New in the Knowledge Base: Understanding Street Trees and the Land Value Tax in Rural Areas


The Strong Towns Knowledge Base is a crowd-sourced repository of your questions and answers about how to build a strong town. We on the Strong Towns staff chip in when we can, but we can’t get to everything—which is why we encourage all of our members and readers to head on over and add not only questions, but comments with any additional advice, useful links, or wisdom you have to offer!


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.

Some questions ask for the Strong Towns take on a pressing issue; others ask us to dig deep into a complex topic. However, all of your questions challenge us to do two things: embrace the complexity of what makes a financially resilient town—something we recognize cannot be reduced to one-size-fits-all prescriptions—while distilling some advice or ways of thinking about a topic to a level that anyone can understand.

That’s why, in this week’s addition to the Knowledge Base, we’ve created video articles that answer two compelling questions from reader and members:

  • Are there strategies to plant new street trees while protecting the underground utility infrastructure?

  • How does a land value tax work in predominantly rural areas?

Street Trees and Infrastructure

In this video, Strong Towns president and founder Chuck Marohn discusses the cost vs. benefit of street trees—and how it can reshape how engineers (and everyone) perceive them, including:

  • When street trees serve a valuable purpose for a city or town

  • Why public works departments must embrace, rather than seek to avoid, maintenance related to street trees

  • How places without street trees struggle

Land Value Tax and Rural Areas

In this video, Strong Towns president and founder Chuck Marohn discusses why a land value tax wouldn't work in rural areas, including:

  • Why the ratio between public and private investment should guide taxation

  • Why land value tax is most optimal in urban and suburban areas

  • Which taxing system is best for rural areas

We’ll be adding more of these in the future, to make the answers to the questions you have posed in our Ask Strong Towns series readily available as a source of insight and advice. In the meantime, head on over to the Knowledge Base and let us know what question(s) you’re dying to see answered! Or chime in with a comment on any existing topic about which you have special insight or experience. See you over there!