Thank you. Sincerely, we mean it. The people that read this blog and listen to our podcast have helped us create an incredible cascade of conversation surrounding the release of the Curbside Chat Companion Booklet. And we anticipate it is only beginning. You guys are incredible. Thank you so much.
This week was a special time, but Monday we'll be returning to regular programming. For those of you new to Strong Towns, that means we'll be blogging here three days a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) and we'll shoot to release a podcast or two in that same timeframe. We hope you'll stick with us, even after this buzz has died down. There is a lot going on here and we have some grand plans for finishing out 2011 and kicking off next year. Exciting things ahead to help all of you make your places into Strong Towns.
For those of you that have emailed us or called this week, I'm going to ask for your patience. We've been inundated and -- for the sake of reaching more people -- I've focused my efforts these past few days on contacting and responding to the media. While I'm aware of some things in the works, here's what I've seen out there so far (if you know of others, please let me know):
- Engaging Cities, Strong Towns: Shedding "Dead Ideas" from Suburban Era by Chris Haller, October 3
- NRDC Switchboard, Building resilient cities and towns with fiscal conservatism by Kaid Benfield, October 4
- The Atlantic, How suburban sprawl works like a Ponzi Scheme by Kaid Benfield, October 4
- The West Wing, Curbside Chat Companion by Scott Huzinga, October 5
- Minnesota Public Radio, We've just built more than we can maintain by Dave Peters, October 5
- Locally Grown Northfield, Curbside Chat companion booklet now available from Strong Towns; they're coming to Northfield in November by Griff Wigley, October 5
- JC Shepard.com, Curbside Chat: America's Suburban Ponzi Scheme by JC, October 5
- DC.StreetsBlog.org, New Urbanists: No economic recovery without Smart Growth by Angie Schmitt, October 6
I also wanted to pass along a few of the comments that we have received by email or picked up on Facebook and Twitter. You are all part of a huge discussion going on right now and I want to give you a taste of what that looks like.
- From the Twitter account of Tom Horner, Minnesota gubernatorial candidate in 2010:
Provocative report on creating successful towns from Strong Towns. Challenges all sides to design new answers.
- From @NextSTL on Twitter
"There are no solutions, just rational responses." Excellent sentiment. You should follow @strongtowns.
- From @JeremyClaggett on Twitter:
For the past week, I have been in awe of @Strongtowns and how they simplify complicated issues most people are unaware of.
- From @MikeLydon, co-author of the Smart Growth Manual, on Twitter:
- From Rob S. by email:
All I can say is outstanding. You've put a lot of ideas together in a way that is readable, boiled down to the essentials, provocative, and original. I think the average decision-maker in a city or town can understand this. The document covers the broad outlines of a very big topic and should be helpful in opening the minds of decision-makers.
- From @SmartGrowthMD on Twitter:
Well-done straight talk on the long-term cost of sprawl by @StrongTowns
- From @aallington on Twitter:
Some interesting policy ideas in this report from @StrongTowns abt need evolve from the "dead ideas" of suburban era
- From anonymous email shared with us:
In traveling around the country talking to planners and developers in small and mid-sized towns there is a great interest in finding simplified and non-partisan publications and videos for reaching elected officials. The language must be everyman's language and appeal to our health as well as to our economics. But most important seems to be the messenger. It appears that both the message and the messenger behind the Curbside Chat report win on both counts.
- From @APA_Virginia on Twitter:
@StrongTowns: Suburban development does not generate enough wealth to cover long-term maintenance costs.
- From @CowleyCouncil on Twitter:
Unchecked urban growth is Ponzi scheme as urban infrastructure has lifetime < yrs of tax revenue. Curbside Chat http://t.co/cSA3EfbzFix it.
- From @hborys of Placemakers on Twitter:
Problem is not lack of growth, but 60 years of unproductive growth. American development pattern creates illusion of wealth. ~ @StrongTowns
- From John in Indiana by email:
I discovered you and your organization about a month ago. I had been catching up on sessions I missed at CNU 19 (I was unfortunately unable to attend) and found the podcast of your presentation. Needless to say, I was struck by how articulate and reasoned you were, and was glad to find a person who successfully put to words the things I had long suspected to be true.
- From @BillLindeke on Twitter
- From email from Joe F. from Mississippi:
Many of our local communities are struggling to survive and cannot afford to continue down the path that they are currently on with regards to development and financial management. The information and topics discussed here need to be shared with our local leaders.
- From Mike in Georgia by email:
I just wanted to drop a line and say that the Curbside Chat Booklet is excellent. I read through it last night and will be using a quote from it on my blog next week. I plan on sending the link out to my entire city council here as well as the candidates in the upcoming race next week. It's one of those 'must reads' that I think all local elected officials need to get their hands on.
- From Karen in North Carolina by email:
Great job...this approach is down to earth and well thought out. Now get them to follow it, it is a way of thinking that got lost through growth and greed. It is written in a fashion that every citizen can understand (hope the politicians can). Back to basics and conservative use of tax payers dollars is the only saving grace for some cities. Many of examples would also work for Federal Govt...I know, that is a stretch...Keep up the good work.
And I'm serious....those are just the ones I've gone through. My "unread" mail is going to take me all weekend. You guys are amazing.
To wrap up the week, I wanted to ask you one last favor. If you have not already, please read the Curbside Chat Companion Booklet and then forward it to the public officials in your community. This was written for you and for them. You'll be doing this conversation -- and your city -- a huge service by helping us get this booklet into the hands of public officials everywhere.
Thank you again. Everybody please enjoy your weekend.