Round 2: Morelia, Mexico vs. Annapolis, MD

Welcome to the second round of our third annual Strongest Town Competition! 8 towns are facing off right now and 4 will advance to the next segment of the contest based on your votes.

We invite you to view the photos and descriptions that representatives from these two towns submitted to showcase their economic strength and resilience. Voting closes at 12pm CT on Friday, March 16.


Entry submitted by: Antonio Godoy, Inés Alveano, and Itsi Alveano

Ciclovia dominical inclusiva

Since 2008, every Sunday, people in Morelia can enjoy the main downtown street on foot, scooters or bicycle, because it is closed to cars from 8am to 1pm. It is around 2 km long. People with disabilities and/or walking their dogs also enjoy the public space.

PICTURE 1 ciclovia dominical inclusiva.jpg

En bici al pan- economia local

Old neighborhoods are walkable, so people can go to the bakery (fruit-store, barber, coffeeshop, drycleaning, or to any local store) a few blocks away from their homes. 

PICTURE 2. En bici al pan- economia local.jpg

Calle en el centro de Morelia

The transportation share is primarily by foot and/or public transport. Cars are used for only 20-30% of the trips. Using the bicycle as a way of transport is timidly emerging.  

PICTURE 3 calle en el centro de Morelia-min.jpg

"Tell me what I breathe"

Local NGO’s have engaged in national activism to pressure the government to set goals and policies to improve the cities’ air quality.

Complete Streets-min.jpg

Nueva calle peatonal

Municipal government has invested changing some downtown’s streets to pedestrian.  They now have benches to sit, no matter what money one has in the pocket. 

PICTURE 5. Nueva calle peatonal.jpg

Morelia has a mobility problem, and we all know about it.  We showed to various international specialists, the government’s “proposed project” render. Check out this video to learn about efforts to stop a car-centered infrastructure project in Morelia.  The video does not have subtitles, but you will find that some parts of it are in English.   The main objective was to show that the proposal to solve mobility problems was not in the right direction.


Entry submitted by: Eric Borchers, Sally Nash, and Hollis Minor

Annapolis Boat Show

Each Fall, typically in early October, the historic Annapolis City Dock and harbor features the United States Sailboat and Powerboat Shows. These annual events draw boaters and visitors from around the globe across two weekends to enjoy the largest in-water boat shows in the country. The Sailboat show in particular is the last remaining in-water sailboat-exclusive show in the world. Annapolis has always been a very popular port of call for international sailors, who consider the city “America’s Sailing Capital.”

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First Sunday Arts Festival

For the last fifteen years, this monthly arts festival running from the first Sunday in May to the first Sunday in November has grown from a fledgling art display to an acclaimed festival. It started from two gallery shows occupying the street along a single block of West street next to the historic Church Circle in what is now branded as the Annapolis Arts District. Today it encompasses several blocks to allow sufficient space for 130 vendors down the stretch temporarily closed-off to vehicles.

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Dining Under the Stars

During the summer months, Upper West street is closed off to traffic every Wednesday night to allow for the outdoor dining takeover of the arts district. Many participating restaurants open their doors for patrons to savor local offerings on the brick-lined block illuminated by rows of string lights. Restaurant-goers are accompanied by performances, dancing and other activities to complete the experience.

3. Dining Under the Stars.jpg

Bulkhead Replacement

The City sought the services of EBA Engineering to replace the bulkhead at Annapolis’ famed City Dock. The final phase of construction occurred over an intense 6-month period between the Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 boat shows. The whole project, finished on time and under budget, features a cantilevered new bulkhead design, new boat slips, and upgraded utilities, water connections and fire protection systems. The project received awards from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) in 2017 for successful stakeholder cooperation, minimal economic and environmental impacts, and its innovative design.

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Navy Graduation

Annapolis is home to the United States Naval Academy, the second oldest of the five federal service academies. Every year, first class Midshipmen cap off a week of celebratory events with their successful graduation from the United States Naval Academy. The ceremony, held inside the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on the final Friday of Commissioning Week, is a closing of one chapter in honor of enduring a rigorous four-years at the world-renowned academy as graduates venture into their next chapter of active service.

5. Naval Academy Graduation.jpg


Voting is now closed.