Strong Towns: A Bottom-Up Revolution to Rebuild American Prosperity
A new way forward for sustainable quality of life in cities of all sizes
Strong Towns: A Bottom-Up Revolution to Build American Prosperity is a book of forward-thinking ideas that breaks with modern wisdom to present a new vision of urban development in the United States. Presenting the foundational ideas of the Strong Towns movement he co-founded, Charles Marohn expla...more
He fiercely refuses to allow his concepts to fall into facile, pre-conceived partisan categories and yet is unflinchingly direct in indicting the many injustices that have been perpetrated vi ...more
- stop valuing efficiency and start valuing resilience
- stop betting our futures on huge, irreversible projects, and start taking small, incremental steps and iterating based on what we learn
- stop fearing change and start embracing a process of continuous adaptation
- stop building our world based on abstract ...more
But when it gets into case studies it really begins to shine. The writing cleans up, a number of useful concepts are introduced, and the included references to organizations and studies start to get interesting and relevant to me if I ever want to participate in activism in a place ...more
On a content basis, this book and the message it delivers is incredibly important. We are facin ...more
I wanted to like this book. I even agree with most of it! To be fair, the central insight - that planned neighbourhoods aren't able to pay for themselves, with disastrous consequences - is very good. It seems unintuitive to think that affluent-seeming suburbs are really a pyramid scheme, but according to this book, their financing structure is totally unsustainable.
Once this point is made, things begin to go off the rails a bit. The central message is repeated in several different ...more
In fact, I highly recommend (and hope), and encourage more people to read about how planning and politics affect our urban environments. It's where many (a majority) of us live, work and play. So it's a pretty darned important subject.
Preach over. ...more
Traditional cities grew incrementally: a few modest structures at a road junction or a river crossing (think a bar, general store, and house of ill repute - all the necessities). Sho ...more
For thousands of years, humans had perfected the incremental building and growth of the places we inhabit. In the decades after WWII, all of that knowledge and wisdom was flushed down the drain in favor of automobile-focused development. this new experiment has proven to be devastating for our towns and cities. Detroit was the first American city to try this experiment and other cities will soon follow in its wake.
Today, the infra ...more
Through his framework of iteration, fiscal conservatism, and blunt pragmatism Marohn gains connection with both those that came before and his contemporary community, driving home the point that our cities have never been solely about moving from A to B, and compartmentalizing one piece from another. Our cities have always been our homes, playgrounds, sanctuaries, gyms, markets, and social clubs. Often all at the same time. And should that be thrown ...more
After reading this book, my intuition has been explained in an easy to grasp approach and I understand even better the pitfalls that await my town in 5-10 years. I appreciate even more why the ‘grow for the sake of growth’ mentality handcuffs future generati ...more
Chuck has sounded the alarm on a growing crisis in America that is effecting each of us significantly, almost no matter where we live. At a time when everything that seems wrong in a world overshadowed by a pandemic, economic outfall, and the ...more