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Strong Towns.

Action Fab

Get off my lawn
May 19, 2020
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I started listening to the Audio Book version of Strong Towns

Holy Shit is it good.

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This week is our member drive. For those of you in a position to do so, show your support for the Strong Towns movement by becoming a member.
The core insights every Strong Towns advocate needs to know.


  • Learn the underlying reasons why your city is going broke.
  • Gain the knowledge needed to stop bad development practices.
  • Have a plan to make your neighborhood stronger and more prosperous.
  • Take control of your community's future.



“Sometimes, in our depleted and cynical times, one hears 'Well then, what is your genius plan? ' Here it is, finally, with extraordinary force and clarity: a genius plan.”
—ANDRES DUANY, author of Suburban Nation and founder of the Congress for the New Urbanism

"Charles's genuine passion, his spot-on observations, and clear insights make the case as to why we need a bottom-up revolution to rebuild American prosperity that will compel us to rethink how to make places more livable, sustainable, and prosperous."
—MITCHELL J. SILVER, past president of the American Planning Association

"Somewhere between Small is Beautiful and Cities and The Wealth of Nations can be found the gem of Strong Towns, our current moment's most cogent, practical, and necessary response to the problem of urban economics."
—JEFF SPECK, author of Walkable City and Walkable City Rules

"A cogent call to rethink our faith in and commitment to unbridled and sprawling growth as the solution to challenges faced by our nation's cities and towns."
—PATRICE FREY, President and CEO of the National Main Street Center

A must-read for mayors, city builders, urbanists, and all of us who want to live in and create stronger, more vibrant, and inclusive places.
—RICHARD FLORIDA, author of The Rise of the Creative Class, The Great Reset, and The New Urban Crisis

Charles Marohn brings the same incisive creativity to Strong Towns that citizens and city leaders alike must bring to their communities.
—JANETTE SADIK-KHAN, Bloomberg Associates, former NYC Transportation Commissioner, author of Street Fight

A new approach will require innovation, organic co-creation of the community, transportation systems that make sense, thriving downtowns, and a commitment to taking a hard look at the math before we make decisions. Right now, few cities have those conversations. Chuck Marohn and Strong Towns are changing that. We have the ability to rebuild our communities and create a broader prosperity. This book is your paradigm shift to get started.
—Michele Martinez, Former City Councilmember, City of Santa Ana , CA, from the foreword to Strong Towns

This is civic republicanism, participatory democracy, populist self-governance, and fiscal humility all rolled into one…. a great, vital work of localist theory, and needs to be honored for such.

—RUSSELL ARBEN FOX, Front Porch Republic

If Marohn’s message of financial strength and resilience resonates in this time and place, it is because we feel something is deeply amiss in the American experiment, and that a solution is to be found somewhere at home. Strong Towns is a conservative vision for community that has not been tried and found wanting, but found difficult and left untried. It’s time we tried.

—MICHAEL HENDRIX, The American Conservative

It’s Green in the very best, from the ground up sense, more Kermit style than Green New Deal, and, as the author knows, it’s not easy being Green. Whether from the front porch of an old house in the historical district or from a penthouse balcony enchanted by the City’s dazzling night-lights, Strong Towns will galvanize you into productive, worthwhile action. It’s not too late, it’s never too late. Step up, step out, get started.

—RANDOLPH SEVERSON, Amazon reader review

Strong Towns fans the flames of revolutionary pragmatism. Chuck Marohn has done something remarkable here; he’s presented a practical response to the decline we see in our towns that reads like a revolutionary screed. He writes himself that implementing his ideas will be very hard for cities to do. However, I would challenge every city councilor, local leader and citizen to read this book with an open mind. To quote an old t-shirt, we need to question everything.

—AARON BROWN, Hibbing Daily Tribune

Notwithstanding such concerns, Strong Towns makes a strong case for a more rational view of development and infrastructure, from federal highway policy down to a single stretch of sidewalk. The best investments in the built environment are maintenance of neighborhoods that have stood the test of time, [Marohn] says. “See a streetlight out, replace it. See a weed: pull it. See a crosswalk faded: repaint it. See a sidewalk broken: Fix it. The neighborhoods that are generating such wealth for the community need to be showered with love.”

—ROBERT STEUTVILLE, Public Square: A CNU Journal

Whether or not one agrees with his many observations and prescriptions, Marohn provides a valuable analysis of sprawl-based development that differs from the usual environmental or aesthetic arguments. Conservatives are quick to highlight public-sector waste as a source of municipal financial distress, but Marohn reminds us that additional factors contribute to the problem as well.

—AARON M. RENN, City Journal

Marohn's diagnosis rings true. Cities are being flooded with bad development advice characterized by conflicts of interest, inflated estimates of economic impact, and requests for public subsidies that would distort market forces—this time in the service of urbanization. Meanwhile, elected leaders look for anything that looks like a quick win, regardless of the long-term consequences. And all of this is done with unjustified confidence about what the future will bring.