Nearly every urban neighborhood in this country -- whether small town or big city -- has properties that could use a little love. This week at Strong Towns we're talking about the federal rules that have made that love difficult to find, tilting the playing field so that capital and expertise flow away from walkable, mixed use neighborhoods. Over eighty years of this distortion has created a lot of opportunity for Americans to make good, high-returning investments in our core cities and neighborhoods.

We need your help to show just how much potential is out there.

We all know that empty lot, that underutilized building, that is just waiting for the right person to come along and knit it back into the fabric of the neighborhood. Imagine that right person could actually get the financing -- that the rules weren't rigged against them -- and all they needed was your encouragement. This week, let's provide that encouragement.

Let's shine a huge spotlight on these spaces. They don't need expensive utilities, a new road or a tax subsidy. They just need a fair shake. 

HOW CAN I PARTICIPATE?

  • Get outside and take pictures of the vacant or underutilized properties in your town.
  • Upload your photos to Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #BuildHereNow
  • Bonus points if you include the location and a suggestion of what you would like to see built there. (Note that turning on location services will also greatly aid us in mapping out these posts all over the country.)

We'll keep a live stream at www.strongtowns.org/housing and, at the end of the week, we'll highlight the top photos from across the country.

If you have any questions about this competition, please contact Yuri Artibise, Strong Towns Community Builder, at yuri@strongtowns.org.