Spencer Gardner has been writing for Strong Towns since 2016. He is a transportation planner based in Madison, WI, who spends his spare time chasing his children, riding bikes, doing hobbyist computer programming, and very occasionally writing about urban issues. You can read his thoughts about transportation at http://roadsarelike.tumblr.com.
A mechanistic approach to city problems exposes us to two harms: one is that we employ the wrong solutions. The other is that we actually make things worse.
To build strong towns, we need to adopt the ways of the ecologist, which involve far more observation and far less intervention than our current approaches to urban development.
The real impetus for the invention of zoning regulations was a desire to protect and enshrine the single-family home as the most virtuous and sacrosanct urban form.
With each new regulation, new justification for even more regulation tends to arise.
There’s probably no panacea for housing affordability. Here are 5 immutable laws of affordable housing that cities must recognize if they want to move forward. Plus 3 strategies for doing so.
These four steps will help you assess whether your town is a safe place for children to walk and bike on their own.
The task of moving from our bloated, modern zoning codes to ones that create Strong Towns is different from starting with a blank slate.
These low-cost strategies will make biking easier and safer in any community.
Like so much of our modern world, we seem to have boiled education down to a series of discrete inputs and outputs. This is convenient for making measurements, but I’m not convinced we have obtained any more wisdom about collectively raising productive, intelligent children in the last two centuries of public schools in the US than our distant ancestors.
What does Strong Towns have to do with Mormonism?
Zoning is often explicitly biased against renters. This creates challenges not only for the renting population, but also for small-scale developers who would like to build rental housing.
City-owned golf courses are no better than big box stores when it comes to tax revenue.