Two pieces of somewhat hopeful news on urban redevelopment in Washington State.  First,  from today’s Post-Intelligencer: with the help of EPA grants, Seattle is cleaning up and redeveloping some contaminated urban sites to build new housing—including, apparently low-income and affordable housing units.  And in what seems to me to be a wise move, they’re involving community groups in the cleanup:

Making sure the cleanups are done right is also a concern for Yalonda Sinde, executive director of Community Coalition for Environmental Justice, a Seattle organization advocating for environmental protection in low-income and minority communities.

She’s pleased that in recent years more federal cleanup funding is going to non-profit community groups located in the areas where the projects are being done.

"We’re the ones that are impacted if it’s not dealt with correctly, so we’re going to advocate for the best cleanup," Sinde said.

And second, from the Spokane Journal of Business, an article on a proposed development—1,000 residences, plus commercial space and a public market, near downtown Spokane:

[The] project, on 90 vacant acres above the north bank of the Spokane River west of Monroe, will result in an influx of 2,000 or more residents who will live near Spokane’s heart, Johnson says. He says that Spokane’s downtown is largely empty after 6 p.m. each day, but bringing so many new residents so close to the downtown will bring new energy and economic opportunities to the city.

I have no idea what will come of these efforts.  But as Eric says, given that the alternative redeveloping already built-up areas is more sprawl at the urban fringe, more power to them!