This year, we've been floored to hear from hundreds of Strong Towns members who are taking action to make their communities better as a result of their exposure to our mission and principles.
In fact, here's a map that gives you just a snapshot of some of the places where our members are making a difference. (The orange pins will link you to extended stories featured on our site while the blue pins indicate locations where one or more actions have taken place.)
Even in this small snapshot (we surveyed 116 of our members), we can see Strong Towns-related actions happening in over 30 states. That is truly an amazing impact! Especially for an organization operating on a tiny budget with only a handful of staff. It really gives you an idea of the enormous role our members are playing and the initiative they're taking.
We are a deeply member-driven movement. If you're inspired by this work and count yourself among those people who are working to build strong towns, it's time to make that official by becoming a member today.
Now I'd like to highlight just a few specific ways that we've seen our members working to build strong towns this year:
1. Building safer streets.
This year, we saw tons of Strong Towns members taking action to make the streets in their neighborhoods safer as part of our #SlowtheCars campaign:
- Nathaniel Barrett is working with residents in his Dallas neighborhood to advocate for narrower streets where cars drive slower.
- Ben Garland connected with disability rights advocates to push for safer streets where pedestrians can safely cross, as part of a street reconstruction project in Duluth, Minnesota.
- Zvi Leve spoke out about a dangerously designed street after a resident in his Montreal neighborhood was killed by a driver while biking.
2. Creating strong communities.
In response to Strong Towns events, we've watched communities focus on the small steps they can take to make their neighborhoods more prosperous and vibrant:
- Inspired by a series of Strong Towns events in northern Minnesota, a local organization offered small grants for city improvement projects like repainting storefronts, installing streetlights, and building "pocket parks."
- A year after a Strong Towns event in Thunder Bay, Ontario, the city hosted a "Strong Block" event to showcase what a successful, thriving street would look like.
- In light of a Strong Towns event in Pelham, Ontario, the local government put together a document that uses Strong Towns principles to clearly and concretely assess problems and solutions for the city.
3. Fighting road expansion.
All year long, Strong Towns members have been active in the fight against wasteful, dangerous highway expansion as part of our #NoNewRoads campaign:
- Adam Cozzette was part of a grassroots coalition who successfully ended plans for a road widening project in San Bruno, California.
- Several Strong Towns members are leading an effort to prevent the construction of a new urban freeway in Portland, Oregon
- A group of Strong Towns members and neighbors have won multiple victories in a years-long fight against an urban highway that would cut through a poor neighborhood in Shreveport, Louisiana.
4. Taking the lead.
Strong Towns members are stepping up as leaders in their communities in a myriad of ways:
- Lauren Whitehead ran for city council in her town of Solon, Iowa and won! She finds the Strong Towns community to be a valuable resource as she considers how to make the best decisions for her community.
- Daniel Hintz leads an organization that helps cities in Northwest Arkansas to envision and plan a more prosperous future. The ideas and articles shared by Strong Towns have helped guide his organization and kickstart valuable conversations.
- Jim Hodapp founded a group called Strong Indy which is working to make Indianapolis a stronger town through discussion and action.
Join the movement that is shaping a better world — from the ground up. Become a member of Strong Towns today. It's time.