Strong Towns is an international movement that’s dedicated to making communities across the United States and Canada financially strong and resilient.
Throughout the past 5 years we’ve utilized tools and resources from Strong Towns. We’ve learned and shared ways to build a better, more equitable city for everyone. Now we’re facing the real, imminent challenges that face cities everywhere – it’s all about how to take care of one another. Let’s be the best we can be right now “to make our systems more bottom-up and responsive. To make them more humane.”
“What you imagine as overwhelming or terrifying while at leisure becomes something you can cope with when you must-there is no time for fear.”
— Rebecca Solnit, A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster
“I think we are about to witness the best humans have to offer each other.
That’s what Solnit documents in her book. During times of stability, society seems to accept the grinding decline of these failed systems. Yet, during times of distress, leaders – especially at the most adaptable local level – step forward and fill the gaps left by incompetence and inflexibility. We need to support these people because, despite the scariness of the unknown, this is an opportunity to reshape the direction of our entire country. To make our systems more bottom-up and responsive. To make them more humane.
Think of the reasons that you love Asbury Park. Four cities were in the semi-final round of The Strongest Town. (Voting is now closed, and results are in as of April 6. Stay tuned.). Would Asbury Park someday be able to see our name on this list? Could we win? Take a look at the The Strong Towns Strength Test. Click on the underlined questions for details. How do you think we would score? Asbury Park might only score a 1 out of 10 right now – We have work to do, but with your support of APCSC advocacy we are moving in the right direction!
We understand that cities are complex, adaptable systems that defy easy or precise measurement, so we asked ourselves: are there simple observations we use to signal that a city is either a strong town or on its way to becoming one? If you went to a place and had a little bit of time, could you scratch the surface and get a sense of how strong and resilient it was?
Here are ten simple questions we call the Strong Towns Strength Test. A Strong Town should be able to answer “yes” to each of these questions. (Click on the underlined questions to read a step-by-step guide for answering that question.)
If you wouldn’t let your kids ride a bike or walk across town in your city, or if you, as an adult are fearful of riding your bike around your town or for a bike ride to another town, there’s something seriously wrong. And the tragedy is that we know what it is. It’s cars. We know cars kill. We know that streets and roads are engineered to move cars quickly, and not to enable people to move about safely. So what are we going to do about it? Check out the podcasts.
We Need a Sea Change in How We Think About Roads and Streets
March 12, 2019
“You are grossly negligent if you show a conscious indifference to the safety of others. In other words, you’re aware that the safety of others is endangered, but you don’t do anything to act on that knowledge.”
— Charles Marohn
#8 in our Greatest Hits collection of the best Strong Towns Podcast episodes you may have missed the first time around, here’s “Gross Negligence” from June 2015. In it, Chuck Marohn describes:
An exercise from army basic training in which he had to crawl through a trench while an expert marksman sent bullets whizzing nearby. No parent would let their child do this. So why do we accept that this is basically the condition of being on the sidewalk of an American stroad?
Why we tend to associate speed with mobility and economic opportunity—and why we’re wrong.
The incoherence of common responses to tragedy on our streets, such as a proposal to remedy an unsafe highway through a park in Buffalo by simultaneously making it more like a city street… and more like a high-speed road.
What we would do if we actually wanted to make safety the number one priority on our streets. The podcast: http://podcast.strongtowns.org/e/greatest-hits-7-gross-negligence/
Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition wishes everyone a safe and healthy 2019. Enjoy this collection of articles about what’s happening to make streets safe for people in cities all over the US and the world.
APCSC supports Strong Towns and has also adopted #SLOWTHECARS. We couldn’t have said it better: Why Slow the Cars?
Strong Towns advocates for financial solvency and productive land use in American cities. Places that are built for people, using traditional development patterns, can help us achieve both of those goals. On the other hand, neighborhood streets with wide lanes, huge clearance zones and other dangerous design features cause thousands of pedestrian and car passenger deaths every year. Dangerous roads do not make productive use of our land or our lives. Furthermore, they depress investment in our cities by making our neighborhoods less pleasant places to be.
People are the indicator species of success. We know that pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods are more economically productive, healthier and safer. We need to build places where people want to be.