The Invisible Hand That Designed Your City

Lately I’ve been thinking about the invisible forces that shape our behavior. In an era of ubiquitous access to technology, we’ve become like Pavlov’s famous dogs. One quick glance at our phone reveals a new … [Read more...]

Failure to act (like professionals)

I'm a licensed civil engineer. As an undergrad at the University of Minnesota, I was offered the opportunity to join the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) at a student membership rate of $25. My class was told … [Read more...]

Poor Neighborhoods Make the Best Investments

This is not a social justice argument. I'm not writing this post to shame you into taking some altruistic action for the greater good. What I'm going to present here is pure dollars and cents. Consider the two … [Read more...]

The Greatest Social Challenge of our Generation

As coarse as it may sound, the natural order of cities for thousands of years was to have a collection of affluent people living in places surrounded by poor people. The affluent lived close to the center -- within the … [Read more...]

Understanding Growth (part 1)

"We have become over-obsessed with the idea of growth. We are not exactly sure what we are growing toward, but we compensate for this shortcoming by accelerating." -Tomas Sedlacek in Economics of Good and … [Read more...]

From the best of Strong Towns 2015: THE DENSITY QUESTION

When this piece originally ran last spring it created a very interesting reaction from our audience. There were some of you that found it illuminating, as if I had revealed some hidden truth that I had been keeping to … [Read more...]

Black Friday and Parking

In the early days of my professional career, when I did municipal engineering and zoning work, parking was one of those easy things to deal with. Every code I encountered had elaborate tables that would spell out, with … [Read more...]

Progress in an Uncertain World

Strong Towns is often accused of offering doom-and-gloom diagnoses of problems but being light on solutions. "You don't tell us what we can actually DO to fix our insolvent cities," goes the response. "You're just so … [Read more...]