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Top 5 Recent Stories (June 3–June 14, 2019)

Top 5 Recent Stories (June 3–June 14, 2019)

Our most popular recent articles dig into what it really means to build a city incrementally to be strong and resilient, including how to create great public spaces, and how to get the mix of neighborhoods businesses you want—without subsidy.

The National Association of Realtors Says #DoTheMath

The National Association of Realtors Says #DoTheMath

The latest issue of the National Association of Realtors biannual magazine, On Common Ground, is devoted to the financial implications of growth and land-use decisions. And Strong Towns thinking features front and center.

A Local, Collaborative Approach to Wealth-Building Economic Development

A Local, Collaborative Approach to Wealth-Building Economic Development

Ed Morrison—author of Strategic Doing: Ten Skills for Agile Leadership—shares how city leaders can grow their economies by fostering collaboration on a local level, including how to find existing assets in your community, how to encourage existing organizations to focus on a shared goal, and how to incrementally pursue that goal.

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.

Is Strong Towns NIMBY, YIMBY, or What?

Is Strong Towns NIMBY, YIMBY, or What?

Some YIMBYs don’t like Strong Towns and claim we are anti-development NIMBY. Yet, NIMBYs hate us because we insist neighborhood evolve, adapt, and change. What’s going on here?

How to Turn Neglected Alleyways into Thriving Public Spaces

How to Turn Neglected Alleyways into Thriving Public Spaces

Paul Fast—Principal Architect at HCMA, a Canadian architecture and design firm—discusses its More Awesome Now project and how you can revive neglected alleyways in your own neighborhood, including how to assess the needs of the neighborhood, how to measure the success of the project, and how to consider all members of the community in its design.

"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.

Change is a Constant in Most Neighborhoods

Change is a Constant in Most Neighborhoods

We tend to talk about neighborhoods in a static way: if they’re not rapidly, visibly transforming, we assume they’re not changing at all. A look at the data provides a helpful reminder that the places we live are actually changing all the time.

Top 5 Recent Stories (May 20–May 31, 2019)

Top 5 Recent Stories (May 20–May 31, 2019)

Who is an expert in how to build and sustain a strong place? Who has the solutions? Our top articles of the past couple weeks got at the crux of this question—and at why we’re building a mass movement instead of focusing on changing a few policy makers’ minds.

When Should Local Governments Take on Debt?

When Should Local Governments Take on Debt?

When is it appropriate for a local government to take on debt? And other common questions we’ve answered for you—new this week in the Strong Towns Knowledge Base!

Eating Jell-O With Chopsticks

Eating Jell-O With Chopsticks

Trying to navigate opaque bureaucracies, just to get permission to build something that used to be legal everywhere, is like eating Jell-O with chopsticks: tedious and unsatisfying. No wonder people find pragmatic work-arounds instead.

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.