6 Rules for Unlocking the Potential of Mid-Size Cities

6 Rules for Unlocking the Potential of Mid-Size Cities

Mid-size regions like Kansas City don’t have the affordability struggles of, say, a fast-growing Denver or Seattle: they have their own unique challenges instead. Here’s how the “natural” affordability of homes in these places can be turned into an opportunity for an urban renaissance.

We've Gotta Be Perfect

We've Gotta Be Perfect

“We’ve gotta be perfect. If a negligent driver kills someone, people see it as a necessary evil. But if a cyclist runs a red light, or a scooter hops onto a sidewalk alongside a busy street, we are just jerks driving crazy little vehicles with no regard for the law.”

The Unlikely Urbanism of a Flea Market

The Unlikely Urbanism of a Flea Market

This place is a work horse. It grows small businesses from scratch without recourse to bank loans or government subsidies. It provides products and experiences that are genuinely needed in the community. And it costs almost nothing to create.

Lessons in Traditional Development from Small Town Tennessee

Lessons in Traditional Development from Small Town Tennessee

Two small Tennessee towns reveal the mighty power of a traditional downtown square—even one that isn’t designed to achieve its full potential. It’s simply the most foolproof and financially productive style of development there is.

Why We Should Build Cities for Our Unconscious Brains

Why We Should Build Cities for Our Unconscious Brains

Traditional architecture has evolved through millennia of trial and error to harmonize with our unconscious impulses, make us feel comfortable and encourage positive social behavior. Modernism too often throws those lessons out the window—and one architect thinks the trauma of World War I had something to do with why.

Top 5 Recent Stories (July 15–July 19, 2019)

Top 5 Recent Stories (July 15–July 19, 2019)

When is it worth it to retrofit financially unproductive, auto-oriented places with walkable, mixed-use development? That dying shopping mall on the edge of your town? What about a brand new downtown for a sleepy bedroom community that never had one? This and more in our top stories of the week.

Is Strong Towns Anti-Smart City?

Is Strong Towns Anti-Smart City?

Unpacking “smart cities” hype through a Strong Towns lens: when should we get excited about technological fixes to our cities’ problems? And when is sticking with a low-tech (but tried, tested, and resilient) approach more prudent?

5 Ways To Make the Missing Middle Less Missing

5 Ways To Make the Missing Middle Less Missing

Missing Middle development—anything from a duplex to a cottage court to a small apartment building—is an indispensable piece of the Strong Towns vision for cities that are resilient, adaptable, and can pay their bills. We need to revive a culture of building this way: here are 5 ways cities can start.

De-Suburbanizing Suburbia: Is It Possible?

De-Suburbanizing Suburbia: Is It Possible?

What’s the most suburban kind of place you can think of? If you said an outlet mall, you’re probably not alone. Is there a path to incrementally retrofit these malls to a more human-scaled environment… and even if there is, is it worth the trouble?

How Strong Towns Inspired a Local Food Movement

How Strong Towns Inspired a Local Food Movement

Andy Diaz—founder at Urban Acres in Peoria, Illinois—shares how you can use local food to build community in your own neighborhood, including how to find the right investment for your neighborhood, how to grow your efforts incrementally, and why cities like Peoria and beyond need more $1,000 heroes (not $1 million heroes).


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?

Questions and Answers on our Content Manager Position

Questions and Answers on our Content Manager Position

As part of the process for hiring a Content Manager, we asked interested individuals to submit any questions they might have so we could answer them for everyone at the same time. Here are some answers to questions we’ve received.

Can This Texas Suburb Create a Downtown of Its Own?

Can This Texas Suburb Create a Downtown of Its Own?

Leander, Texas, a suburb of Austin, is a quiet bedroom community that recently found itself with a commuter rail station. Can it afford to waste the opportunity to create the transit-oriented downtown it never had?

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?