Johnny Sanphillippo has been a regular contributor for Strong Towns since 2014. He is an amateur architecture buff with a passionate interest in where and how we all live and occupy the landscape, from small rural towns to skyscrapers and everything in between. He travels often, conducts interviews with people of interest, and gathers photos and video of places worth talking about (which he often shares on Strong Towns). Johnny writes for Strong Towns, and his blog, Granola Shotgun.
PODCASTS Johnny IS FEATURED IN:
We’ve built too much of the wrong stuff in the wrong places and market demand may never catch up or reinvent these landscapes.
This video of Mississauga, ON shows us that density will not save the suburbs.
Last year I bought a $15,000 uninhabitable shack in Cincinnati, Ohio, hoping to renovate it into a nice two-story duplex for renters. Here's what went wrong.
Attempts to upgrade public transit by the central authorities in Los Angeles have been fought tooth and nail by residents, and illustrate why transit just doesn’t work when the local culture doesn’t want it.
There’s just no reason why a four-year college degree should cost anything like what it does. Here's a different model.
When you're faced with the choice of living in an urban neighborhood with "poor" schools, or a suburban neighborhood with "good" schools, you find a work around. That's what these entrepreneurial spirits did in San Francisco.
Does anyone think the folks in the $700,000 suburban homes would be living there in anything like their current circumstances if they had to pave their own roads and pump water up to their own homes? Does anyone believe these homes would be worth $700,000 without the heavily subsidized public infrastructure?
A new community center could've fallen victim to the typical auto-oriented public project pitfalls. Instead, local designers created a walkable, bikeable neighborhood amenity that is spurring fresh development.
Our de facto national housing policy of drive-till-you-qualify suburban development works well enough for people with an education and a professional salary. It fails the working class entirely and that’s by design.
Yes, many thriving places have attractive lawn furniture, tasteful signage, and abundant flowers. But adding those items to a place with fundamental flaws is just lipstick on a pig.
Toms River, NJ was built as a collection of convenient commodities and it will be discarded once it exceeds its usefulness.
Building after massive building now sit empty in towns across America. Yours is up next.
Strong Towns contributor, Johnny Sanphillippo kicks off our Antrifragile book club week with this critique of the antifragile concept and commentary on the challenges of actually implementing it
Do we want to make life easy on the experts, or make Detroit a better place that can also pay its bills?
My attempts to build a tiny home have been thwarted by a hostile regulatory environment at every turn. So here's what I did instead.
There’s a lot of talk these days about how Texas is the new California, but you need to take that concept with a grain of salt. It’s a short term phenomenon.
Neither raw commerce nor government bureaucracies can ever deliver the same quality results as a close-knit subculture. This is quite evident in the community kitchens of the Sikhs.
We need to read all of Jacobs’ books in order to put her more popular work into a larger perspective.
What we’re witnessing isn’t a modern aberration of multi-story buildings being imposed on the traditional city. It’s actually a return to the historic pattern after an odd twentieth century hiatus.
I have a unique perspective on the topic of the working class, the poor, and the homeless. It isn’t an abstraction for me. I experienced these things directly in my own life.
How exactly do you live a normal mainstream life in a way that also happens to allow you to ride out an unexpected storm – be it natural, economic, medical, or political?
For those of you who expect to be sitting in your own personal car being whisked around in effortless comfort and privacy as you commute to distant suburban locations… Not quite.
Andrew Price and Johnny Sanphillippo host today's slackchats.
Walking away from a neighborhood is seen as a harmless passive act. Moving in is viewed as an act of aggression and displacement.
The low density auto-dependent development pattern will persist for a few more decades. So will hyper dense concentrated city centers. And then both will decline as they become overwhelmed by multiple physical, economic, and political constraints.
I have a lot of conversations with people about the challenge of improving public schools, building affordable housing, and more. But the truth is, we as a society don’t want to solve these problems. So we won’t.
Are the suburbs the new frontier for artists, musicians and other countercultural communities?
What will happen to stagnant, poorly aging neighborhoods that are neither verdant and exclusive like the most desirable suburbs, nor vibrant and urbane like rapidly gentrifying city centers? They might actually be a sweet spot at an affordable price.
What does the actual global middle class looks like? Take all 7.3 billion people on the planet and line them up according to material wealth like a statistician. Then look toward the center.
There’s a weird war raging these days between people who advocate high rise living in the urban core and folks who can’t stand to live in anything but a fully detached home on a quarter acre lot. I always choose the thing in the middle. I’m a Main Street kind of guy.