Local Governments’ Alarming Capital Spending Ratios

Local Governments’ Alarming Capital Spending Ratios

There are many ways for state and local governments to run hidden deficits, one of which is deferred maintenance. But it turns out there is a way to measure the extent to which local governments kick the maintenance can down the road.

Top 5 Stories from the Week (Oct 22–Oct 26, 2018)

Top 5 Stories from the Week (Oct 22–Oct 26, 2018)

This was an unusually interview-heavy week for Strong Towns. Our top content of the week includes conversations with community developer Derek Avery, cycling advocate Chris Bruntlett, and urban researcher Aaron Renn, as well as a sneak preview of walkability guru Jeff Speck’s new book Walkable City Rules.

The Trade-Offs That Shape Our Cities

The Trade-Offs That Shape Our Cities

Local advocates who are at each others’ throats often have legitimate, but conflicting, aims. Talking about the trade-offs involved isn’t going to make us all start agreeing with each other. But it might make our disagreements more productive.

Can the Dutch Strategy for Cycling Work in North America?

Can the Dutch Strategy for Cycling Work in North America?

Building the Cycling City: The Dutch Blueprint For Urban Vitality is a new book by Chris Bruntlett and Melissa Bruntlett aimed at sharing the successful strategies The Netherlands has used to build cities at a human scale.

Dispatches from Spokane: Living a Soft Default

Dispatches from Spokane: Living a Soft Default

Spokane is an excellent illustration of a “soft default”. Like virtually every other city in the US, it is functionally insolvent, but functional insolvency rarely results in legal bankruptcy—just diminished services and deferred maintenance.

The Limits of Job Creation

The Limits of Job Creation

Whether at the neighborhood or metropolitan level, more job growth doesn’t seem to improve economic mobility. What does is social capital.

Carmel's Billion-Dollar Bet

Carmel's Billion-Dollar Bet

This week on the Strong Towns Podcast, Chuck talks with Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow Aaron Renn about Carmel, Indiana, a city that has gone into nearly unparalleled amounts of debt in a bid to become Indianapolis’s premier suburb.

A Free Market for Parking

A Free Market for Parking

When it comes to parking, it’s time to reconcile our free-market rhetoric with our market-busting reality.

Top 5 Stories from the Week (Oct 15–Oct 19, 2018)

Top 5 Stories from the Week (Oct 15–Oct 19, 2018)

This week, we talked about the pitfalls of valuing “efficiency” in government and business; why speed is the wrong measure of a successful transportation system; how unproductive land uses undercut the value of rail transit; how a good local newspaper can make your city stronger; and much more.

Value Per Acre Analysis: A How-To For Beginners

Value Per Acre Analysis: A How-To For Beginners

Want to do the kind of value-per-acre analysis that you’ve seen on Strong Towns before, but don’t think of yourself as a data wizard? Here’s a step by step guide for beginners.