Strong Towns Featured on Current Affairs Podcast


When you’re deployed, fighting a war, and you’re away, no one dreams of ‘I’m fighting for my home, and the K-Mart parking lot.’ They think, ‘I’m fighting for Jimmy’s Pizza.’
— Pete Davis

Strong Towns founder and president Chuck Marohn was recently featured as a guest on the podcast of Current Affairs magazine, which describes itself as “a bimonthly print magazine of culture, politics, and the absurd.” Podcast host Pete Davis interviews Marohn about the Strong Towns vision of creating more financially strong and resilient places, in large part by reorienting government toward local needs and challenges.

Check out this conversation for insights into, among other things,

  • 14:50: What our cities and towns should be putting in their balance sheets every time they build a road… and what they’re doing instead.

  • 22:10: What’s wrong with old-school environmentalist arguments for low density and green space (“dilution is the solution to pollution”) and what Italy’s Lake Como can teach us.

  • 25:30 How small (think Jimmy’s Pizza) tends to outperform big (think K-Mart) when it comes to economic development.

  • 31:30 Why “localist vs. centralizing” as a political dividing line blurs traditional partisan boundaries.

  • 37:00 Why poor neighborhoods are some of the places working most vigorously to embrace a Strong Towns approach.

  • 41:45 How the Strong Towns approach would transform the way local government does its job.

Listen to the episode here:

Instead of looking up the government food chain and asking, ‘How do we catch the most crumbs falling down?’ cities need to orient themselves to the block and the neighborhood level and say, ‘How can we be servants of these places?’
— Chuck Marohn