Top 5 Stories from the Week (Mar 25–Mar 29, 2019)

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1. Round 2 of the Strongest Town Contest

March 25, 2019

For the second round of our annual Strongest Town contest, we invited our top 8 towns to tell their story in 5 captioned photos, illustrating their greatest strengths. We got 5,500 votes, and four semifinalists advanced in what turned out to be maybe the closest set of match-ups in the history of this contest. Catch up on what you missed, and find out which city eked out a 50.4% to 49.6% (!) victory.

2. What's In Your City's Wallet?

by Felix Landry | March 26, 2019

City officials often ask, “What target price point for new homes will ensure that we can balance our books?” Here’s why they’re asking the wrong question.

3. The Death of the Suburban Fourplex

by James Kilborn | March 28, 2019

Most apartments built today are in huge complexes along busy streets, not tucked away in quiet neighborhoods in “missing middle” buildings like fourplexes, which used to be common. But how did the missing middle go missing, anyway?

4. More than Music: How Local Music Scenes Make our Cities Stronger

It’s the Little Things Podcast | Jacob Moses & Joanna Jurgens | March 27, 2019

Joanna Jurgens, Head of Business Affairs at Sofar Sounds, shares how you can foster a local music scene in your community, including how to awaken that DIY spirit that’s so essential to kickstarting a local music scene, how to identify low risk strategies for creating a venue, and how to get local elected officials involved in the process.

5. Why State DOTs Keep Making the Same Mistakes... and How to Break That Cycle

by Daniel Herriges | March 28, 2019

State transportation departments are often maddeningly resistant to change, and can be the biggest obstacle facing safe-streets advocates. A new article series from Smart Growth America digs deep into what has to happen—and is happening—to reform these agencies from the inside.

(Cover image via Verdunity)