All around us, we see communities mired in debt, struggling just to patch potholes or repaint storefronts. Yet we also see our governments spending incredible sums of money on new highways, stadiums and civic centers. Why is there such a mismatch between our neighborhoods’ basic needs—unfulfilled—and a seemingly endless pot of money that our local leaders can tap into to pay for unnecessary megaprojects? How can we change this model of development so that our towns build lasting prosperity from the bottom up, with people like you and me, instead of faking it from the top down?

These are some of the key questions Strong Towns sets out to answer in Volume III of Thoughts on Building Strong Towns.