Rachel Quednau serves as Communications Director for Strong Towns and has been a regular contributor and podcast host for Strong Towns since 2015. Rachel is a Midwesterner currently living in Milwaukee, WI. Previously, she worked for several organizations fighting to end homelessness at the federal and local levels. She draws from her experiences living in New York City, Washington, DC, Walla Walla, WA and Minneapolis, MN to help her build better places wherever she is. You can find her musings on Twitter @rquednau. One of her favorite ways to get to know a new city is by going for a run in it.
Got a press inquiry for Strong Towns? Please email Rachel.
A new housing program in Milwaukee, WI tries to get foreclosed homes quickly rehabbed—and loses something in the process.
The perspective of renters is often ignored in neighborhood decision-making. Here are some ideas for how to change that.
During this snowy season, it is very easy to figure out who your attentive and caring neighbors are: They're the people who shovel.
Do car drivers have to pull up to each intersection, lean out their window and push a button in order to get a green light? No.
Entrepreneurship is a hot word these days. Lots of towns say they would like to attract more entrepreneurs and grow their small business communities. But how do you do it?
This year's #BlackFridayParking event was a success! Here are some stats and favorite posts from the event.
One year ago, we released a crowdsourced map tracking decreases in parking minimums across the country as part of #BlackFridayParking. Today we're sharing an update.
Two stories from Canada and Indiana show how decreases in parking minimums can be achieved and give us an idea of the results these decreases have.
Whether you're a city staffer, nonprofit leader or just a strong citizen who cares, there's something you can do to advocate for an end to parking minimums in your town.
We recently received an email saying: "If Strong Towns were engaged in saving my state, membership would make sense. As it is, I fight the battle alone." Today, we're making a strong case for why that misconception is wrong.
If we’re going to be critical of road projects that spend billions in taxpayer dollars, we have to also be critical of transit projects that do the same. We can build good public transit in our towns, but it will require a realistic mindset.
This Halloween, we invite you to take an observational walking tour of sorts, using the holiday as an opportunity to consider walkability and street design in your town.
How can we nudge towns to start becoming more people-oriented, and safe for all modes, ages, and abilities?
Keith Laughlin, president of Rails to Trails, talks about how his organization is creatively improving bikeability in towns across the country.
Recent data shows that a road diet in Los Angeles was successful in decreasing speeds and crashes while maintaining a consistent traffic volume. That may not come as a surprise to Strong Towns readers, but it did to the many critics and naysayers in the neighborhood.
Evicted is a powerful book with important lessons for those who design, govern and live in American cities and towns.
"There are simple things we could do to make this place great, and I think that’s what really fires me up."
The challenge of improving the American public school system is enormous and complex. It's a conversation we need to keep having.
In college, the action—whether a campus job, the library, the cafeteria or all your best friends—was within a 10 minute walk of your house. There's no reason that experience has to be confined to a four-year period of life, no reason it has to cost tens of thousands of dollars in annual tuition to partake in.
A Raleigh home on a high-speed stroad has been hit by 6 different cars in the past nine years. This is a direct example of the way that street design can quite literally decrease the value of our places.
Even in a struggling town, there is huge momentum to make it stronger. Here are three stories that gave me hope during a recent Strong Towns event in Rockford.
The city of Boston just reduced its default speed limit. That's good news, but it's only a band-aid solution.
Corner stores offer convenience, familiarity, and a small business opportunity in a hyper-local setting. But they're a rare commodity.
Suburbia is a massive experiment, and millions of Americans are finding out that it doesn’t work.
The deck is stacked against suburban residents trying to make it out of poverty and the current network of nonprofit and government-based service agencies is not set up to help them.
The spectre of poverty haunts hundreds of American suburbs and effects millions of Americans. Let's take a look at the data behind suburban poverty: its causes, impacts and current trends.
This year I started my first (micro) garden. It's been an enjoyable experiment for reasons I didn’t even expect, which reach far beyond the food I produced.
This is a home and a destination, not a place to pass through quickly on your way to somewhere else. The streets should be designed to reflect that.
Mayor Steve Arnold of Fitchburg, WI is a Strong Towns member who is asking the hard questions about road funding and exposing the Growth Ponzi Scheme in his town. Unsurprisingly, it's a contentious conversation.
There are a multitude of reasons why someone might want to be in a park after dark, and most of them are completely safe and reasonable. So why are most parks technically "closed" at night?