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Brent Toderian @BrentToderian
, 14 tweets, 14 min read Read on Twitter
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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