Top 5 Stories from the Week (April 1–April 5, 2019)

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1. Strongest Town Semifinals: Our Top 4 Contestants Square Off

April 1, 2019

This week we were down to four contestants in the 2019 Strongest Town Contest, and we interviewed a representative from each one of them. Hear them tell their towns’ stories in their own words. And check back on Monday for the championship round: a free, live webcast with the top 2 contestants at 12 pm CDT.

2. New York Is Finally Getting Congestion Pricing. Other U.S. Cities Can Learn a Thing or Two.

by Daniel Herriges | April 1, 2019

Cars take up a lot of space. And one way or another, that imposes very real costs on our cities. New York just took an important step toward acknowledging and covering those costs.

3. Your Zoning Code Is Inherently Exclusionary (But It Doesn’t Have To Be)

by Nolan Gray | April 3, 2019

If a local resident or business owner with a high school diploma can’t sit down and figure out what she can and cannot do with her property in less than an hour, the zoning regime is exclusionary. Here are five guidelines for making it more accessible to laypeople.

4. A Divided Syracuse: The Future of an Urban Highway

by Baxter Hankin | April 2, 2019

New York state transportation authorities have the opportunity to correct a historic mistake in Syracuse, by removing an obsolete freeway that tore the city in half decades ago. Will they do the right thing?

5. How One Rural Resident Got Neighbors to "Buy In" Towards a Stronger Town

It’s the Little Things Podcast | Jacob Moses & Jeff Eidson | April 3, 2019

Jeff Eidson—founder of Explore Elkin—shares the story behind the idea Explore Elkin and how listeners can successfully create similar groups in their own cities and towns, including how to find and pitch a shared vision to residents, how to motivate residents stuck in a psychology of decline towards their city or town, and how to use the funds generated towards small bets.

(Cover image: jpellgen via Flickr)