Here's what got the most reads on our site this week:
1. The Real Reason Your Local Mall is Failing
by Charles Marohn | April 23, 2018
The closing of the mall’s anchor store exposes how fragile the community’s business model is, providing an opening to shift approach.
2. Stuck: Why Rent and Mortgage-burdened Americans Don’t Always Move to Cheaper Pastures
by Kea Wilson | April 25, 2018
It’s about so much more than just the cost of housing.
3. Why Development-Oriented Transit is Better than Transit-Oriented Development
by Rachel Quednau | April 25, 2018
Great places need a train less than a train needs a great place.
4. Gerontopoly: Homeownership, Wealth, and Age
by Joe Cortright | April 25, 2018
Is the “dream” of homeownership really just a massive, intergenerational wealth transfer? Recently, that’s just how it has worked out.
5. Cohousing Offers Community and a Different Way to Live
by Bridget Newsham | April 23, 2018
But affordable options are few and far between.
(Top photo source: U.S. Air Force photo by Matt Bilden)
This week, we dismantled the “build, baby, build” rhetoric of America’s infrastructure cult, and spotlighted new research on just how much our state DOTs have neglected basic maintenance. And we talked about what it means to set out to make places of enduring quality.
How do we create the kind of places that are lovable, distinctive, and will retain their value over time, rather than being discarded like cheap furniture when their age starts to show? This week’s top stories offer some insights.
In this week’s top stories, we dug deep into the relationship between infrastructure spending and local economic productivity and resilience. From Minnesota to Florida to Texas, our approach to growth and development is producing massive long-term liabilities without the wealth to show for it. We need a paradigm shift.
In this week’s top stories, we explored how to build momentum toward getting rid of your city’s pesky parking minimums; questioned why on earth it should ever take years to get a building permit (hint: it shouldn’t); and examined some of the strange-but-true aspects of complex cities—among them, narrowing roads can make traffic better (no, really), and building high-end housing can help low-income people find homes (no, really).
Strengthening the most financially productive parts of our cities is not easy work, and this week’s top stories explored different tools for that work, from design standards to missing-middle housing to ensuring that core government services are actually located in the core. We also published an important message from our president, reaffirming our commitment to growing the racial diversity of the Strong Towns movement.
This week we crowned a victor in the Strongest Town Contest, and some of our most popular articles dug deep into the various aspects of America’s housing crisis—including why it’s so difficult to solve, but also why it’s not as expensive as we often think to do some real good.