We have a tradition this time of year here at Strong Towns. We spend a couple of weeks reflecting on the year -- those weeks we've just finished -- and then a couple of weeks attending to other things. It's important for us as an organization to have this breather to take on some bigger projects, stuff that is tough to get to while also producing quality content.
It's also important for us personally -- both we here and you out there -- to take a break, slow things down and have some time to be thankful for everything. We have much to be thankful for.
The Strong Towns movement started seven years ago as a lonely blog sharing some fringe notions of how we could build a stronger country. This year we had over a million people read our stuff, we presented our message in person to over 10,000 people and I even got an invitation to share these ideas at the White House.
There is one central reason why that has happened: you. It is you who are here with us. You who share our stuff with others. You who support us financially and are helping us grow this movement. I'm keenly aware of the debt I owe you and I feel a deep obligation to all of you to continue on this path. The gift you've given this restless mind cannot be quantified.
We'll see you again on January 4, 2016.
The Best of 2015...
In this hard hitting four-part series, Chuck examines our dangerously designed roads which cause thousands of deaths every year. The series focuses, in particular, on the deaths of children along dangerous road corridors.
As we continue to slide into more difficult times, it is going to take people with very strong principles of peace and justice to help us find that that soft landing we need.
Planners should be the conservation biologists of the urban ecosystem.
Density is not our problem or our solution. Insolvency is our problem. Productive places are the solution.
What happens when you get rid of minimum parking requirements in a downtown district while also adding 4,500 people to the downtown?
The megaproject is the least-dumb idea that consensus provides.
Homelessness is an issue that we as Strong Towns advocates should care about. Put simply: your town is not strong if some of your residents lack homes. How can we get there in a practical and lasting manner?
We took a system where gentrification was a positive force for wealth creation among the underprivileged and, under the guise of improving their situation, changed the system in a way that now primarily benefits the wealthy, where it benefits anyone at all.
There’s a weird war raging these days between people who advocate urban living and folks who can’t stand to live in anything but a fully detached home. I always choose the thing in the middle. I’m a Main Street kind of guy.
While our modern stroad environments discourage children from walking to school, George is fighting back, and helping his daughters gain independence in the process.
The Iowa DOT Director acknowledges that we've built more highways and bridges than we will maintain. The system is going to shrink.
Our goal should not be to "get projects built" but to have a transportation funding system that makes our people, cities, states and country stronger. While new transportation funding is needed, more money without significant reform is worse than no funding at all.
Here are our top 3 memes from 2015, created by Matthias Leyrer.
This fall, Chuck was part of a debate with Randal O’Toole – the self-identified Antiplanner from the Cato Institute – in Lafayette, Louisiana. Here's the video and Chuck's reflections on the experience.
If you haven’t checked out our podcast yet, I can not recommend it highly enough. Here are some of my favorite episodes from 2015.
It is no longer acceptable to design our urban streets to forgive the mistakes of drivers. Our designs must forgive the mistakes of the most vulnerable: those outside of a vehicle.
The American transportation system is designed at every corner to favor the automobile, and it's a system that needs to end.
Andrew Price discusses the difference between "fine-grained" and "coarse-grained" urbanism.
Here are the top 4 books that Chuck read in 2015.
Our national transportation obsession has been about maximizing the amount that you can drive. We now need to focus on minimizing the amount you are forced to drive.
This summer, Gracen Johnson documented the absurd incidence of benches and other seating arrangements built where no one would ever want to use them, then she created a solution.