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.

11:00 AM
Lean and Agile Procurement: Making the Most of Taxpayer Investment : Innovators in the Smart Growth and New Urbanist world are successfully chipping away entrenched standards that, for far too long, have dictated inefficient, unsightly community design....
Strong Towns
05:00 AM
Some perspective on the gas tax : The federal highway trust fund is going broke, one of those long-known realities that is finally starting to sink in among the official nattering nabobs....
Strong Towns
Jul 23
National Gathering Update : Registration is now open to our members for the 2014 National Gathering in Minneapolis, September 12-14, 2014. CLICK HERE TO RESERVE YOUR SPOT AT THE STRONG TOWNS NATIONAL GATHERING Last week we annou...
Strong Towns
Jul 23
The Monkey Parking Arbitrage : I’m rooting for Monkey Parking in this one. If you believe our cities have too many parking lots and not enough productive space, you should be too....
Strong Towns
Jul 22
The cost of auto orientation, update : Instead of devaluing our city, instead of spending our money on things that aren’t paying back, there are a ton of small, affordable things that could be done to improve the value of our asset that ar...
Strong Towns
Jul 21
LeBron James signs on to Team Strong Towns : LeBron James made world headlines this month when he explained, “My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball,” and announced his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. I got goosebumps....
Strong Towns
Jul 18
Friday News Digest : Welcome to the Friday News Digest.  I’m not exactly sure where the president and founder of Strong Towns ran off to; but according to his calendar he is on “vacation” until Tuesday....
Strong Towns
Jul 17
I'm sick of lame : First, we need a lot more nit picking. It is attention to this kind of details, stuff that isn’t expensive to do right but is simply horrible when done wrong, that separates good places from great....
Strong Towns
Jul 17
Podcast Show 182: CNU NextGen Roundtable : This, our last podcast from CNU 22 in Buffalo, is the NextGen Roundtable, a discussion that began with Chuck Marohn and Gracen Johnson and went in all sorts of crazy directions. ...
Strong Towns
Jul 17
Your money or your life : I want to take a moment draw your attention to the debate over transportation funding currently going on in Missouri....
Strong Towns
Jul 16
Monte Anderson to Keynote National Gathering : Strong Towns is proud to announce that Monte Anderson, President of Options Real Estate, will keynote the Strong Towns National Gathering September 12-14 in Minneapolis....
Strong Towns
Jul 16
Density Without Zoning : We left off my series about zoning with Car Dependent By Design, and in this post I will be talking about density without zoning....
Strong Towns
Jul 15
More on risk compensation : Building complex streets with the design features of roads – one version of what we call a stroad – is generally done by the engineer for safety reasons....
Strong Towns
Jul 15
Civic Center Drive Crossing : Guerrilla gardening. Pavement-to-parks. Open streets....
Strong Towns
Jul 14
Texting in your risk gap : Texting while driving is a very real problem....
Strong Towns
Jul 11
Friday News Digest : Those of you that have been here a while know that I enjoy going to the movies, especially action flicks. Justin and I caught the late showing of Planet of the Apes in 3D last night – loved it!...
Strong Towns
Jul 10
National Gathering Registration : Registration is now open to our members for the 2014 National Gathering in Minneapolis, September 12-14, 2014....
Strong Towns
Jul 10
Fiscal Impacts of Residential Growth : Jeff Larson recently received his Master’s Degree in City & Metropolitan Planning from the University of Utah. This essay is a summary of his research....
Strong Towns
Jul 10
Podcast Show 181: Peatonito and John Yung : This week’s podcast is a double header starting with the first super hero ever to appear on a Strong Towns Podcast (still waiting on Cap’n Transit), the Mexican pedestrian advocate Peatonito....
Strong Towns
Jul 9
Five to Three : The most successful small towns are the ones that can see beyond their borders, understand how the world is changing and position themselves for that change....
Strong Towns
Jul 8
So American : When what we've been doing clearly isn't working, counter-intuitive might be our best option. And that option is making our spaces unsafe so we can make them safe....
Strong Towns
Jul 8
A look in the mirror : "An aging society with rising expectations, burdened with rates of chronic diseases exacerbated by sedentary lifestyles, will probably divert spending from both military development and the economic g...
Strong Towns
Jul 8
Arriving home to change : We asked a lot of Gracen Johnson this spring and had her on the road for weeks....
Strong Towns
Jul 7
#50byFriday Thank You : The final tally for our #50byFriday membership drive was a stellar 56 new members. You are all awesome. Thank you so much for being part of what we do....
Strong Towns
Jul 7
Accelerated Crash Course : Amid 4th of July festivities, yard work and an evening concert in the park, I spent the bulk of this past three day weekend working on a special project....
Strong Towns
Jul 3
What Influence Does Population Density Have on Neighborhood Improvement? : Data from the Cleveland Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank shows that a poor neighborhood’s income growth, while affected by internal factors, is also highly influenced by its surrounding metropolitan...
Strong Towns
Jul 3
Ben Hamilton-Baillie on Shared Space : Here is the best presentation from CNU 22, a must watch and a must-share with everyone you know who is involved in building and designing cities....
Strong Towns
Jul 3
Podcast Show 180: John Anderson : John Anderson of Anderson|Kim Architecture and Urban Design joins the podcast this week to talk about development in a post-easy money world....
Strong Towns
Jul 2
National Gathering Registration Now Open : Registration is now open to our members for the 2014 National Gathering in Minneapolis, September 12-14, 2014. CLICK HERE TO RESERVE YOUR SPOT AT THE STRONG TOWNS NATIONAL GATHERING This is not a conf...
Strong Towns
Jul 2
Follow the Money : So the question really is, are the state/federal taxpayers going to subsidize their roadway or are rest of the county’s residents going to?...
Strong Towns
Jul 2
New Rules : How shall we regulate land? Should we?...
Strong Towns
Jul 1
Ask Strong Towns, Question #8 : We invite our members to submit their questions on anything that they would like our thoughts on. We’ll give you a Strong Towns answer or find an expert who can. This week, Rick S....
Strong Towns
Jul 1
The L.A. Ecovillage : Strong Towns contributor Johnny Sanphillippo films stories about urbanism, adaptation, and resilience for granolashotgun.com. His videos are edited by Kirsten Dirksen of Faircompanies.com....
Strong Towns
Jun 30
Local Government Sales Tax : Unless you are a modern day Istanbul and sit at the crossroads of trade and commerce with the ability to skim margins off the goods flowing through your community, why would a city rely heavily on the...
Strong Towns
Jun 27
Friday News Digest : A special thank you to everyone who became a member of Strong Towns this week. I knew you would pull through for us. It means so much....
Strong Towns
Jun 27
The Push for 50 : I feel a little guilty. The Friday News Digest is done and ready to go but I’m holding it hostage, in a way, to see if we can get across the threshold on our #50byFriday membership drive....
Strong Towns