’ asymmetric, cantilevered Central Library. You’ll develop an appreciation for the social forces which shaped Seattle and our built environment. Featured stops include the Fifth & Madison Condominium/901 Fifth Avenue Plaza and Seattle City Hall.

This tour is in partnership with the Seattle Architecture Foundation.

 
Tour: Columbia City - a Streetcar Suburb Transformed
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
$20 member / $30 non-member

One of the nation's most ethnically diverse communities, Columbia City is a historically Hispanic streetcar suburb undergoing a light rail-driven transformation and a mixed-income development boom. Explore this fast-changing district where over 59 languages spoken, from the new HOPE VI project at Rainier Vista to the reemerging Columbia City Farmer's Market, on a community- and people-focused tour led by local business leaders, developers, and residents.

 
Tour: Reimagining Seattle’s Waterfront
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
$15 member / $25 non-member

In this tour, Congress attendees will examine the progress and vision of Waterfront Seattle, a multi-year program to transform Seattle’s waterfront following the removal of the Alaskan Way Viaduct. Spanning from Pioneer Square to Belltown, the project area includes new park space, improved connections to and from downtown, a new surface street, access to Elliott Bay, and a rebuilt Elliott Bay Seawall. Led by the director of the Office of the Waterfront, participants will discuss design efforts to capitalize on view opportunities, project partners like the historic Pike Place Market, and the challenges and opportunities of removing an elevated highway to open up a waterfront.

 
Tour: Pocket Neighborhoods Near Seattle
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
$25 member / $30 non-member

Pocket Neighborhoods are small clusters of houses or apartments arranged around garden courtyards, pedestrian streets, and indoor atriums. Located beyond a front gate but off the street, their shared common areas offer a safe space for spontaneous conversations, children’s play, gardening, and community potlucks. Whether in single housing clusters on infill sites, or sub-neighborhoods within larger mixed-use developments, their sociable scale make them building blocks for engaged, resilient communities.

In this tour, participants will visit two pocket neighborhood communities near Seattle that pioneered this new prototype for housing development. Along the way, we’ll learn about historic precedents, the zoning and approval pathways that enable such projects, and the key design patterns that make them successful.

*This tour dovetails with a morning 202 Workshop on Community-Oriented Housing.

 
Tour: 19th and 21st Century Infrastructure – Fitting Modern Infrastructure in Historic Districts
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
$15 member / $25 non-member

Walk Seattle’s original neighborhood, Pioneer Square, and witness the fusion of modern transportation and the community’s historic character. See recent interventions that meet in the middle, including a new bike rack, reimagined alleys, and creative ADA retrofits. Learn how the 1st Ave Streetcar is working to quietly integrate into the neighborhood and observe the challenges of ensuring a fully accessible community when nearly all of the sidewalks are hollow.


Thursday, May 4

 
Tour: Big Time Revitalization of a Small Town
8:00 AM - 1:00 PM
$30 member / $40 non-member

How does a suburban city embark on one of the most successful and ambitious suburban retrofits in the nation? In 2006, the City of Bothell, WA began a major downtown revitalization project to capitalize and expand on its existing downtown assets with new public and private investment well in excess of $650 million.

Participants will spend the morning seeing Bothell’s amazing ongoing transformation with several of the key planners who have led the effort. Tour a brand new multiway boulevard lined with mixed-use housing, walk through the recently opened renovation of a historic school into an expansive McMenamins hotel and brewpub campus, observe the realignment of a state highway that freed up acres of downtown land for new development, stroll along a newly daylit creek, see and hear about the creation of a new library and city hall and additional public and private development projects underway, and learn about the successful community-driven planning efforts undertaken and what the future has in store for the City of Bothell going forward.

 
Tour: Bellevue's Grand Connection
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
$20 member / $30 non-member

Located across Lake Washington from Seattle, the city of Bellevue is undergoing a transformation from a bedroom suburb to a walkable retail, business, and employment nexus. In this tour, participants will explore the Grand Connection, a pedestrian-oriented corridor linking the Lake Washington waterfront to Old Bellevue, the Downtown Park, retail areas, transit stations, and City Hall. From Bellevue, attendees will walk along the planned Grand Connection route with an option to eat lunch locally in Bellevue near City Hall.

 
Tour: Pike/Pine Retail District
8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
$15 member / $25 non-member

Framed by historic buildings and a revitalizing waterfront, Downtown Seattle is one of the America’s most successful urban retail shopping districts. This fast-paced tour will explore the Sixth Avenue-Pike Street corridor, highlighting its successes in planning, design, and merchandising. Participants will learn about the latest trends in storefront design, visual merchandising, signage, lighting, parking, streetscaping, and parking management. Expert tour leaders will explain easy-to-use strategies with a focus on applications for growing downtowns and new town centers.

 
Tour: Architecture 101: Windows on Seattle’s Style
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
$15 member / $25 non-member

Is God really in the details? Find out as we focus on design elements of buildings ranging from English Gothic to Brutalism and from Beaux Arts to Modernism. Construction techniques, trends in aesthetics and functional considerations of windows and views contributed to these structures. You will explore how the use and incorporation of glass reflects changing societal trends. Featured stops include the Financial Center, the Plymouth Congregational Church and the Fairmont Olympic Hotel.

This tour is done in partnership with the Seattle Architecture Foundation.

 
Tour: Walkable South Lake Union—A Neighborhood Transformed
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
$20 member / $30 non-member

Participants in this tour will explore South Lake Union, a once-sleepy commercial and industrial district that has undergone a profound transformation into a diverse, walkable hub for tech giants like Amazon and the biotech-focused Allen Institutes. Discussion items will include strategies for creating successful mixed-use neighborhoods, attracting Millennials and highly-educated workers, integrating a new streetcar, using the right-of-way for more than transportation, achieving LEED-ND certification, and creating a new urban boulevard.

 
Tour: BelRed / Overlake TOD
1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
$20 member / $30 non-member

Participants on this tour will visit new transit-oriented communities in Bellevue and Redmond, two fast-changing suburbs with major plans for walkability, development, and high-tech economic growth. The tour includes the Spring District, a 36-acre mixed-use neighborhood with multi-use, office, and residential space adjacent to a light rail station, including the Global Innovation Exchange, a joint venture of the University of Washington, China’s Tsinghua University, and Microsoft, the future headquarters of REI. It ends at the future Redmond Technology Center station site adjacent to Microsoft’s main campus.

 
Tour: Documenting Seattle’s Missing Middle Housing
2:00 PM - 6:00 PM
$15 member / $25 non-member

In Seattle, a growing awareness of the need for more Missing Middle Housing types like duplexes, fourplexes, and bungalow courts has highlighted the nationwide mismatch between existing housing stock and the demand for more affordable, walkable housing options. In this tour, participants will explore and document Seattle’s existing and rich collection of Missing Middle Housing, and discuss how enabling more of these types can address housing needs and challenges in Seattle and cities across the country. In addition to the documentation, participants will learn how to support these types through smart planning and zoning, understand barriers affecting the construction of new Missing Middle Housing, and gain knowledge from a local Seattle developer and Portland developer who have been delivering these types for 10-15 years in their communities.

 
Tour: Seattle’s First 21st Century Community - High Point
2:00 PM - 6:00 PM
$20 member / $30 non-member

In Seattle's innovative green urban district of High Point, this tour will showcase how partnerships and great design came together to create a sustainable mixed-income community with 1,600 homes and 3,500 residents—and provide an unvarnished look at the unique challenges that surface when piloting new green technologies and strategies. Led by High Point's developer and civil engineer, participants will discuss topics including the area's 120-acre Natural Drainage System, green affordable housing, public health advances that enriched the site, partnerships with City agencies and local groups, and, crucially, the community outreach that included all High Point neighbors. A diverse panel of High Point residents and service providers will share their perspective on this mixed-income social experiment.


Friday, May 5

 
Tour: Reimagining Seattle’s Waterfront
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
$15 member / $25 non-member

In this tour, Congress attendees will examine the progress and vision of Waterfront Seattle, a multi-year program to transform Seattle’s waterfront following the removal of the Alaskan Way Viaduct. Spanning from Pioneer Square to Belltown, the project area includes new park space, improved connections to and from downtown, a new surface street, access to Elliott Bay, and a rebuilt Elliott Bay Seawall. Led by the director of the Office of the Waterfront, participants will discuss design efforts to capitalize on view opportunities, project partners like the historic Pike Place Market, and the challenges and opportunities of removing an elevated highway to open up a waterfront.

 
Tour: Hidden Spaces/Public Places: Private Property + Public Amenity = Additional Development Rights
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
$15 member / $25 non-member

Explore some of downtown’s hidden treasures, like public parks, plazas and open spaces. Many of these spaces are owned by private developers but are in fact places where you can enjoy beautiful landscapes and private art collections away from the hustle and bustle of city streets.

This tour is done in partnership with the Seattle Architecture Foundation.

 
Comfortable and Connected: Creating a basic bike network in Downtown Seattle
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
$45 member / $55 non-member

Seattle’s downtown is transforming rapidly, adding jobs and housing at record rates, all while Seattle’s light rail system expands dramatically and downtown bus service is restructured. This growth and expansion creates an unparalleled opportunity to implement a safe, comfortable, and connected network of protected bike lanes from downtown to the outlying neighborhoods—creating a true multimodal transportation system. Join representatives from Cascade Bicycle Club and the City of Seattle to discuss the One City Center project (a 20-year mobility plan for downtown Seattle neighborhoods) and explore the city by bike. Learn about the future of downtown infrastructure from those that know it best, and discuss how bikes and transit can work together as an integrated urban mobility solution.

 
Tour: Singing (in the Rain): Walking Seattle’s First Arts District
2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
$20 member / $30 non-member

Take an essential Seattle stroll through the Capitol Hill Arts District, the City’s first official Arts & Cultural District and a nexus of cultural activity for decades. Once known as Auto Row for its 1940’s car dealerships, the Pike/Pine Corridor is now one of the most influential cultural neighborhoods on the West Coast. Seattle Cultural Space Liaison Matthew Richer will lead participants through a tour of several of the area's 40+ arts & cultural spaces—which include music clubs, cinemas, theaters, galleries, studios, art supply houses, a dance center, and even a graffiti supply house.

 
Tour: Remaking Yesler Terrace: A New Urban Place in the Center of the City
2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
$20 member / $30 non-member

In this walking tour, participants will explore the new streets, buildings, and public spaces transforming Yesler Terrace, a low-rise public housing project, into a diverse, thriving neighborhood. Yesler is a lesson in transformation—reintegrating with the Seattle grid, newly connected to the city's International District, and featuring new housing for low-income, moderate-income, and high-income residents. Tour participants will learn about the area's robust arts community, urban farming program, thriving community centers, and new streetcar corridor.


Saturday, May 6

 
Immersion Day: Portland, OR
7:00 AM - 11:30 PM
$125 member / $150 non-member

Break free from your Saturday breakout session and explore the rest of the Pacific Northwest with our Portland, OR Immersion Day. Hop on a Portland-bound bus Saturday morning and spend the day exploring the city’s active neighborhoods, food truck scene, participating in locally-organized walking and biking tours, or setting off on your own with transit pass in hand. Registered participants many sign up for tours departing at 1pm (Portland’s Bicycle Infrastructure, Pearl District and Northwest Alphabet District, Eastside Streetcar Neighborhoods, or Central City: The Pearl to Tilikum Crossing) and tours departing at 4pm (Eastside Missing Middle Housing, Orenco Station: 20 Years of Evaluation, and Stemming the Tide of Gentrification: Claiming Place for Portland’s African American Community), or opt to venture off on their own for the afternoon.

1:00 PM Start

Central City: The Pearl to Tilikum Crossing / Explore Portland, Oregon’s central city - from the Pearl District (One of PBS’s “Ten Towns that Changed America”), along the Portland Transit Mall (winner of multiple design awards), through the mixed use South Waterfront redevelopment area, and onto and over the new Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People (Portland’s famous major bridge without cars). Hear the background and stories directly from the transit agency involved in planning and developing these projects, lessons learned, and what’s next on the horizon for transit planning in Portland.

Pearl District and Northwest Alphabet District / Get an update on Portland's Pearl District, one of the earliest and most successful inner-city regeneration projects applying the principles of New Urbanism. Combining historic industrial fabric with cutting-edge green design ideas, the district has added 6,000 new residents to produce one of the liveliest and most popular walkable mixed-use districts in the country. We'll stop at the famous Powells bookstore, the EcoTrust adaptive reuse building (on which Jane Jacobs was an advisor) and Jamison Square. Then we'll head to the Northwest Alphabet District, a classic streetcar neighborhood with wonderful lessons about how to achieve livable density (approx. 22 units to the acre gross) with a diverse mix of building types and ages, including single-family detached, classic courtyard apartments, and condos. Both neighborhoods offer important lessons!

Eastside Streetcar Neighborhood / We will travel through a cross sections of four primary mixed-use main streets that once were the backbone of a 1920’s street car network branching across the WIllamette River from downtown Portland. Starting at SE Division Street we will transport up to SE Hawthorne, SE Belmont, Burnside Blvd, and end on Sandy Boulevard. These streetcar neighborhood centers are seeing significant mixed-use infill development. Once lost to the rise of automobile transport, these main streets are once again vital to surrounding neighborhoods and vibrant as ever. This transect line will demonstrate a rich rhythm of neighborhood structure through the city.

Portland’s Bicycle Infrastructure / Explore Portland’s four “advisory bicycle lane” locations, as well as a breadth of the infrastructure that comprises Portland’s bikeway network on this 25-mile bike tour and consider the factors that have limited Portland’s ability to implement true advisory lanes – including higher than expected traffic volumes and a state law that does not explicitly allow people driving to go into bicycle lanes to avoid oncoming automotive traffic.

4:00 PM Start

Eastside Missing Middle Housing / Explore Portland's classic east-side neighborhoods, featuring a wide range of "Missing Middle" housing types, including accessory dwelling units, duplexes, triplexes, quads, internal home divisions and courtyard plexes. These types were commonly intermixed with individual homes until the 1950s, when single-family zoning was broadly applied to Portland neighborhoods. Today, these compact, efficient housing types continue to provide a legacy of relatively affordable housing at a less obtrusive scale than many of the large new homes popping up. “Missing Middle” housing better matches current demographic trends towards smaller households - and provides the population density it takes to support walkable retail and transit in some of Portland’s most beloved close-in neighborhoods. We will discuss which of these middle housing types the City of Portland is currently considering re-legalizing in our residential neighborhoods. We’ll also brainstorm regulatory and strategic approaches other cities can take to (re)introduce Missing Middle housing types so neighborhoods can better serve residents of all ages and all incomes.

Orenco Station: 20 Years of Evaluation / Orenco Station was one of the first, and most closely watched, suburban transit-oriented developments in the nation. Among its many experiments have been suburban vertical mixed use, live works, accessory dwellings, affordable housing, and of course, multi-modal transportation. A number of research studies have been completed with important lessons for the future. Join former project manager Michael Mehaffy as he shares lessons learned on this regional laboratory for changing Portland's suburban growth patterns.

Stemming the Tide of Gentrification: Claiming Place for Portland’s African American Community / This talk and tour addresses cultural identity, displacement, and efforts by the African American community to solidify and maintain their community’s diversity and vibrancy amidst a rising tide of gentrification. A group of black business owners and leaders are proposing to create the SOUL District in North/Northeast Portland as a way to support black businesses and entrepreneurs, and provide a physical and economic hub for Portland’s African American community. While SOUL is still in its infancy, we will look at projects developed by African Americans and visit black-owned businesses including Vanport Square, greenHaus Gallery, Champions Barber School, Oregon Public House, and Alberta Main Street, a thriving arts and cultural district known for its locally-owned shops to see some of the potential for a visionary effort that may be years in the making. We will discuss the types of redevelopment that have led to rapid displacement of African Americans and other people of color in the area, and how to effect more inclusive revitalization moving forward.

 
Immersion Day: Vancouver, BC: City by Design
7:00 AM - 12:00 AM
$125 member / $150 non-member

Discover for yourself why Vancouver, BC is internationally known as a livable, multimodal “city by design”. Join host Brent Toderian, former Vancouver chief planner & noted urbanist, along with a team of leading local planners & designers for this day-long excursion. Arrive in Vancouver Saturday morning by bus and begin with a walking tour of Vancouver’s renowned downtown, followed by lunch at a local eatery. Then choose between continuing the walking tour to explore the Downtown Eastside (including Woodward's Project) and the 2010 Olympic Village or Metro Vancouver's high-density transit-oriented development along the Skytrain, the world's longest automated rail system. Depart Vancouver after dinner to return to Seattle, or stay overnight and continue your own self-guided exploration.

Valid passport required.

 
Tour: Walk N' Roll in Victoria, BC
7:30 AM - 7:30 PM
$225 member / $250 non-member

The increasingly cosmopolitan Canadian harbor city of Victoria, BC offers a rare juxtaposition of heritage, charm, scenic backdrops, outdoor amenities, and classic New Urbanism. After a beautiful passenger-only ferry ride across the Salish Sea, join walkability guru Dan Burden and local guests for an educational tour on the art of healthy city-making—exploring topics of density, sustainability, compact block form, local streets, alleys, street networks, biophilic design, and more. Participants should bring a passport, small backpack, water, snacks, and rain gear.

 
Tour: Sustainable Urban Living in Bainbridge Island
8:30 AM - 1:00 PM
$20 member / $30 non-member

Providing an overview of New Urbanist trends and transportation issues in the Puget Sound Region, this tour follows a typical Seattle ferry trip from downtown to Winslow on Bainbridge Island. Along the way, participants will experience a unique perspective on the waterfront, the Sound, and the City's planned streetcar and light rail expansions. Upon arrival at Bainbridge Island, participants will review recent residential and commercial developments in the downtown area that are helping to increase density and livability and cap the tour with a visit to the sustainable, affordable Grow Community.

 
Tour: King Street Station: Seattle’s Cultural Community Homestead
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
$20 member / $30 non-member

Explore how the historic King Street Station, built in 1906 as a transportation hub for the City of Seattle, has been reimagined by the City of Seattle and redesigned with a $50 million investment. This hard hat tour will take place right as ground is being broken on the Office of Arts & Culture’s renovations project, which centers around retrofitting the building's top floor to house an 8,500 square foot exhibition hall, a “Gray Box” performance and installation space, a 2,500 square-foot Living Room / meeting space for artists and cultural projects, as well as spaces for lectures, rehearsals, classes, studio art, and more.

 
Tour: Placemaking in Downtown Redmond
11:00 AM - 3:00 PM
$20 member / $30 non-member

This tour brings participants to the vibrant downtown core of Redmond, WA, a tech industry and startup hub, and one of two designated regional growth centers in the city. With a newly-approved light rail expansion and a population expected to grow by more than 5,000 by 2030, the city has planned and implemented projects aimed at creating community gathering places as well as making downtown easier to navigate by foot, bike, and transit. This walking tour will look at several projects including the Redmond Central Connector, the Cleveland Street redesign, and Downtown Park. Participants will have the option of having lunch in Redmond before returning to Seattle.