We have a tradition this time of year here at Strong Towns. We spend a couple of weeks reflecting on the year -- those weeks we've just finished -- and then a couple of weeks attending to other things. It's important for us as an organization to have this breather to take on some bigger projects, stuff that is tough to get to while also producing quality content.
It's also important for us personally -- both we here and you out there -- to take a break, slow things down and have some time to be thankful for everything. We have much to be thankful for.
The Strong Towns movement started seven years ago as a lonely blog sharing some fringe notions of how we could build a stronger country. This year we had over a million people read our stuff, we presented our message in person to over 10,000 people and I even got an invitation to share these ideas at the White House.
There is one central reason why that has happened: you. It is you who are here with us. You who share our stuff with others. You who support us financially and are helping us grow this movement. I'm keenly aware of the debt I owe you and I feel a deep obligation to all of you to continue on this path. The gift you've given this restless mind cannot be quantified.
We'll see you again on January 4, 2016.
The Best of 2015...
Routine traffic stops are dangerous for all involved and do little to improve safety. It's time to end the practice.
We must build places that enable us to see the lives of others with knowledge, love, and compassion. This means getting our hands dirty in the soil of our community.
We figured out how to live in an exciting kid-friendly city on the cheap.
I encourage you all to stop using the word "sprawl." It doesn't accurately describe the problem, it prevents us from getting to real responses and it unnecessarily divides the national dialog in ways that are unhelpful.
We produced over 100 podcasts in 2016. Here's our 7 best podcasts from the year.
Scale our economy to those working at the ground level and we will see a true prosperity emerge from the fear and acrimony that is our national dialog.
Do car drivers have to pull up to each intersection, lean out their window and push a button in order to get a green light? No.
If the global economy is like a hot air balloon, we're only given the option to continually go higher -- despite the risk -- or cut all the air and crash. Those options aren't good enough.
What will happen to homeowner's associations in an America with increasing suburban poverty? It will be messy.
Building after massive building now
Can we have cities that work with economics that don't?
We've traded stability for growth, but now we find that we have neither.
There is arguably no place where half a century of suburban growth has more resembled a giant Ponzi scheme than in Florida.
We don't have a checklist of things we are trying to accomplish that includes, as one aspiration, public investments that make financial sense. As we say in our core principles: Financial solvency is a prerequisite.
Entrepreneurship is a hot word these days. Lots of towns say they would like to attract more entrepreneurs and grow their small business communities. But how do you do it?
Maine lacks the money it needs to do basic maintenance on its transportation system. Their institutional response to this emergency is to cling to an archaic code book while projecting a value system of improve, Improve, IMPROVE.
Who should design streets? The answer is as simple as it is radical: everyone.
What would possess a transit agency to change every route in its system overnight? We were out of money; it was time to start thinking.
In this hard hitting four-part series, Chuck examines our dangerously designed roads which cause thousands of deaths every year. The series focuses, in particular, on the deaths of children along dangerous road corridors.
As we continue to slide into more difficult times, it is going to take people with very strong principles of peace and justice to help us find that that soft landing we need.
Planners should be the conservation biologists of the urban ecosystem.