The Week Ahead

The Week Ahead

The Week Ahead podcast is back after a few week's hiatus. Chuck and Rachel discuss the recent Big Box Stores campaign, Chuck's new house and recent events in Oswego, NY and Ontario.

4 Ways to Understand Walmart

4 Ways to Understand Walmart

We've written about Walmart a lot since the beginning of Strong Towns. Here are four of our best Walmart stories that will help you understand the risks, problems and failures of this megabusiness. 

Big Box Stores are Points of Social Leverage. We Should Harness Them.

Big Box Stores are Points of Social Leverage. We Should Harness Them.

The future of big box stores depends crucially on decisions and facts about land-use, environmental taxes, technology, and population migration trends. Specific stores will fail or thrive depending on the health and choices of the community within which they are embedded. 

Resilient Suburbia

Resilient Suburbia

Although it’s tempting to picture packing up and leaving suburbia to peacefully degrade, we shouldn’t. We'd be missing out on the unique opportunities it provides.

So Many Shoppers, So Much Unused Parking

So Many Shoppers, So Much Unused Parking

For years, we’ve been told that big box parking lots need to be large enough to accommodate peak parking demand. Yet even on the biggest shopping day of the year, I found oceans of empty asphalt.

Starting the next chapter in Detroit’s suburban story

Starting the next chapter in Detroit’s suburban story

While the landscape of Westland remains predominantly suburban, projects like this are steps toward upcycling and intensifying obsolete developments: an important shift from our historical habits of build-and-abandon.

Trader Joe's: Worth the Hype?

Trader Joe's: Worth the Hype?

How does a store with a small footprint, few choices and well-paid employees attract so many enthusiastic customers and sell twice as much per square foot as Whole Foods?

Letting go of Suburbia

Letting go of Suburbia

Suburbia cannot and will not be retrofitted to a substantially different model of development. But a small portion may be salvageable.

Thinking Outside the Big Box

Thinking Outside the Big Box

Great design can meet multiple interests. That was the case for this urban big box store which balanced the needs of a large-scale retailer with the surrounding walkable, mixed-use neighborhood.

Big Boxing the City

Big Boxing the City

Let's take a look at how big-box stores have adapted to the urban environment of New York City.

The Future of Big Box

The Future of Big Box

Building after massive building now sit empty in towns across America. Yours is up next.

Big Box Stores in the Nutmeg State

Big Box Stores in the Nutmeg State

The vast majority of suburban big box stores are not going to be retrofitted. They’re simply too far from anything of note and littered in unproductive locations across the country. But there may be a few exceptions...