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.

Oct 1
National Gathering: Hans Noeldner : For those of you looking for some inspiration on the first Strong Citizen Challenge, here's Hans Noeldner from the National Gathering....
Strong Towns
Oct 1
Announcement: Board of Directors : Starting a non-profit back in 2009 meant assembling a board of directors. The first Strong Towns board was myself, Jon Commers and a colleague of mine, Ben Oleson....
Strong Towns
Sep 30
Subsidiarity : The concept of subsidiarity can be a loaded one, but I thought this video was so good that I needed to share it....
Strong Towns
Sep 30
Strong Citizens Challenge: Walk to the Grocery Store : At the national gathering we talked about the potential for undertaking personal “Strong Citizen” challenges as a way of growing our own ideas and spreading the movement.There were many differ...
Strong Towns
Sep 29
Waiting for a solution : We are in uncharted waters with more questions than answers....
Strong Towns
Sep 26
Friday News Digest : Travel season is back in full swing here, the long summer months of thinking, writing and spending time with family now replaced by airline queues, hotel rooms and road trips....
Strong Towns
Sep 25
Podcast Show 191: Jim Kunstler : Our friend Jim Kunstler joins the podcast this week to talk about his latest book, A History of the Future, the latest in his World Made by Hand series. You can get a copy of the boo...
Strong Towns
Sep 24
A few of my best friends : Taken at the National Gathering....
Strong Towns
Sep 24
More city-builders please! : I want to live in a place built by legions of underemployed urbanists. Just imagine if your city was built by thousands of small scale developers making an investment they cared about....
Strong Towns
Sep 23
National Gathering: Max Musicant : One of the best parts of the National Gathering was the Pecha Kucha presentations Friday night. We opened up the floor to whoever had something to bring and people brought it....
Strong Towns
Sep 23
SID.tv Episode 60: Rural Stroad : A stroad in rural Idaho is both dangerous and expensive. The steps to fix it are simple to understand, but sometimes difficult to do....
Strong Towns
Sep 22
Strong Towns takes (on) Transit : Strong Towns is hosting a discussion at Piazza on the Mall next to the Westminster Presbyterian Church, between 12th and 13th streets on Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis on Tuesday September...
Strong Towns
Sep 22
Staying Strong : I began this blog back in 2008 at the end of an election season that I found particularly disheartening....
Strong Towns
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