/r/StrongTowns

Photograph via snooOG

The subreddit for discussing all things Strong Towns

Welcome

This is a place to discuss all things related to the Strong Towns message. The latest Strong Towns podcast, a great Strong Towns article from last year, or things from other wheres and whens that tie into what Strong Towns is all about can all be discussed here.

Rules

Simple:

  1. Posts should be related to Strong Towns in some way. (Don't worry, there's a lot of room to run there.)
  2. Be kind and civil.

Useful Links

/r/StrongTowns

15,536 Subscribers

22

If you were going to take on a small scale infill project, what would you build?

Would you build a duplex, townhouses or a small mixed use project?

18 Comments
2024/06/21
13:26 UTC

6

The Story of Broadway in NYC

I found this fascinating and thought that this story of Broadway was a great case study for incrementalism and the complex adaptive systems Chuck talks about.

0 Comments
2024/06/19
01:49 UTC

63

They're Finally Fixing Our Busiest Street! Is there another local urbanism content creator who focuses on their city like this guy does with Asheville?

8 Comments
2024/06/10
19:12 UTC

85

What can I do in suburbia

I went through the entire not just bikes series on strong towns. I am sold and I'm assuming this is a subreddit for Strong Towns. I live in a classic American suburban subdivision outside of town. Our subdivision was built in the early 00s. We are a family of 4 with two small children. Our subdivision is not connected to anywhere outside of it. The main road does not have a bike path or side walk. We basically cannot go anywhere and walking is strictly for exercise. I always dreamt of the idea of living in a walkable town and now that I have kids the urge for this has gotten stronger. I am currently home with them and my heart hurts watching my son alone in the backyard during the day. I wish I could walk to a playground or a common place like a plaza. I wish activity and socialization didn't have to be so planned. I visited Europe a few times in the past decade and I became so depressed returning to no public transportation or walk ability. We bought into the American lifestyle and I'm afraid I will never be able to escape it. I can't move because I have a family and my husband would never leave the country. Moving isn't really an option as I'm afraid I cannot convince him to move to a more urban setting. What can I do while living in a development that is arguably the problem with American towns? Can we make developments like mine more sustainable and accessible? Can we make them profitable for towns outside of the growth model? There are so many new developments popping up in our town so I'd imagine that is how the town stays afloat.

Update: I looked on my town website and saw that there already is a plan to add a traffic circle to an intersection very close to my development and a walking/bike path! I emailed the contact for this project to ask them to consider extending the path up to my main Rd to connect our subdivision among many others. There will be a public forum about this soon which I plan to attend. If anyone knows of any other traffic calming measure I should ask for please let me know. This Rd gets a lot of foot traffic already and there is no sidewalk.

65 Comments
2024/06/10
18:32 UTC

68

We Built Isolating Places. Can We Get Out?

7 Comments
2024/06/08
11:03 UTC

106

I had a close encounter with disaster in a suburban neighborhood

I (22m) was walking around the neighborhood on the phone just 30 minutes ago. Now I’m a younger white guy so I’ve never dealt with racial profiling but I could tell some lady was watching me from her pool (which was somehow in her front yard), and when I turned around after hitting a cul de sac she asked what I was doing walking around and why I was there. First of all, that question was out of line, I wasn’t bothering anyone and was just out getting some steps, but I didn’t want to get shot so I mentioned I was staying with my boss who lives a block away.

I continue my walk through the neighborhood and 15 mins later I see her following me a couple blocks away to another cul de sac where she confronts me AGAIN with the same questioning. At this point I’m genuinely annoyed because I’d already mentioned what I was doing, but I gave the same answer.

My question is, if I were a black guy walking, would I be dead right now? This woman refused to mind her own business and she finally stopped following me after texting my boss who said I was staying at their house. I’ve long lived in diverse urban neighborhoods and never had this experience, and this cements that I’m never living in a place like this neighborhood.

21 Comments
2024/06/07
19:29 UTC

15

HELP NEEDED: An Urbanist Trying To Help Other Urbanists

Hey guys I recently started a course in urban studies in Leiden University and wanted to make something to help future students or urbanists in general who cant find relevant resources they need for what they are looking into, whether it be infrastructure news, ideas, job opportunities etc.

Therefore, I made this database of useful sites for urbanists but I want to get the input of the community who I would want to use this. If anyone has suggestions for format changes, website additions, switching to a different platform altogether which has better format options etc please feel free to tell me. I have enabled commenting for this link so you can add comments directly to the doc.

Any suggestions or help would be really helpful. I will hopefully join the student organisation for Urban Studies and get more resources to make this even better.

Thanks guys!

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1MeyaJrrOLYudMFXYk3sSbRcQHf-oSDHR8viexgKpkXY/edit?usp=sharing

7 Comments
2024/06/06
09:51 UTC

30

Grandview Missouri has shut down their only public transportation option

I will be meeting with Mayor Jones of Grandview Missouri to discuss how the impact of loosing 29 blue ridge bus line to the majority of grandview. I will also add this is our only option for transportation other than a car. The inner city is 20 miles through 3 major US highways making biking difficult/impossible.

I need to find an alternate solution that is cheaper (current cost has ballooned 100k yearly), can be achieved by grants, or is plausible. We are in the KC metropolitan area, but kansas city's transportation authority is wanting the other cities to front the costs. Leaving its residents to suffer.

Please comment down below. And thank you for your time and opinions. All of them

3 Comments
2024/06/05
00:14 UTC

29

Do you expect Chuck to make a run for state or national office?

It seems inevitable that he’d be at least a gubernatorial candidate someday.

Would that be good or bad for the ST movement?

23 Comments
2024/06/03
11:04 UTC

18

Should we fund FREE metro passes? Burbank thinks so!

6 Comments
2024/06/02
16:17 UTC

63

Has anyone sought to remove USDOT designation from local roads?

My city, Columbia SC, has quite a few roads that run through its center that are all classified as USDOT highways. One in particular is really just a 2 lane neighborhood street that is the boundary of two modest, diverse neighborhoods. I think a lane reduction, bike addition could be a major help to the area, but the USDOT will hamper these as well as speed reduction. Has anyone tried to pursue allowing the state/city to reclaim designation of a USDOT road yet? I'm curios if this has been shown to be possible.

13 Comments
2024/05/29
15:16 UTC

3

HOA Questiin

Hello- my HOA does not allow rentals less than 6 months and I have learned that 1% of owners would like to get rid of rental possibilities altogether. Currently the amendments on record allow rentals. I have filed with the city to make my unit a rental in compliance with the city and have a renter lined up for a 2 year lease with an option to renew yearly. Can my HOA block this? Thank you in advance.

2 Comments
2024/05/28
21:03 UTC

27

Next increment of development theory in cities

I’ve recently learned about Strong Towns and started reading Chuck’s books. I just finished the first one and now jumped to Escaping the Housing Trap. One question that I think his approach, as far as I understand it, does not resolve is how to build to the next increment of development in places where houses have already been cut into duplexes and ADUs are allowed, but this is still way below the density needed for a given area.

My specific example: I live in Toronto, where we basically have three subway lines. One of them, the Bloor line, basically only has 2 story buildings all along it starting from just outside of the core of the city. This is some of the most precious real estate in the country but zoning and process bullshit keeps it from growing. Even if we were to fix the zoning nonsense, how can we grow up these transit corridors without inviting in the massive, centralized finance that Chuck argues against?

20 Comments
2024/05/27
14:24 UTC

43

Shared Walls

Hey all,

I read escaping the housing trap recently and was reflecting on ideas from the book and my own experiences.

What are your thoughts on the challenges of sharing walls? Giving that thickening neighborhoods likely means more townhouses, condos, duplexes etc. I grew up in a duplex and I have no problem with sharing walls in principle. But in my adult life, living in apartments, sharing walls with other tenants has often been an ordeal due to noise and especially indoor smoking. I love the city and don’t want to decamp for the suburbs but there is so much indoor smoking now (mostly weed) that I feel I am being smoked out essentially.

In the cities I have lived in, it is extremely difficult to evict tenants, especially post COVID. Landlords seem unwilling or incapable of doing much about it. I’d honestly be terrified to own a duplex, or a townhouse, if my neighbors can blast me with smoke with total impunity.

42 Comments
2024/05/26
14:15 UTC

25

Chuck Marohn speaking in DC Thursday May 23rd

If you are in the DC area, join Cleveland Park Smart Growth Thursday, May 23rd from 6-7:30pm at the Cleveland Park Library to hear Chuck Marohn talk about his new book, Escaping the Housing Trap: the Strong Towns Response to the Housing Crisis. The event is free, but please register for accurate head count. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/escaping-the-housing-trap-with-chuck-marohn-tickets-902897800627

0 Comments
2024/05/21
01:58 UTC

125

Non car dependent and climate safe places in the US?

I've been living abroad for a while in EU but will likely need to return to the US in the coming years. I am really trying to avoid owning a car and it's usually pretty difficult in the US.

I am looking for current recs on places that are bike/ped/transit friendly and that are climate safe, this probably rules out most of the south which is fine with me. I have spent years in Chicago, SF/Oakland and it seems like a good bet but I thought maybe people here have some lesser know recommendations. I'm not rich so reasonable COL is also a consideration. Very curious as to where people live that might be an option for my partner and I.

115 Comments
2024/05/17
10:25 UTC

21

Third Place vs. Right to the City

24 Comments
2024/05/16
07:30 UTC

43

This Abandoned Arby's Shouldn't Exist

I think this YouTuber deserves some attention. His videos delve into the nitty-gritty of urban planning issues including land usage and codes, mostly pertaining to the city of Asheville, NC. It's nice to see someone passionate and knowledgeable about local issues.

2 Comments
2024/05/15
13:40 UTC

24

I recently heard about strong towns Langley. How many strong towns are there? Is there one in New Jersey

I’m looking to go from renting to buy a house and I’d like recommendations of where to look

5 Comments
2024/05/14
18:59 UTC

6

Strong Towns Gathering

Anyone going to the gathering tomorrow? I’ll be there for the first time.

0 Comments
2024/05/13
16:34 UTC

28

Strong Towns Gathering

Anyone else going to the Strong Towns gathering in Cincinnati tomorrow? I’m going for the first time.

7 Comments
2024/05/13
16:30 UTC

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