It’s not every day that a developer wants me to coach their team on urbanism, & critique their partially built inner city project so next phases can be better. Looking forward to workshopping with @greenstonehomes & city staff on @KendallYards in #Spokane Washington this week.
The heart of #Spokane’s @KendallYards neighbourhood is the new/evolving main street — walkable streetscape, generous patio seating, human scale. Next phase can have more housing above the street providing more eyes & “body heat.” People come from all over to enjoy the new street.
Every good new main street, & every walkable neighbourhood, needs at least one walkable urban grocery store. @KendallYards’s grocery store #MyFreshBasket is more than a store — it’s a community gathering place. #Spokane #completecommunities #thirdplace
Much of our work today with the @KendallYards team has been about defining a next level of density & urban design in the next phases of the neighbourhood. Given its context next to downtown, there are many reasons to want more density & “body heat” & more “urban” street edges.
1st impressions of Downtown #Spokane:
- stunning river gorge
- many beautiful old buildings
- mostly bad newer buildings
- nice riverfront park
- way too much surface parking
- too many wide 1-way “traffic sewers”
- badly in need of multi-modal street investment
- needs housing!
Attracting downtown housing takes more than just rethinking density & parking minimums — it needs investment in the public realm, infrastructure & amenities that makes downtown housing livable & lovable. An example — Downtown #Spokane’s proposed Main Ave transformation concept.
What’s remarkable about this crowd, is that it isn’t a big annual city-wide special event. It’s just the weekly #NightMarket on the recently built @KendallYards main street, done by a developer with vision & will.

Smart community-building includes smart public space programming.
This is VERY interesting & inspiring — In #Spokane’s new @KendallYards neighbourhood, the @SparkCentral509 non-profit creative space/small urban library, set up to support family access to learning & tech for the broader community, including the adjacent low income neighbourhood.
8 keys to a stronger downtown in #Spokane Washington (or possibly YOUR downtown) — my interview with @danielwinlander in @TheInlander. Complete streets for people, less surface parking, better architecture, more housing, amenities for livability, etc.…
"Sharrows are not bike infrastructure. Painted bike lanes are not bike infrastructure. Bike infrastructure is safe, separated protected #bikelanes. Cities need to prioritize walking, biking & public transit, at least until they catch up to the car."
NEW: It’s one of the most counter-intuitive community conversations you can have, that more parking isn’t necessarily good, that wider roads just induce more driving. As hard as it is, it’s a conversation that must be had. My @SpokesmanReview interview:…
“When you design a city for cars, it fails everyone, including drivers. ‘Including drivers’ is the most important part of that sentence. When you design a multi-modal city that makes walking, biking & transit enjoyable, it works better for everyone, including drivers.”
“We have more information & data about the ripple effects of #multimodalcities than ever before. What I know for sure is if you put in the infrastructure & do it right, you will get more people walking, biking, taking transit. But if you don’t, you won’t. It’s really simple.”
It’s not unique to Washington State, but the HUGE problem of liability/costs with condo developments in cities like #Spokane, leading to developers refusing to do condos, MUST be solved. Doing urban development with only rental is like swimming with 1 hand tied behind your back.

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More from @BrentToderian

May 11, 2018
#Vancouver’s temp modular housing proposals for the homeless have been controversial in some neighbourhoods. The latest proposal is on part of the Larwill parking lot downtown, in my neighbourhood. I fully support it, AND would like to also see lively uses around the entire edge.
Agreed. And since the @CityofVancouver is looking closely at the Larwill design for the modular housing portion of the parking lot, NOW is the time to do this too. I’ll be actively campaigning the city to take this seriously. cc @MayorGregor @VanRealDeal

Been championing this idea for years, inspired by #Portland — but with the @CityofVancouver’s intentions around modular housing for the homeless on a portion of the site, NOW’S the time to do it #Vancouver! cc @MayorGregor @VanRealDeal @DowntownCharles

Read 9 tweets
Jun 29, 2017
Any place can be transformed from a place for cars to a place for people. It takes vision & will. #Amsterdam 1976 vs 2017 via @amsterdamized
Amsterdam chose to give their streets to cars. Then they chose to take them back. There's nothing magical about #Amsterdam. They just chose.
Think your city doesn't have much in common with #Amsterdam? As city archive photos show, it used to.
HT @rwoudstra
Read 13 tweets

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