Welcome to Pioneer Press readers that are checking us out based on our mention in today's edition. You can read the entire posting that the Pioneer Press excerpted from by clicking here.
Our passion at the Strong Towns Blog is the development pattern of post-WW II America and how its massive inefficiencies now threaten America's prosperity. This topic is timely not only because of the dramatic recession we are now in, but because our governments at every level are faced with the same challenge: how to sustain our prosperity when the foundation of that prosperity - continued growth - is not financially sustainable.
America's current approach to growth emphasizes investments in new infrastructure to serve or induce new development. This approach uses public dollars inefficiently, destructively subsidizes one type of development over another and leaves massive maintenance liabilities to future generations.
A Strong Town approach emphasizes obtaining a higher return on existing infrastructure investments. We can no longer simply disregard old investments in favor of new, but we instead need to focus on making better use of that which we are already committed to publicly maintain.
The Strong Towns Blog publishes (at least) three days a week - Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We have a growing readership that is seeing the world around us through different eyes - those of a Strong Towns advocate. We invite you to join us and our mission to ensure a prosperous future for America by building Strong Towns.
For those that want to read more, here are some recent highlights from the Strong Towns Blog:
- The Cost of Development, Highway Edition Update - Reaction to Mn/DOT's announcement that it has $65 billion in needed transportation improvements and only $15 billion in funding.
- Subsidizing Inefficiency, Back to School Edition - How invisible subsidies enable an inefficient and costly development pattern.
- News Brief, Streets We Can't Afford - Analyzes an article in the Star Tribune about street funding in the small town of New Trier, a community that is a "canary in the mineshaft".
- Engineers Gone Wild - A posting about how federal subsidies combine with misapplied engineering standards to destroy neighborhoods, wasting millions of dollars in the process.
- Baxter and the Image of (fading) Middle Class Wealth - A posting in our Brainerd/Baxter Strong Town Series making the case that the City of Baxter's (MN) auto-oriented development pattern is inefficient and financially threatening to its continued prosperity.
- Your Real Second Mortgage - Puts the long-term maintenance costs of our development pattern in terms of a monthly payment per family.
- Understanding Downtown - Takes the planning profession to task for their obsession with "cute" downtowns while discussing what it takes to actually build places that are functional and financially viable.
- Brainerd's Parkway - Our most-read posting ever, this is another of our Brainerd/Baxter Strong Town Series. This one dissects the design problems with one of Brainerd's main traffic corridors and gives an alternative approach that provides a higher return on the public investment.
Also, we invite everyone to stop back tomorrow (Monday) for a major announcement on the future of the Strong Towns Blog.