Baltimore, MD: Old Goucher Neighborhood

Strong Towns will participate in two events hosted by Old Goucher neighborhood of Baltimore, MD. 

Sunday, September 23rd, 7pm: Screening of Owned: A Tale of Two Americas

Seventh Metro Church Chapel
30 East North Avenue
Baltimore, MD

Join the Old Goucher Community Association for a screening of Owned, a new documentary featuring Strong Towns president Chuck Marohn. $5 suggested donation.

The United States’ postwar housing policy created the world’s largest middle class. It also set America on two divergent paths—one of imagined wealth, propped up by speculation and endless booms-and-busts, and the other in systematically defunded, segregated communities, where the American dream feels hopelessly out of reach. Some ten years after the last housing collapse and well into a perceived upswing, the election of Donald Trump and urban uprisings in places like Baltimore suggest that there’s a far more fundamental problem with housing policy in America. And we haven’t even begun to recover.

Owned is a incisive look into the dark history behind the US housing economy. Tracking its overtly racist beginnings to its unbridled commodification, the documentary exposes a foundational story few Americans understand as their own. Through the stories of a retired New York City cop, an eccentric Orange County realtor, and an aspiring real estate developer in Baltimore, Owned explores the promise of postwar housing policies, the systematic oppression in America’s “Chocolate Cities,” and the communities they have created. The film suggests that ultimately, these communities have more in common than they might suspect.

Monday, September 24th at 7pm: The Curbside Chat

Lovely Lane Methodist Church
2200 St. Paul Street
Baltimore, MD 21218

Join the Old Goucher Community Association and Strong Towns President Chuck Marohn for the cornerstone Strong Towns presentation, the Curbside Chat.

Extreme income inequality, deteriorating infrastructure, institutional paralysis, political conflict:  with these looming problems as a backdrop can we, as a city, develop a positive, unified vision for the future of Baltimore—a vision that includes all our citizens?

Popular proposals for remaking the city—large in scale, costly, heavily subsidized—have exacerbated, rather than ameliorated, these problems, while burdening future generations with excessive financial and maintenance obligations, diminishing rather than enhancing opportunity and well-being for the majority of the inhabitants of our city.

There is another way.   Charles “Chuck” Marohn, a civil engineer, licensed planner and founder and president of the Strong Towns organization, proposes that we change the way we see our towns and cities.  Rather than betting everything on mega-projects, or mega-corporations, that bring the illusion of prosperity, start instead from the ground up - building local businesses and supporting our existing communities through small-scale, low-cost and high-value incremental changes and strategic investments.   This “Neighborhoods First” approach was how towns and cities throughout the U.S. grew and thrived in previous eras and laid the groundwork for the unprecedented prosperity that we enjoyed in the latter decades of the 20th century.  

As Chuck is quick to point out, there are no “silver bullets” that can solve the challenges that Baltimore, and other cities throughout the United States, face.  But there are tools and approaches to building Strong Towns that have worked in the past and continue to produce the economic and civic vitality that Baltimore needs in the face of an uncertain future.

Join us for a presentation and lively discussion with Chuck Marohn, as he describes the host of challenges faced by cities and towns throughout the U.S., and find out about the growing movement of individuals dedicated to creating Strong Towns.

Suggested $5 donation to OGCA; please register below. 

**Note: The member meet up previously scheduled for September 24th at 9pm has been cancelled.**

Top photo via Creative Commons.