#66: Ten steps to a stronger town

Ideas from StrongTowns: https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2016/8/26/10-steps-to-fix-a-city.

"We often talk about cities needing to change their current development pattern, but we usually offer gentle suggestions intended to prod towns in the right direction a little at a time. What if we attacked this problem head-on instead?

"For municipalities that want to become Strong Towns, here’s a list of what I see as the highest impact actions (not in any particular order) that would help restore a productive development pattern. This is a generic list, not tailored to any specific community, but the actions on this list would apply to the majority of North American towns.

"1. Don't issue any new bonds until the city's current debts are fully paid off.

"There is such a thing as responsible debt, but we’ve drifted so far away from this culturally that we would be better off quitting cold turkey for a while and getting debt-free for once before carefully re-evaluating the role of debt in the operation of a city.


"4. Don't permit greenfield development when existing infrastructure is highly underutilized.

"Almost every city has a section of town with streets and sewers surrounded by vacant lots or abandoned buildings. As long as there are big chunks of your town like this, there’s no reason to issue building permits for new infrastructure.

"5. Require buildings to front the street.

"That means no parking lots in front of buildings. The ground floor has to be inhabitable, parking can be beside or behind the building, but there has to be a “front door” that lets pedestrians enter the building directly from the street / sidewalk. ..."

submitted via fb by Elliot Goettelman