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 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.
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.
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.
No name better symbolizes idyllic 1950s suburbia than Levittown. How these massive, master-planned communities—the epitome of America’s suburban experiment—have fared over 70 years tells a less rosy story.
When property near water holds a higher value than landlocked properties, we call it the “lake effect.” How can this be used to build a stronger, healthier community?
Scott Ford, former Director of Community Investment for South Bend, Indiana, knows a thing or two about how to turn around a declining place’s fortunes. He shares some key insights with us.
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?
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.
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 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.
In most of North America, we’ve created a world where the poor and rich alike have to pay a very expensive ante—owning a car—just to participate in society. Will autonomous vehicles bring about a fairer world, or exacerbate these inequalities?
Instead of subsidizing or regulating our way to the finished state we think we want in our neighborhoods, there s a much more powerful—and achievable—path we can take.
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.
Every time it seems like our housing crisis is going to bring everything crashing down, banks inject a dose of antigravity. How long can it go on?
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!
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.
Does development in a struggling part of town mean displacing the people who already live there? Derek Avery doesn’t think so—and he’s walking his talk as an incremental developer who works hard to lift up the communities he works in. And here, he answers your questions.
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.
Come on, Chuck, just give it up already and tell us what works. If it were only that easy.