Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Urban renewal

Winter 2016

Call it the Urban Extension

The massive Oso landslide killed 43 people, caused extensive flooding, and destroyed a key highway north of Everett in 2014, pushing the communities of Arlington and Darrington to their breaking point.

For months, grieving residents and community leaders remained so immersed in the search and recovery demands that nearly everything else had to be put on hold. That’s why, when they were invited to participate in a national competition that could funnel up to $3 million or more toward desperately needed economic revitalization efforts, Arlington Mayor Barb Tolbert was practically on the verge of tears, again.

“It was this rare opportunity but we had no … » More …

Lisa Brown at WSU Spokane
Fall 2014

For the Health of a City

For decades the fifty acres at the bend of the Spokane River just east of downtown was a forgotten freight yard, a pocket of blight. Originally an industrial complex dotted with warehouses and laced with train tracks, the city made it a dumping ground for incinerator waste.

By the 1980s, Spokane was also in the weeds. The mining and timber industries that had built the city and sustained it for more than a century were collapsing. Commodity agriculture, the third leg of the city’s economic stool, wasn’t much better.

“This was having a terrible impact on our economy,” says Dave Clack, former chairman of Old … » More …