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News Digest

Language Shapes Policy

Language Shapes Policy

Language bias, are we better off with transportation bill gridlock?, and an Iowa transportation planner gets tactical.

Chipping away at change

Chipping away at change

As Strong Towns advocates, we are catalysts for change, and the metaphorical walls that our institutions have erected against change are being chipped away.

Real Value

Real Value

Monday Member Blog Digest: Identifying places of real versus illusory value. What is a "bad neighborhood" anyway? What is the best use of land under or next to an urban freeway? The bright future of the Midwestern "Rust Belt," and why the past isn't a good guide to the future when it comes to real estate values. Neighborhood churches as an urban litmus test. Thoughts on Pope Francis's message re: cities and urbanism. Block parties and red tape. A victory for cyclists in South Florida. When to put your time and energy into an idea when you have more of them than you can effectively advocate for.

It's About Community

It's About Community

Monday News Digest—the latest and greatest from Strong Towns members' blogs! How to responsibly be a small-scale developer in a community on the rebound from blight and neglect—and how large-scale development money can arrest organic revitalization. Countering negative stereotypes of cities. Finding the middle-ground between "pro-" and "anti-development" political camps. Correcting perverse incentives from government structure, regulation and tax policy.

A Third Way

A Third Way

This week should be renamed the Johnny show, because Johnny Sanphillippo of Granola Shotgun has delivered so much great content this past week. 

68 percent versus 4 percent

68 percent versus 4 percent

CNU 23 highlights; aspiring developers are getting organized to Build Places People Love; a large apartment complex can't compete with productivity of the traditional design across the street.

You had one job

You had one job

You had one job; Johnny talks Silicon Valley and its strange suburban pattern; increased development and reduced traffic counts? It's working in West Palm Beach

Change and Complexity

Change and Complexity

The best of Strong Towns member blogs this week. Fragile places versus complex adaptive places, and the failure of simplistic policy solutions. What will survive of "over-retailed" America? Doing the math again on residential development patterns. What causes a community to embrace or resist change?

Undermining Prosperity

Undermining Prosperity

Strong Towns member blogs from around the country spotlight examples of how misguided development policy undermines a community's interests. Suburban ruins in California; deadly stroads in Pennsylvania; the faulty argument in favor of keeping an urban freeway in Dallas; doing the math on land use in suburban St. Louis; asking whether local government is serving its poorest constituents in Cedar Rapids; and calling out official corruption in Sarasota.

Hulking Ruins

Hulking Ruins

Portable classrooms, the death spiral of Big Box Urbanism, Uber gets a win in Palm Beach County, and the middle class is stranded in the suburbs

Learning Governance from Design Humility

Learning Governance from Design Humility

This week we look at a few places, from Ferguson to CA schools to youth sports, where maximizing for one variable at a time leads to a "very suburban style of thinking, addressing each problem in a vacuum and ignoring the interrelationships that eventually govern the world."

Misplaced Priorities

Misplaced Priorities

Strong Towns members' blogs engage issues of who benefits from the way our cities are built and run, who loses out, and how a local government or developer's actions reveal its true priorities.

Friday News Digest

Friday News Digest

The gas tax doesn't cover highway costs, killing our will to build more stuff, an infrastructure "surge" in North Dakota, school district says "no" to gambling and teenage gypsies trying to earn a buck.

Breaking the logjam around small change

Breaking the logjam around small change

“I want more people living downtown. I want it more dense. But to permit the use to change fifteen years from now without public approval is not OK. I have this neighborhood where I have an expectation, and then it changes. That’s not OK.”

Friday News Digest

Friday News Digest

Tennessee going maintenance only, demolition on Main Street, the death of oil drillers, QE forever and don't be poor and drive.

Friday News Digest

Friday News Digest

Free Range Kids, gentrification, transportation funding , the Swiss Franc and a Cadbury egg apostasy.

Good Enough Urbanism?

Good Enough Urbanism?

The Member News Digest, a look at what's hot on the Strong Towns member blogs.

Friday News Digest

Friday News Digest

This Friday News Digest looks at the heavy hand of MoDOT, Detroit turning its back on freeways, subprime auto loans and a ski resort in Texas.

Friday News Digest

Last weekend we had a really important Strong Towns retreat. Not only did we finalize the agenda for the National Gathering – which is going to redefine all your expectations of what a conference should be – but we made some important progress on how Strong Towns, the organization, is evolving and adapting to grow this critical movement. I left excited and energized; we have some real visionaries working with this organization, as members and volunteers, and being with them is invigorating. Now we all switch to baby watch as our former board president – Faith Cable Kumon – and her husband, our Executive Director Jim Kumon, are expecting any day. August is going to be a great month.