The Strong Towns book has been released. Soon there’ll be stacks of these at the new Warren V. Nash Reisz Mahal City Hall, tomes towering as high as those Amazon boxes of Bicentennial seat cushion Crutchfields that Bob Caesar wasted tens of thousands of dollars of YOUR money buying in 2013 before flushing the invoices down the toilet to keep people like me from seeing them.
That was a joke, folks — well, the first part.
There’s no way Team Gahan reads Marohn, as his lessons would contradict the pay-to-play Ponzi Scheme which is Dear Leader’s only true achievement in office.
More than a year of writing and editing, then months of anticipation and planning…it all led here. Today is the official release day for Strong Towns: A Bottom-Up Revolution to Rebuild American Prosperity, the first book from Strong Towns founder and president Charles L. Marohn, Jr.
In Strong Towns, Chuck (as he’s known around here) upends conventional approaches to urban development. The North American development pattern, Chuck writes, equates to the largest human experiment ever attempted. “In the blink of an evolutionary eye,” he says, “we have transformed everything about how we live, get around, interact with each other, make decisions, conduct commerce, fall in love, and countless other aspects of human existence.” This pattern has come at an astronomical price, though. It traps cities and towns in a growth/debt cycle that racks up huge economic bills, not to mention steep social costs, that are rapidly coming due.
The Strong Towns approach, as you know, is different. We focus on bottom-up investments (“little bets”) that minimize risk and maximize a community’s ability to strengthen itself financially while improving the quality of life for all residents. Jeff Speck, author of Walkable City, called the Strong Towns book “our current moment’s most cogent, practical, and necessary response to the problem of urban economics.” Andrew Duany, author of Suburban Nation and the founder of the Congress for New Urbanism, put it this way:
Sometimes, in our depleted and cynical times, one hears “Well then, what is your genius plan?” Here it is, finally, with extraordinary force and clarity: a genius plan.
We think something special is happening around the release of this book. The publisher, Wiley, is reporting big pre-order numbers, which is compelling booksellers to take notice. Yesterday, we watched Strong Towns climb the sales ranks on Amazon, ending the day at #1 in three categories: Urban & Regional Economics, Development & Growth Economics, and Business Development. We can’t wait to see what release day has in store.
You’ve already done so much to get the book to this point, but can we ask one more favor? Will you help us spread the word this week? Would you take 30 seconds out of your day to recommend the Strong Towns book (or this site) to some friends—in a conversation over coffee, for example, via email, or on social. The link below provides a lot of information about the book. We’re going to keep that link continuously updated as the major reviews start to appear. (Two already have.)
The following links are a bonus of sorts from earlier in the summer, in which Marohn documents his personal journey.
My Journey From Free Market Ideologue to Strong Towns Advocate
Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: The Pequot Lakes Bypass
Part 3: What Is Infrastructure?
Part 4: Analyzing the Cul-De-Sac
Part 5: Commercial Development
Part 6: Organic Markets in the Traditional City
Part 7: The Nature of Markets