The Strong Towns Podcast
Get Ready for #BlackFridayParking

Get Ready for #BlackFridayParking

November 23, 2022

Our annual Black Friday Parking event is coming up, so get your cameras ready!

Black Friday Parking is a nationwide event drawing attention to the harmful nature of minimum parking requirements. Parking minimums create a barrier for new local businesses and fill up our cities with empty parking spaces that don’t add value to our places. 

Every year on Black Friday, one of the biggest shopping days of the year, people all across North America snap photos of the (hardly full) parking lots in their communities to demonstrate how unnecessary these massive lots are. Participants upload those photos to social media with the hashtag #blackfridayparking. For more information, visit strongtowns.org/blackfridayparking.

The Impact of Systemic Racism on Jackson’s Water Crisis

The Impact of Systemic Racism on Jackson’s Water Crisis

November 21, 2022

A prominent question that keeps coming up since the beginning of the Jackson, Mississippi, water crisis is, “How did we get to this point?” 

If you’ve been tuning in to the Strong Towns Podcast, you’ll know that Chuck has talked about the water crisis in Jackson a couple of times working to answer this question. He’s gone in depth about the financial fragility of our water systems, how they work, and why we even have them

After hearing Chuck’s analysis, some Strong Towns members felt there was not enough emphasis on the impact systemic racism has had on the situation. In this podcast, Chuck talks with Amanda Lanata, Strong Towns member and former Jackson resident, on the racial complexities in Jackson and how race is linked to the water crisis. 

ADDITIONAL SHOW NOTES

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Most Comprehensive Resource Strong Towns Offers

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Most Comprehensive Resource Strong Towns Offers

November 18, 2022

The final installment of this week’s special Member Week Strong Towns Podcast features a discussion between Chuck Marohn and Strong Towns’ new director of community action, Edward Erfurt. Longtime listeners may remember Edward as a guest from past episodes, but today he’s here as a full-fledged member of the Strong Towns staff.

We’re excited to share a behind-the-scenes look at the program Edward is overseeing: the Strong Towns Community Action Lab. This 24-month program is the most comprehensive resource Strong Towns offers, putting participating communities on a trajectory toward enduring prosperity.

We’re able to take on new initiatives like the Community Action Lab thanks to the support of our members. If you haven’t joined yet, please consider doing so today. Become a Strong Towns member and know that your contribution is going toward the strengthening of communities all across North America.

A Whole New Framework for Analyzing Car Crashes

A Whole New Framework for Analyzing Car Crashes

November 17, 2022

Membership is 40% of Strong Towns’ revenue—we couldn’t do this work without you. As the Strong Towns movement has grown, we’ve started to take on larger projects and have looked at ways that we can support those initiatives. Instrumental in orchestrating this has been Grace Whately, the Strong Towns development associate.

One of the larger projects that Grace and the rest of the team have been working on is the launch of the Crash Analysis Studio, which will create an alternative framework for analyzing car crashes. Today, Chuck and Grace go behind the scenes and chat about how this project came about, and the steps that went into making this idea a reality. 

The Crash Analysis Studio and the other projects we’re working on to help advocates push for safer streets and more financially resilient communities are only possible thanks to the support of our members. If you want to be a part of this movement that’s changing the development pattern of North America, then join in and become a Strong Towns member today.

This Is How the Strong Towns Movement Becomes “Unignorable”

This Is How the Strong Towns Movement Becomes “Unignorable”

November 16, 2022

As a part of our special Member Week series, Chuck Marohn and Strong Towns Community Builder John Pattison talk about the Local Conversations program. They discuss how the first Local Conversations came to be, what’s changed, and how the Strong Towns organization is coming alongside these groups in new ways.

With so many Local Conversations spread out around North America, the Strong Towns movement will become unignorable. When that happens, it will be thanks to the support of our members. Strong Towns’ efforts to help start and support Local Conversations is only possible because of our members, whose contributions are expanding the movement. Will you help us grow the movement today?

The Power of Talking Locally Over the Noise of National Politics

The Power of Talking Locally Over the Noise of National Politics

November 15, 2022

On today's special Member Week episode, Chuck talks with Strong Towns Communications Associate Lauren Fisher about Strong Towns’ approach to communication. They chat about the big ideas we’re working toward and how to squish them down into little emails and tweets. And how difficult it is to do that amidst a big, loud, national political power struggle.

After listening, consider becoming a member of the Strong Towns movement at strongtowns.org/membership. And if you are already a member, know that you have chosen a path toward a strong future that might involve a poll booth, but offers power and hope beyond it.

The Strong Towns Strategy

The Strong Towns Strategy

November 14, 2022

Welcome to Member Week, where we’re celebrating our members and all that they do to support this movement.

This week, the Strong Towns podcast will be a little different. Tune in every day to listen as Chuck Marohn talks with Strong Towns staff about this movement and what our members are doing to make their places stronger.

In today’s episode, Chuck talks about the new Strong Towns strategic plan in action and what that will look like in 2023. Whereas we—as a small, fledgling organization—were once focused on just growing the movement, we’re now at a point where we can start mobilizing the movement. And that’s pretty exciting.

Still, we can’t do it without you. Our strategy relies on members. It takes a million local heroes to change the multitrillion-dollar development machine, and we need your support. 

Take a moment this Member Week to make a donation to Strong Towns: become a member.

Water System Crises and Solutions

Water System Crises and Solutions

November 7, 2022

In a September episode of the Strong Towns Podcast, Chuck talked about the water crisis in Jackson, Mississippi. He spoke on the technicalities of American water systems, what failed in Jackson, and how Jackson ended up in a crisis

Now, in this week’s episode, Chuck dives a little deeper into water systems and why we even have them (hint: it’s not just about safe drinking water). He takes listeners back to the 1800s and describes how historical events affected the standard for today’s water systems—shining a light on current aging water systems, like Jackson’s, and how we should be thinking about water systems going forward.

ADDITIONAL SHOW NOTES

The Highway Boondoggles Report

The Highway Boondoggles Report

October 24, 2022

We began building the Interstate Highway System in the 1950s, and we completed the majority of it by the end of the 1960s. The goal of creating this massive transportation system was to connect far away places— and it’s met that purpose. Yet, even though the job is done, we continue to build and invest in the interstate highway system, despite that highway investments are a waste of resources and damage the fiscal growth of our cities

In this Strong Towns Podcast, Strong Towns Founder and President Chuck Marohn chats with Tony Dutzik, associate director and senior policy analyst with Frontier Group, about their recent ”Highway Boondoggles” report

(And, in case you’re wondering, a highway boondoggle is a wasteful or pointless highway project that gives the appearance of having value but which drains scarce resources, making it harder to respond to current and future transportation needs.)

ADDITIONAL SHOW NOTES

What Customer Service Should Mean for a City

What Customer Service Should Mean for a City

October 10, 2022

Sometimes, our local governments can get caught up in an ineffective mindset while managing cities, where they take on the role of a customer service representative. While it comes from a place of wanting to be helpful, it’s not always the best approach our cities should be taking.

In this episode of the Strong Towns Podcast, host Chuck Marohn discusses subsidiarity versus the customer service mindset we tend to see in city halls. Subsidiarity holds that it matters less what decision is made and more who makes the decision—in other words, a decision should be made at the lowest level that it can competently be made. When a city is making decisions that should be made at the block level, it can create a bigger mess than intended. 

To dive into and explain this concept further, Chuck relates his personal experience within his neighborhood, one that has not always been picture perfect.

ADDITIONAL SHOW NOTES

 

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