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The Status Quo is a Choice, Too

The Status Quo is a Choice, Too

Those who are most comfortable with the status quo often demand that we exhaustively study any new policy for possible harmful side effects before taking action. But what if we applied the same scrutiny to the harmful side effects of not changing things?

The Zombie Freeway Project in Shreveport That Won't Die

The Zombie Freeway Project in Shreveport That Won't Die

There’s every reason not to build a freeway through a poor, mostly-black neighborhood in Shreveport, Louisiana. So why is the state government taking money away from needed maintenance to push this bad project forward?

Is It Better to Be a Soldier or a Scout?

Is It Better to Be a Soldier or a Scout?

The best judgments are made with a “scout” mindset—your job is to survey the terrain and understand it—rather than that of a “soldier” whose job is to win a battle (or an argument). A social scientist explains the difference.

Making Normal Neighborhoods Legal Again

Making Normal Neighborhoods Legal Again

The growing movement to end exclusive single-family zoning—as Oregon just did in its cities—is not a radical or untested experiment: it’s a return to a historical norm. The actual radical experiment is the strange notion that a neighborhood should be required to contain only one type of home.

Striding Toward Walkability? 5 Insights About Walkable Urban Places

Striding Toward Walkability? 5 Insights About Walkable Urban Places

Mixed-use, walkable neighborhoods have enduring appeal, are more financially productive than auto-oriented places… and we still don’t allow nearly enough of them to be built. A new study surveys the landscape of walkability in America’s large metropolitan regions.

The Trickle or the Fire Hose

The Trickle or the Fire Hose

Most neighborhoods face a stark choice between the trickle or the fire hose: either virtually no new development or investment, or cataclysmic change that leaves a place unrecognizable. We need to get out of this destructive dichotomy.

What is Traditional Development?

What is Traditional Development?

We use the phrase “traditional development pattern” in dozens of Strong Towns essays. Here’s your one-stop-shop explainer article as to what that means.

A City Shaped by Many Hands

A City Shaped by Many Hands

Incrementalism is not an end in itself. It’s not about stubborn insistence on some sort of small-is-beautiful aesthetic for its own sake. Incremental development is a practical means to the end of resilient, financially sound places.

"Evolution, Not Revolution" in Curbing Car Dependency

"Evolution, Not Revolution" in Curbing Car Dependency

Fear of drastic change drives many people’s reservations about policies to reduce car-dependence, like eliminating parking minimums. The reality is that we can make a lot of incremental steps to make cars a bit less necessary, less of the time—and the differences between existing places on this front can provide a template.

We Used to Do This Everywhere

We Used to Do This Everywhere

We’ve destroyed so many traditional, human-scale neighborhoods in America that we tend to think of the ones that remain—like New Orleans’ famous French Quarter—as inherently exotic, the kind of place you love to visit but certainly wouldn’t live. Let’s stop treating timeless, great urban design like it’s only for tourists.

Part of the Air You Breathe

Part of the Air You Breathe

Our goal is to inspire millions of advocates to shout from the rooftops that our approach to growth and development has to change, until Strong Towns ideas become as ubiquitous as the air you breathe. There’s a long way to go, but we see it working.

I Love the Place I Live. I Fear for the Place I Live.

I Love the Place I Live. I Fear for the Place I Live.

I’m a member of the Strong Towns movement because I love the place I live, enough to want to change the destructive path it’s on. I know there are many thousands out there like me. Our movement needs you more than ever.

"I Wanted to Build a Town, Not a Development"

"I Wanted to Build a Town, Not a Development"

An interview with Steve Nygren, developer of Serenbe, Georgia, about how Serenbe is unlike conventional suburbia, and why Nygren thinks it holds lessons for how all of our communities could achieve a better way of life at a lower cost.

How Something as Small as Street Lights Can Reduce Crime

How Something as Small as Street Lights Can Reduce Crime

A new study provides the first experimental evidence that better street lighting has a cause-and-effect relationship with reduced crime. Lighting is an example of the kind of low-cost, high-returning public investment that’s all around us… but that our cities too often ignore.

Time to Stop Building Disposable Places

Time to Stop Building Disposable Places

More than ever of what we make is produced with little thought to its durability. But what happens when we apply this mindset to the very communities we live in?