Strong Towns and the Antiplanner, Randal O'Toole

Last month we wrote a post about planning critic Randal O'Toole. We were generally kind to Mr. O'Toole and heaped praise on many of the arguments that he had presented on a podcast from the CATO Institute, where he is a Senior Fellow. We did take issue with a few of his contentions, particularly regarding the development pattern preferred by Americans and whether we could afford it long-term.

We have always believed it respectful to notify someone if we have written about them, especially when our words are critical. In this instance, I sent a brief note to Mr. O'Toole and was surprised to hear back from him immediately. He was kind in his critique of our posting and offered some thoughts of his own in the comments section.

This exchange of ideas has blossomed into a series of joint discussions that we are going to begin today. What will immediately follow this posting is a post from Randal O'Toole on the topic of "Federal Highways and Urban Form." Following that will be one from the Strong Towns Blog on the same subject. We are posting these jointly on this site and on O'Toole's, which can be found at

Tomorrow, a brief response to each argument will again be posted jointly.

Please take the time to read the next two posts. We encourage you to join this discussion and post your thoughts on each essay here or at the Antiplanner blog.