Strong Towns is trying to change the entire system of growth and development in North America. That's a pretty big task, but we know that by shifting the conversation about these issues, we can begin to shift minds, hearts and actions too.
If you care about this mission and want to help us grow a movement of a million people who care about building Strong Towns, we need you to become a member of this movement.
Chase Anderson lives in Greenville, SC and he's been a member of Strong Towns for two years. Today, he's sharing a little bit about how a movement he encountered on a whim has grown into a community of people who feel like family, and who challenge him on the most important issues of the day.
I found Strong Towns through the Congress for the New Urbanism. I was working as a planner in Colorado at that time and we were about to start working on our comprehensive plan. We started reading more and more about Strong Towns and started to follow Urban3 as well [a close partner of Strong Towns].
Just getting to know the Strong Towns family has been a real plus for me — opening up this network that I wasn’t aware that I had. A kinship with likeminded people all of a sudden becomes highlighted through the Strong Towns organization. It resonated with me so I dug in a little deeper. It became more and more meaningful.
The complexity of the problems we’re facing also resonated with me. It’s not only that we have to do the math, but we also have to know that shouting statistics at people won’t change their minds. You have to get to know the contrarian point of view and get to know their thoughts and feelings. It’s definitely more of a nuanced art than a science.
In all of the articles and writings that Strong Towns publishes, you don’t always preach to the choir. You highlight contrarian points of view so that people like me who are reading along can be tested and make our arguments stronger for our cities.
These days, our social circles seem to reinforce our prejudices. To be part of an organization that gives the contrarian point of view once in a while gives you an opportunity to strengthen your resolve, adjust your tactics, figure things out, and meet in the middle. It’s been a great find for me.
I shared the website in a neighborhood meeting just the other day. A local organization is trying to keep up their neighborhood. They have some crime, they have some vacant parcels and they’re concerned about blight. I told them they were doing the right thing and that incremental steps were going to be the right solution.
If you value the unique insights shared at Strong Towns and want to be part of the community that this movement offers, become a member today.