Five Transportation Perspectives from Strong Towns' 2017 Summit Speakers

Tonight, we begin the Strong Towns Summit in Tulsa, Oklahoma with a public Curbside Chat at the Oklahoma State University - Tulsa campus (followed by a meet-up at a local bar). Then the action gets started in earnest on Friday morning with an opening presentation by Chuck Marohn, a talk on the fight for #NoNewRoads by Ashwat Narayanan and much more. See the whole agenda here.

If you're coming to the Summit, we're excited to see you. If not, we still have several ways we're going to bring the Summit to you:

  • First, we plan to live-stream portions of the event tomorrow and Saturday. Keep an eye on our YouTube page for that. We'll try to post the info and/or stream on our website as well.
  • We'll also be recording additional portions of the Summit for video and podcast, to be released at a future date.
  • We may invite workshop leaders from the Summit to present a version of their workshop as a webcast for Strong Towns members in the coming months.
  • Finally, we'll be sharing reflections and outcomes from the Summit next week on our website and podcast.

For now, we invite you to enjoy a series of five fantastic, multimedia articles (plus one bonus) on diverse topics written by our Summit speakers and workshop leaders throughout the last few years on our site. These articles give you a chance to get to know our speakers as well as see the work they're doing:

Slowing the Cars in St. Louis

by Marielle Brown | Sep. 6, 2016

Marielle Brown is a Strong Towns member leading an interactive traffic calming workshop on the streets of Tulsa at our Summit. In this story from last year, Marielle explains how she and her colleagues at Trailnet, a St. Louis-based bicycle and pedestrian advocacy organization, ran several temporary traffic calming demonstrations in their city, which led to a rethinking of traffic issues by local government. Watch the video on the right to learn more, and check out her article as well.

Highway Spending is Eating the Budget

by Tony Dutzik | Jan. 19, 2017

Tony Dutzik, senior policy analyst with Frontier Group, is something of an expert in what he and his colleagues call, "highway boondoggles." That's the topic of his workshop at our summit and also the focus of his article from earlier this year, "Highway Spending is Eating the Budget." In it, he analyzes a new report from the Federal Highway Administration and shows that "despite growing repair needs and the ever-more-apparent futility of addressing congestion through road expansion, the U.S. still spends vast sums of money to build new highways and widen existing ones." He outlines four important takeaways from the report. 

A Better I-35

by Heyden Walker | Jan. 26, 2016

Heyden Walker is a planner for Black & Vernooy, a firm based in Austin, TX. She'll be speaking at our summit along with her colleague Lauren Cresswell how to manage transportation demand instead of simply build more and more. In her article, "A Better I-35," published during our #NoNewRoads week last year, she advocates for capping an inner-city freeway in Austin and transforming it into a walkable urban boulevard.

Talking Cities

by Strong Towns | Aug. 18, 2014

Here's a real throwback: Three years ago at the 22nd Congress for the New Urbanism in Buffalo, NY, Chuck Marohn (President of Strong Towns), Jason Roberts (co-founder of Better Block and featured speaker at our Summit), Joe Minicozzi (Principal at Urban3) and Mike Lydon (Principal at Street Plans Collaborative) sat down for a conversation about the current state of American cities (filmed by Gracen Johnson). This is a fun watch!


Strong Towns Member Shares the Message with his City Council

by Strong Towns | Mar. 2, 2016

Michael Kovacs is the City Manager of Fate, TX and he'll be speaking at our summit along with some of his colleagues from the city. This article from last year shows how Kovacs began to share the Strong Towns message with his City Council and Planning Zoning Commission through our Curbside Chat video series. One year ago they were just learning about the Strong Towns mission. Later this week, Kovacs will speak about it for an audience of 50+ people at our summit! If you'd like to hear more from Michael Kovacs, you can also watch this Strong Towns webcast from 2016 which featured several Strong Towns members discussing their experience with local government and running for office.

And finally, we're letting you in on a little secret: One workshop leader at the Strong Towns Summit is a member of the secret panel of engineers behind our Ask R. Moses advice column! We can't tell you who, but you're free to guess. In the meantime, we invite you to peruse our past Ask R. Moses columns on topics like pedestrian crossings, traffic counts, and parking requirements. You're always welcome to submit your own engineering question too.

If you're joining us for the Summit, make sure you say hi to these all-star Strong Towns members and if you're participating from afar, rest assured there will be ways for you to connect with and learn from these folks soon.

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