Download the Report

Download the Report

Cities across the country are starting to realize that the “big project” approach takes up too much staff time, wastes too much political energy and distracts too much from the basic needs of existing neighborhoods. Risky, low returning projects too often become expensive boondoggles that haunt a community for decades. Public officials everywhere are desperately seeking an alternative.

Neighborhoods First; A low risk, high return strategy for a better Brainerd is an example of how a community can grow stronger by making small, incremental investments over time. By observing how neighbors live their lives, by asking them where their daily struggles are, by getting out on the street and discovering what is actually going on, any local government can discern what their community’s pressing needs are. These projects are the high return investments and they are all around us.


A portfolio of incremental projects, each building on observed needs and past successes, is the basis of a solid, long term investment strategy for communities of any size. It is an approach that fits into every budget. It will empower a local government to move beyond the lack of ownership and control that comes with traditional grant programs. And most importantly, you can get started right now.

Take less risk and grow financially stronger all while directly serving the people already living and working in your city. That’s a Strong Towns approach.