Top 5 Stories from the Week (Mar 18–Mar 22, 2019)

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1. Round 1 of the Strongest Town Contest

March 18 & 19, 2019

Over 8,000 people voted in the first round of our fourth annual Strongest Town competition, and you, the voters, have chosen 8 out of 16 towns to move on to Round 2 on Monday! If you missed it, you can still read all the contestants’ first-round essays at the link above, and find out the innovative things that these cities from coast to coast are doing to secure a financially resilient future for themselves.

2. What Happens When You Challenge Your Own Profession's Dogma?

Strong Towns Podcast | March 18, 2019

Four years ago, a fellow civil engineer in Minnesota tried (unsuccessfully) to challenge Strong Towns president Chuck Marohn’s license, in retaliation for Strong Towns’s criticism of infrastructure lobbying organizations. This incident still says a lot today about the need for reform in the profession.

3. Thank You From a Land Speculator

A new Strong Towns video by Matt Eckholm and Charles Marohn | March 19, 2019

Our prevailing property tax system rewards those who sit on valuable land and leave it idle, while punishing with higher taxes those who put it to productive use. And for that, our buddy the speculator just wants to say, "Thanks, neighbor."

4. Orwellian Freeway Widening

by Joe Cortright | March 14, 2019

When you want to widen an urban freeway, just call it an “improvement.” Who can be against improvement? Oh, and those additional lanes aren’t technically additional lanes, you see.

5. Employment Desperation: The Quiet Enemy of Our Communities

by Arian Horbovetz | March 21, 2019

We, as a culture, have become so fixated on growing jobs in our communities that we can’t see anything else. It is up to us to recognize that our cities and metro areas can ask for better.

(Cover photo from Wikimedia Commons)