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.

05:00 AM
Podcast Show 171: Kristin Green of Verdunity : We are really proud to be associated with some amazing people who are working hard to advance the principles of Strong Towns in their chosen profession....
Strong Towns
Apr 16
Prosperity means places : More beautiful work from Strong Towns contributor Gracen Johnson of Another Place for Me. Prosperity means places. from Gracen Johnson on Vimeo.  ...
Strong Towns
Apr 16
Beyond Complete Streets Tomorrow : One last reminder that tomorrow is our member webinar, Beyond Complete Streets. You can click here to register. Complete Streets is a rational response to an irrational world, but is it enough?...
Strong Towns
Apr 16
The Problem with Sales Tax : The primary job of a city government is to support the things which build wealth and create prosperity within their community....
Strong Towns
Apr 15
Ask Strong Towns, Question #2 : 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....
Strong Towns
Apr 15
Support CRAP : Last week I was alerted to a new organization, Citizens for Roads, Asphalt and Parking, through the Facebook feed of the transportation advocacy coalition MoveMN....
Strong Towns
Apr 14
Buffalo Boot Camp : As we plan to kick off the first Strong Towns Boot Camp next week in Memphis, we are really proud to announce a second, smaller Boot Camp we are going to be holding in Buffalo just prior to CNU 22....
Strong Towns
Apr 14
Stupid is as Stupid does : There are a lot of cities out there – a lot of staff members and a lot of elected officials – that would like to make changes in the direction their city is heading....
Strong Towns
Apr 11
Friday News Digest : Our Executive Director, Jim Kumon, has been up in Brainerd the past two days and last night, instead of working on the News Digest, he and Justin and I opted to take in the late showing of Captain Ame...
Strong Towns
Apr 10
Podcast Show 170: Julie Flynn : This week Julie Flynn of the Street Plans Collaborative joins Chuck Marohn to talk about her latest publication, Mercado: Lessons from 20 Markets Across South America....
Strong Towns
Apr 9
CNU 22 Preview : What an honor to be leading off this promo video for CNU 22. I'm very excited for Buffalo....
Strong Towns
Apr 9
Shooting yourself in the foot (and not knowing it) : “It’s like building a Vikings’ stadium in a single season,” said State Transportation Commissioner Charlie Zelle....
Strong Towns
Apr 8
Reminder: Beyond Complete Streets Web Event : Complete Streets is a rational response to an irrational world, but is it enough? Should we be satisfied building places for automobiles that now also accommodate people as an afterthought?...
Strong Towns
Apr 8
Ask Strong Towns, Question #1 : We invite our members to submit their questions. We’ll give you a Strong Towns answer or find an expert who can....
Strong Towns
Apr 8
Guest SID.tv: Shipping Container Home : Once again, many thanks to our good friend Johnny Sanphillippo for this excellent video. Enjoy!...
Strong Towns
Apr 7
Living in communion : Church leaders around the country should be doing everything they can to reconnect the social bonds of our communities....
Strong Towns
Apr 4
Friday News Digest : Baseball season opened Monday and Justin and I relocated the office Monday afternoon to catch the game. Let’s just say it might be a rough year to be a Twins fan....
Strong Towns
Apr 3
Memphis Boot Camp : Decades of sprawl.  Burdensome regulations that discourage investment in historic, neighborhoods....
Strong Towns
Apr 3
Are you an independent business in Minnesota? : On May 9, Executive Director Jim Kumon will speak on a panel at the national conference for the American Independent Business Association being held in downtown Minneapolis....
Strong Towns
Apr 3
Podcast Show 169: Mike Lydon : Mike Lydon of Street Plans Collaborative talks about his Tactical Urbanism, his unique career path and what life is like on a bike in New York City....
Strong Towns
Apr 2
A Calling for the Built Environment : We have the fortune to be engaged by a wide variety of people who all arrive at the need to build Strong Towns from different points of departure....
Strong Towns
Apr 2
Flash Boys : Monday I received an unexpected gift: a brand new Michael Lewis book on a topic I’ve been obsessing on for quite a while now. If you are not already a member of Strong Towns, you really need to be...
Strong Towns
Apr 1
Ask Strong Towns : One of the things we wanted to set up for our members is a priority way to ask a question and get it answered by Chuck Marohn, Jim Kumon or one of our Strong Towns Fellows. Chuck and Jim get a lot of...
Strong Towns
Apr 1
Beyond Complete Streets : Complete Streets is a rational response to an irrational world, but is it enough? Should we be satisfied building places for automobiles that now also accommodate people as an afterthought?...
Strong Towns
Apr 1
Guest SID.tv: Granary Row, Salt Lake City : Many thanks to our good friend Johnny Sanphillippo for this excellent video. Enjoy!...
Strong Towns
Mar 31
The Lexus Lane : I penned an opinion piece in the Minnesota Daily about congestion pricing back when I was an undergraduate in civil engineering school....
Strong Towns
Mar 28
Friday News Digest : It has been far too long, I know, since the last news digest. My apologies to our loyal Friday readers....
Strong Towns
Mar 27
Thursday Update : Wanted to update everyone real quickly on the work we did this past weekend on the member site....
Strong Towns
Mar 27
Podcast Show 168: Marohn on Transportation : Andrew Burleson interviews our own Chuck Marohn in studio on transportation and how we transition from a system that emphasizes building new to one that maintains key systems over time....
Strong Towns
Mar 26
Podcast Show 167: Catching up with Chuck : Andrew Burleson visits Brainerd and sits down in studio to interview Chuck Marohn and find out where he's been (and where the Strong Towns podcast has been)....
Strong Towns
Mar 26
Day 6: A World Class Transportation System : A World Class Transportation System Day 1: Reframing the debate Day 2: Why we are perpetually short of money Day 2 (supplement): More detailed charts Day 3: Operating principles for a funding s...
Strong Towns
Mar 26
Golly, I wish I had a smaller house. : If I'm ever going to buy a house, it'll be a small house and I won't settle for anything more. But where would we put our small house?...
Strong Towns
Mar 25
What can I do to build Strong Towns? : If you listen to the Strong Towns Podcast you’ll hear us sign-off each episode with the phrase, “Keep doing what you can do build Strong Towns.” This has been the idea from the beginning, we’re all wo...
Strong Towns
Mar 25
Day 5: A World Class Transportation System : The advocacy coalition Move MN is proposing a tax on wholesale gasoline as a stealth way to put a little bit more money into extending Minnesota’s current approach to funding transportation....
Strong Towns
Mar 24
Schedule Update : Strong Towns Advocates, I spent the week last week doing a series of workshops and Curbside Chat presentations in Florida then got off the plane Friday and immediately began work on an overhaul of the...
Strong Towns