Strong Towns members are making their communities better every day. We know this because they're constantly sharing their stories with us. But they don't always get the recognition they deserve in their hometowns. Many of our members are doing the quiet, under-the-radar work to make streets safer and budgets more fiscally prudent. So when our members do get noticed and thanked for their efforts, it's worth celebrating.
Strong Towns member Tim Wright founded and directs Re-Form Shreveport, a Louisiana-based organization with a mission to bring people together in conversation, sharing ideas to find implementable solutions to improve Shreveport's built environment. Re-Form Shreveport was inspired in part by Strong Towns.
The group was recently profiled on the front page of the Shreveport Times. The story begins:
Doing the most good with what you’ve got: it’s Re-Form Shreveport’s guiding principle.
The group’s focus is to examine the ways that public, physical spaces shape our lives and to kindle incremental changes to make Shreveport a better place.
Sometimes that role is active – spreading wood chips in Highland Park. Other times it’s bringing leading urban planning and community development speakers to challenge how residents look at the city.
Indeed, Re-Form Shreveport was responsible for planning and funding a series of Strong Towns walking tours and events in Shreveport last fall. Members of Re-Form Shreveport like Tim have also been active in fighting a detrimental inner-city highway project that's currently on the table for the Louisiana town.
The Times reports, "The group chooses projects using two benchmarks: Is the community looking for some way to get involved? Can we address the issue without major financial investment?" Based on those guiding principles (which have a lot of overlap with Strong Towns principles), Re-Form Shreveport has chosen to focus on rehabilitating a local park which is facing erosion and neglect. Several neighbors have gotten involved and the hope is that the park will soon be ready for fruit trees and bushes—making it not only a beautiful public space but also a public source of food.
You can read the full article on Re-Form Shreveport in the Shreveport Times.
(Top image from 2016 Strong Towns events with Re-Form Shreveport. Photo courtesy of Re-Form Shreveport.)