Strong Towns

The mission of Strong Towns is to support a model for growth that allows America's towns to become financially strong and self-sufficient.

The American approach to growth is causing economic stagnation and decline along with land use practices that force a dependency on public subsidies. The inefficiencies of the current approach have left American towns financially insolvent, unable to pay even the maintenance costs of their basic infrastructure. A new approach that accounts for the full cost of growth is needed to make our towns strong again.

The Strong Towns approach ultimately requires a reorientation of emphasis and a renewed understanding of what it takes to build a town or a neighborhood.

The current approach to growth emphasizes investments in new infrastructure to serve or induce new development. This approach uses public dollars inefficiently, destructively subsidizes one type of development over another and leaves massive maintenance liabilities to future generations. A Strong Town approach emphasizes obtaining a higher return on existing infrastructure investments. We can no longer simply disregard old investments in favor of new, but instead we need to focus on making better use of that which we are already committed to publicly maintain.

Sep 19
Friday News Digest : This Friday finds me, along with Jim Kumon and Gracen Johnson, in Ponderay, Idaho....
Strong Towns
Sep 18
Podcast Episode 190: Eric Jacobson : This week on the podcast features Eric Jacobson, author of The Space Between: A Christian Engagement with the Built Environment. Rev....
Strong Towns
Sep 18
The Case Against Historical Districts : I have noticed a trend in the United States, particularly for smaller towns and cities, to label their urban cores their 'historical town' or something similar....
Strong Towns
Sep 17
Roads and Debt : This essay was posted over on our local site, aBetterBrainerd.org.With all the talk of how to pay for a five year road plan, nobody seems to be willing to publicly acknowledge the obvious: Br...
Strong Towns
Sep 16
Auto oriented development is a huge experiment : The second of our new Curbside Chat series. If you'd like to learn more about the Curbside Chat, get involved in sharing the message or help us finish this video series, please visit www.CurbsideChat....
Strong Towns
Sep 15
Discussion Forum : As you are checking out the new website, there is one special place I want to direct you while I'm delivering an important message to our key supporters.We've really struggled with what to do for a di...
Strong Towns
Sep 15
Curbside Chat Trailer : We have been working on a series of videos breaking the Curbside Chat presentation into smaller bites for people. The first two of those were first shown publicly at the National Gathering....
Strong Towns
Sep 15
National Gathering : Updates from this incredible event to follow this week. Welcome to the new website....
Strong Towns
Sep 9
How To Justify Spending $8m On Something Nobody Wants : Imagine if the City of Minneapolis was given $8.7 million that could only be used on downtown pedestrian and/or transit projects. What would they do?...
Strong Towns
Sep 9
How to solve traffic jams : Embracing complexity can allow us to solve many problems, including traffic....
Strong Towns
Sep 9
Investing Cheap Money : How can we best invest cheap money?...
Strong Towns
Sep 8
Domain Dependence : You can now pre-order my next book – a Kindle ebook titled A World Class Transportation System – which will be released on October 7....
Strong Towns
Sep 5
Friday News Digest : Just one week until the start of the National Gathering. The excitement is building around here as we put the final details in place....
Strong Towns
Sep 5
Stroading in Utah : This one sent to us by Mike Hathorne is from Spanish Fork, Utah. This is the perfect stroading photo....
Strong Towns
Sep 4
Podcast Show 189: Designed to Decline : This week Chuck Marohn talks about how auto-oriented developments are designed to decline, an effect that we can see clearly in places like Ferguson, Missouri. Strong Towns Podcast - Designed to Decl...
Strong Towns
Sep 3
Countdown to the Gathering : I love this quote from Nate Hood in a posting he did on Streets.MN: Don’t expect to be sitting in a room watching PowerPoint presentations. You are the program....
Strong Towns
Sep 3
A wealth-creating pattern of development : In classical economics, there are three factors of production: land, labor, and capital....
Strong Towns
Sep 2
Who is Joe Minicozzi? : He can dazzle you, your boss, and your local governing board with his numbers. His tax analysis of comparing compact downtowns to urban sprawl is really awesome....
Strong Towns
Sep 2
Substitutes for Stucco : Try to imagine an entire faux main street/lifestyle center in which the store fronts jump up and down and in and out. Now imagine that every third store employs this veneer. ......
Strong Towns
Sep 2
Sheer Lunacy : Last Thursday I received this tweet out of the blue. I assume that this comes in response to our series on a World Class Transpotation System (soon to be reformatted, edited and re-released as an eboo...
Strong Towns
Aug 29
Friday News Digest : This, my friends, is the last Friday of summer. At least it is for our family....
Strong Towns
Aug 28
Dangerously Uninformed : I’ve often wondered about the actuarial approach used by auto insurance companies, but I’ve never had the data or specific insight to really question it....
Strong Towns
Aug 28
Podcast Show 188: Talking Cities : This episode was recorded at CNU 22 in Buffalo....
Strong Towns
Aug 27
On Traffic Engineers and Design Standards : The following was posted on Facebook this week by our friend, John Anderson....
Strong Towns
Aug 27
Plain old nice. The anti-claim to fame. : What is your hometown famous for?...
Strong Towns
Aug 26
OpenMic: What is a Strong Towns approach to transit? : At the National Gathering, we are planning a Burning Topics Forum where attendees will delve deeply into areas of thought and advocacy that don’t have a well-development set of Strong Towns principles...
Strong Towns
Aug 25
Member News Digest : One of the ways our members advocate for building strong towns is through their own blogging. Here’s some recent highlights from our Member Blog Roll....
Strong Towns
Aug 25
Stroad Nation : We can’t over-simplify the dynamics of all that has happened in Ferguson, but it’s obvious that our platform for building places is creating dynamics primed for social upheaval....
Strong Towns