Don't be seduced by the "signature project" that takes 20 years to complete, when there's huge basket of small projects you could hit the ground running on. That's a wildly different approach than anything our transit agencies or federal transportation funding mechanisms are set up for. But it's a more promising one.
Richmond, Virginia’s proposed Navy Hill redevelopment would reinvent 10 blocks of the city’s core out of whole cloth, aiming for greatness in one fell swoop. The top-down, master-plan approach to city building is seductive. But it is also fragile.
The discipline of not acquiring more until we've wrung true value out of what we already possess can make our lives richer and fuller. And this is a lesson we need to apply to our cities as well.
In cities all over America, we deter people from revitalizing neighborhoods by punishing them with higher taxes for improving their property. A change in how we tax property could fix these incentives.
Even the fastest-growing cities have them: under-utilized lots in the center of town whose owners don’t want to develop, but also don’t want to sell. Often, the property tax code rewards this kind of land speculation.
Academic evidence doesn’t do much to shift public opinion about housing policy. What’s missing is trust—and cultivating that requires a different approach.
The answer might not be what you expect.
Your daily commute sucks. Is it also making you go broke?
California’s high-speed rail project appears indefinitely on hold. What is the opportunity cost of all the things the state hasn’t done during the decade-plus its leaders have spent fixated on this?
The proposed Green New Deal is ambitious and urgent—but completely omits any mention of local land use. Can sweeping federal policy mix with the kind of decentralized, bottom-up change we need?
All over North America, poor neighborhoods often punch above their weight when it comes to contributing real value and resilience to their cities—in both financial productivity and other, less quantifiable strengths.
Why are we still surprised when a highway closes and fears of traffic pandemonium don’t come to pass?
We’ve gotten very good at keeping traffic off of neighborhood streets. But at what cost to our cities?
Many of the most pressing problems we face can only be addressed if we know when to think about them locally, and when to think about them regionally.
We need to solve our housing affordability problems, but not by ignoring context and embracing “orderly but dumb” means.
The Strong Towns Knowledge Base is where we bring you answers and practical advice tailored to questions you submit, by crowd-sourcing the collective wisdom of our movement. Every Friday morning, we’ll be spotlighting something new from it.
The pitfalls of rapid growth are real. But trying to micromanage how, where, and even if our cities are allowed to grow is not the answer.
Minneapolis just became the first major U.S. city to embrace a key Strong Towns principle: every neighborhood should be allowed to evolve to the next increment of development.
"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.
Gentrification and concentrated poverty are two sides of the same coin. We’ve engineered our cities so that neighborhoods get either too much investment or too little: the trickle or the fire hose.