Daniel Herriges serves as Content Manager for Strong Towns, and has been a regular contributor since 2015. He is also a founding member of the organization. Daniel has a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Minnesota. His obsession with maps began before he could read. His budding environmentalism can be traced back to age 4, when he yelled at his parents for stepping on weeds growing in sidewalk cracks. His love of great urban design and human-scaled, livable places has also been lifelong. Daniel has a B.A. from Stanford University in Human Biology with a concentration in Conservation and Sustainable Development. After college, he worked as an environmental activist for several years, in support of indigenous people's rights and conservation in the Amazon rainforest. He can often be found hiking or cycling. Daniel is from St. Paul, Minnesota.
“There’s no parking around there!” How to hit the streets and collect the data yourself, and figure out whether your neighborhood actually has a parking shortage—or, more likely, an excess.
There are a lot of worthy movements and organizations that want your time, energy, and money. Here are some things that set Strong Towns apart.
Two recent articles illuminate a troubling trend toward locking ride-share, bike-share and scooter users onto proprietary platforms, making it harder to plan trips that could really free us from car-dependence.
Most cities’ zoning and development regulations obsess over things that are easy to measure, like building height and density, at the expense of the things that actually determine whether we’re building quality places.
Forget Barbie. What does the Millennial Dream House look like?
Local advocates who are at each others’ throats often have legitimate, but conflicting, aims. Talking about the trade-offs involved isn’t going to make us all start agreeing with each other. But it might make our disagreements more productive.
Want to do the kind of value-per-acre analysis that you’ve seen on Strong Towns before, but don’t think of yourself as a data wizard? Here’s a step by step guide for beginners.
When we obsess over the speed of travel—whether in our cars or on public transit—we’re missing the point of transportation. It’s not about how far you can get in a given time: it’s what you can get to.
The New York Times has released an interactive map of (nearly) every building in America. What can we learn from it about America’s suburban experiment, through the marks it has left on the landscape?
A proposed bill in Washington State would require cities to allow a minimum housing density near transit stations. It is a well-intentioned response to a very real problem, but its one-size-fits-all nature risks unintended consequences.
A nonprofit placemaking organization is bringing events, parks, public art and more to downtown Fort Smith, Arkansas, one playful experiment at a time.
A pilot project in Denver aims to help low-income homeowners add accessory dwelling units to their property. If it succeeds, it will help people remain in their communities, build wealth, and deliver affordable homes to a new generation of neighbors.
Collin County, Texas officials claim they need $12.6 billion for new roads in the next 30 years, and none of it for maintenance of what they’ve already built. That way lies madness.
Can a master-planned community be consistent with Strong Towns principles of iterative, bottom-up placemaking? We take a tour of Serenbe, Georgia, an experiment in New Urbanism and eco-conscious living on the far outskirts of Atlanta.
Akron, Ohio is tackling its stroad problem, one oversized boulevard at a time. “Right-sizing” this neighborhood main street will make it safer and more inviting and hospitable for small businesses.
Austin’s CodeNEXT process, a dramatic overhaul of the city’s zoning code, tried to placate multiple constituencies with a “grand bargain.” The result was a draft code that satisified almost no one and failed to solve the city’s housing and growth challenges.
Using tax incentives to subsidize retail is a lose-lose game that St. Louis's suburbs, desperate for short-term revenue, have been playing for too long. University City is mortgaging its future and selling out its small businesses with a $70 million subsidy for big-box development.
Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are a quintessentially Strong Towns approach to urban growth and affordability issues: bottom-up, decentralized, incremental, scalable and adaptable. Unfortunately, a litany of restrictions often makes them an unappealing option even where allowed.
If your growth strategy only works as long as wealthy people live in your town, your growth strategy is deeply fragile.
The belief that we’re going to radically transform our cities from the top down defies reality. Despite widespread anxiety about urban growth and change, the vast majority of places aren’t changing very much at all.
Texas has a history of aggressively using tax incentives to lure big business: a misguided economic development approach that produces little if any public benefit. Dallas’s bid for Amazon’s second headquarters falls right in line with this unfortunate pattern.
Development impact fees are supposed to “make development pay its own way.” But if your development pattern is fundamentally unproductive, they don’t. They’re a one-time cash hit in exchange for taking on a permanent liability.
Two large development projects currently working their way through the public engagement and approvals process illustrate why suburban retrofit is a really tough proposition to stake our future on.
Is it magical thinking to expect the transition from car-dependent to walkable places to happen organically? When, and how, do we need a catalyst to jump-start that process?
Cobb County, Georgia, has long been all-in on debt-fueled, unsustainable growth, and faces a tough road ahead as poverty grows and its ability to provide services declines. What are some rational responses to this predicament?
Homeownership is supposed to be the path to wealth and a comfortable retirement, but for millions of Americans, it never was. One central reason is that we’ve embraced a development pattern in which new places cannibalize the wealth of old places.
Those who benefit from an investment should pay for it. If they're unwilling to pay what it actually costs, it's a good sign that the project should never have happened in the first place.
One of the best ways to deeply understand the place you live is to slow down—way down—the way you get around it.
"Developers in my city are only building luxury housing. They're not building anything that ordinary people can afford." If you’ve said this lately, or heard someone else say it, here are five possible reasons why.
If you're talking about growth, decline or gentrification and you're not talking about the motivations of residents, newcomers, developers, and everyone else… you've already misunderstood the problem.