The way we build our cities is fundamentally flawed, says Chuck Marohn, founder and president of Strong Towns. Come hear him speak on why we need a bottom-up revolution…and what you can do to make a difference.
Charles L. “Chuck” Marohn, Jr., founder of Strong Towns, will be coming to Seattle, Washington, as part of his coast-to-coast Strong America Tour. He will be speaking at 12th Avenue Arts from 12:00 p.m.-1:30 p.m. PDT. (To register for the event, which is free and open to the public, visit www.strongtowns.org/
Marohn’s tour kicks off the release of his new book, Strong Towns: A Bottom-Up Revolution to Rebuild American Prosperity (Wiley, October 2019, ISBN: 978-1-119-56481-2, $25.00). But the bigger reason for the event is to set in motion what he calls a Strong Town Revolution—and we need citizen and government leaders if we want to get it done.
“All across North America, cities and towns are realizing they need a new approach to growth,” he says. “It’s more than a trend; it’s an international movement.”
Marohn is traveling to dozens of communities across North America—big cities and small towns alike—to share the ideas in his book and give audiences a new way to think about how they approach revitalization and growth.
Since World War II, our cities and towns have been built in a way that is fundamentally flawed. We’ve paved endless roads, raised countless buildings, and put more and more infrastructure in the ground, while giving almost no thought to whether future generations will be able to afford to maintain the world we’ll leave them with—or how what we are building makes our communities worse places to live today.
Strong Towns aims to help communities break this cycle by shifting to a radically new way of thinking about the way we build our world—or, more accurately, a way of thinking that seems radically new but is actually rooted in ancient wisdom.
“Only when we embrace the lessons our ancestors learned over thousands of years of trial and error can we restore strength and stability to our communities and stop the long, slow decline we’re experiencing,” says Marohn.
He says that in order to truly thrive, cities and towns must turn back the clock and:
- Stop valuing efficiency and start valuing resilience;
- Stop betting our futures on huge, irreversible projects, and start taking small, incremental steps and iterating based on what we learn;
- Stop fearing change and start embracing a process of continuous adaptation;
- Stop building our world based on abstract theories, and start building it based on how our places actually work and what our neighbors actually need today;
- Stop obsessing about future growth and start obsessing about our current finances.
“We believe that Strong Citizens from all walks of life can and must participate in a Strong Towns approach—from citizens to leaders, professionals to neighbors, and everyone in between,” says Marohn. “And if you are reading this, that means we need you.”
Thursday’s presentation will begin by showcasing why so many towns in North America are struggling financially despite decades of robust growth. Marohn will then invite the audience to “choose their own adventure” from a range of presentation tracks and go deeper into just one area where their unique community can make a change today. Designed to be dynamic and bespoke to each town, the Strong America presentation is part community conversation, part lecture from an expert, and the catalyst you need for your place to become financially stronger.
In every stop on the tour, a Strong Towns staff member will write an essay about the stories they find there. Then, Marohn will put all of the essays together in a new e-book that paints a portrait of what a Strong America looks like today. It will include photos, profiles of local advocates doing what they can to make their own towns stronger, tour diary updates from the road, and great writing from Strong Towns advocates from across the country.
Seattle also will be featured in other Strong Towns content and on Strong Towns social media feeds, which reach an international audience of millions of readers annually.
Marohn says he was thrilled by the hundreds of requests for proposals to host Strong America Tour stops.
“It’s clear that cities and towns of every size are hungry for a new approach that can help them grow financially strong and resilient,” he says. “Every time I visit a different town, I am gratified to see how passionate and smart and creative people can be. Meeting people, hearing their stories, and exchanging ideas is my favorite part of the job.”
To see some of the other towns that are on the Strong America Tour, visit www.strongtowns.org/
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About the Author:
Charles L. “Chuck” Marohn, Jr., is the founder and president of Strong Towns and the author of Strong Towns: A Bottom-Up Revolution to Rebuild American Prosperity. He is a professional engineer (PE) licensed in the state of Minnesota and a land use planner with two decades of experience. He holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a master’s of urban and regional planning, both from the University of Minnesota. Marohn hosts the Strong Towns Podcast and has presented Strong Towns concepts in hundreds of cities and towns across North America. He is featured in the documentary film Owned: A Tale of Two Americas, and was named one of the Ten Most Influential Urbanists of all time byPlanetizen.
About Strong Towns:
Strong Towns is a national media organization whose mission is to advocate for a model of development that allows America’s cities, towns, and neighborhoods to grow financially strong and resilient. Strong Towns began in 2008 as a blog written by Charles Marohn. Today, it is a nonprofit publishing daily content by dozens of contributors, sharing weekly podcasts, and giving presentations around the U.S. and Canada. Strong Towns reaches an audience of more than 1.5 million readers per year and has over 2,900 members. Learn more at www.strongtowns.org.
About the Book:
Strong Towns: A Bottom-Up Revolution to Rebuild American Prosperity (Wiley, October 2019, ISBN: 978-1-119-56481-2, $25.00) will be available at bookstores nationwide, from major online booksellers, and direct from the publisher by calling 800-225-5945. In Canada, call 800-567-4797. For more information, please visit the book’s page on www.wiley.com.