What Strong Towns advocates are trying to do is bold to the point of audacious: we are trying to change a suburban experiment that is approaching a century old and has become the default approach to growing towns and cities in North America.
We’ve taken on this work because we see what was always hidden in plain sight: namely, that this development pattern gives us short-term growth (the illusion of wealth) at the cost of enormous, long-term liabilities. In the best of times, it was slowly bankrupting our cities. In times of financial crisis, the road to insolvency travels a lot faster.
That said, it’s not easy—or ultimately even possible—to do this work alone in our communities. This is one reason it’s so crucial to build a Strong Towns conversation right where we live, with the neighbors with whom we will be making decisions about our community’s future...and who will have to live with the consequences of those decisions.
Starting this discussion may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.