We started Strong Towns because we realized that the standard approach to growth and development was not working. We know there is a better way—a way to build our cities that cultivates community wealth, not debt and bankruptcy; a way to build our places that responds to the needs of the people, not the desires of distant decision makers; a way to take small steps and test out ideas, instead of going all in on expensive projects.
Put simply, here's the difference between the standard approach and the Strong Towns approach:
Which would you choose for your town?
The traditional development pattern has tremendous financial upside and limited financial downside. In contrast, the suburban approach has limited financial upside and a downside that can literally go negative.
It is incrementally rising land values, combined with the ability to redevelop to something more intense, that naturally prompts the redevelopment of property in decline. Take away one of those two factors and redevelopment breaks down.
It’s pretty easy to destroy a walkable place. We’ve been doing it for so long.