The Cost vs. Benefit of Street Trees, and Other Answers from our Monthly Ask Strong Towns Webcast (April 2019)

Every other month, we host Ask Strong Towns, a live webcast in which you can ask anything you want of our founder and president, Chuck Marohn, and our communications director, Kea Wilson.

In case you weren’t able to attend, we’re bringing you the video (and audio below, if that’s more your style) from the April 2019 edition.

Questions Answered

1:40: Strong Towns regularly advocates for street trees. The arguments made make sense, but I have yet to see my biggest concern about street trees addressed. Trees roots can wreak havoc on water and wastewater lines, creating huge repair costs. Are there strategies to plant new street trees while protecting the underground utility infrastructure?

9:30: How does a land value tax work in predominantly rural areas? How would it affect the taxing of agricultural land?

19:20: In our city, we are dusting off a tool we had on paper but have not used much in practice: our Land Bank. What does a Strong Towns approach to a Land Bank look like?

27:35: What is the definition of a vibrant downtown and why is it important to have one?

38:25: Does the higher density of the traditional development pattern require urban infrastructure (water/sewer lines, complete streets networks, etc.) to function? If so, how does a rural town/area incrementally grow in the traditional development pattern without building pricey infrastructure first?