What's this competition all about?

Join us for the 2017 Second Annual Strongest Town Contest— a bracket-based competition to find the strongest town. We've invited our members, listeners and readers to nominate towns based on the Strong Towns strength test and Strong Towns principles. We know that no town is perfect. This contest is about showcasing towns that are doing their best to be strong, that have the building blocks in place to be strong towns today and in the future.  

Initial contest submission are judged by a panel of Strong Towns staff, board and contributors. Together, they'll determine the initial Sweet Sixteen. Throughout the month of March, we'll invite our readers and listeners to vote on match-ups between these towns based on a variety of assessment tools including podcast interviews, photos and essays. By March 24, we'll find the winner of our contest. The winner will get a free Curbside Chat in their town later in 2017.

Current Bracket:

Click to view larger. You can also download a blank copy to fill out with your predictions of the winner.

Final Round Competition

Please view the webcast with contestants from our final match-up, then vote for the strongest town on that page.

Voting will conclude at 5pm on Friday, March 24.


Feb. 17: Town nominations due by 11pm CT.
Feb 27-Mar 2: Sweet Sixteen is notified, their answers are published and Strong Towns readers vote for the strongest.
Mar 2: Sweet Sixteen voting closes at 11pm CT.
Mar 3: Elite Eight are notified and 3-5 photos are requested of them, illustrating the strength of their town.
Mar 6-7: Elite Eight photos are published and Strong Towns readers vote for the strongest.
Mar 9: Elite Eight voting closes at 11pm CT
Mar 10: Final Four are notified and interviewed for the Strong Towns podcast to talk about their town.
Mar 13: Final Four podcasts are published and Strong Towns readers vote for the strongest.
Mar 16: Final Four voting closes at 11pm CT.
Mar 21: The Championship Round is announced and a live webinar takes place with the final two. Strong Towns readers vote for the strongest.
Mar 27: The winner is announced!

Questions about the contest? Please contact quednau@strongtowns.org.

First Round Competition

(Voting is now closed in this phase.)

Second Round Competition

(Voting is now closed in this phase.)

Third Round Competition

(Voting is now closed in this phase.)

    Contest Phases

    Once our staff, board and contributors select the strongest 16 entries, we'll publish their answers to our initial questionnaire on our website and invite everyone to vote between each of eight town match-ups.

    Based on your votes, we'll invite eight towns to move on to the next round and send us some photos to illustrate the strength of their town. Again, you'll all have a chance to vote between town match-ups.

    In the Final Four round, we'll invite the winners of each match-up to come onto the Strong Towns podcast to make their case for why theirs is the strongest town. We'll publish these podcasts and invite our audience to listen and vote in two final match-ups.

    As the culmination of our Strongest Town contest, we'll invite the top two towns onto a live webcast to debate and discuss the strength of their towns. Our audience will vote between these two, and then we'll declare the winner.

    Contest Rules

    • Contest nominations are now closed. 
    • If you are invited on to the next round, you will be asked to participate in another step of the application process. See Schedule below for details.
    • The first round will be judged by Strong Towns staff and board in order to determine the Sweet Sixteen. After that, it'll be up to our readers to vote for their favorites each week, and take us down to the championship round at the end of March.
    • Winners will get a free Curbside Chat in their town, plus signed copies of our books, Thoughts on Building Strong Towns, Volumes I and II, and a certificate proclaiming their town: The Strongest.  (Note: While the contest is open to anyone in the world, we can only offer the Curbside Chat in the continental United States due to the small budget of our organization.)
    • Strong Towns staffregular contributorsboard members and last year's winner (Carlisle, PA) are excluded from participating in this competition.