A proposed bill in Washington State would require cities to allow a minimum housing density near transit stations. It is a well-intentioned response to a very real problem, but its one-size-fits-all nature risks unintended consequences.
A nonprofit placemaking organization is bringing events, parks, public art and more to downtown Fort Smith, Arkansas, one playful experiment at a time.
A pilot project in Denver aims to help low-income homeowners add accessory dwelling units to their property. If it succeeds, it will help people remain in their communities, build wealth, and deliver affordable homes to a new generation of neighbors.
Collin County, Texas officials claim they need $12.6 billion for new roads in the next 30 years, and none of it for maintenance of what they’ve already built. That way lies madness.
Can a master-planned community be consistent with Strong Towns principles of iterative, bottom-up placemaking? We take a tour of Serenbe, Georgia, an experiment in New Urbanism and eco-conscious living on the far outskirts of Atlanta.
Akron, Ohio is tackling its stroad problem, one oversized boulevard at a time. “Right-sizing” this neighborhood main street will make it safer and more inviting and hospitable for small businesses.
Austin’s CodeNEXT process, a dramatic overhaul of the city’s zoning code, tried to placate multiple constituencies with a “grand bargain.” The result was a draft code that satisified almost no one and failed to solve the city’s housing and growth challenges.
Using tax incentives to subsidize retail is a lose-lose game that St. Louis's suburbs, desperate for short-term revenue, have been playing for too long. University City is mortgaging its future and selling out its small businesses with a $70 million subsidy for big-box development.
Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are a quintessentially Strong Towns approach to urban growth and affordability issues: bottom-up, decentralized, incremental, scalable and adaptable. Unfortunately, a litany of restrictions often makes them an unappealing option even where allowed.
If your growth strategy only works as long as wealthy people live in your town, your growth strategy is deeply fragile.
The belief that we’re going to radically transform our cities from the top down defies reality. Despite widespread anxiety about urban growth and change, the vast majority of places aren’t changing very much at all.
Texas has a history of aggressively using tax incentives to lure big business: a misguided economic development approach that produces little if any public benefit. Dallas’s bid for Amazon’s second headquarters falls right in line with this unfortunate pattern.
Development impact fees are supposed to “make development pay its own way.” But if your development pattern is fundamentally unproductive, they don’t. They’re a one-time cash hit in exchange for taking on a permanent liability.
Two large development projects currently working their way through the public engagement and approvals process illustrate why suburban retrofit is a really tough proposition to stake our future on.
Is it magical thinking to expect the transition from car-dependent to walkable places to happen organically? When, and how, do we need a catalyst to jump-start that process?
Cobb County, Georgia, has long been all-in on debt-fueled, unsustainable growth, and faces a tough road ahead as poverty grows and its ability to provide services declines. What are some rational responses to this predicament?
Homeownership is supposed to be the path to wealth and a comfortable retirement, but for millions of Americans, it never was. One central reason is that we’ve embraced a development pattern in which new places cannibalize the wealth of old places.
Those who benefit from an investment should pay for it. If they're unwilling to pay what it actually costs, it's a good sign that the project should never have happened in the first place.
One of the best ways to deeply understand the place you live is to slow down—way down—the way you get around it.
"Developers in my city are only building luxury housing. They're not building anything that ordinary people can afford." If you’ve said this lately, or heard someone else say it, here are five possible reasons why.