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 revisited a city in Indiana building an urbanist paradise… through the antithesis of a Strong Towns approach. We examined public safety issues as they affect schoolchildren and bicyclists; discussed how to make cities friendlier to small businesses; and featured economic research on the complex social feedback loops that drive neighborhood change.
This week, we looked at how local development regulations get the details wrong, how the American Dream of homeownership is evolving, another way to measure a community’s underinvestment in maintenance, the challenges of transportation in rural America, and more.
This was an unusually interview-heavy week for Strong Towns. Our top content of the week includes conversations with community developer Derek Avery, cycling advocate Chris Bruntlett, and urban researcher Aaron Renn, as well as a sneak preview of walkability guru Jeff Speck’s new book Walkable City Rules.
This week, we talked about the pitfalls of valuing “efficiency” in government and business; why speed is the wrong measure of a successful transportation system; how unproductive land uses undercut the value of rail transit; how a good local newspaper can make your city stronger; and much more.
This week, we explored the history of wide streets as a political project, why a successful place isn’t as simple as plopping down the right kind of buildings, how local planners find themselves hostage to decades-old “lines on paper”, the power of placemaking and art to bring a downtown back to life, misconceptions about what causes traffic congestion, and more.
This week, we explored out-of-control infrastructure costs in Texas, a “road diet” in Akron, workforce housing in Maine, and asked whether our local governments ought to be failing more often—and owning up to and learning from those mistakes.