An infrastructure crisis?
In the 2016 presidential campaign, both frontrunner candidates claimed they wanted to increase infrastructure spending in America. Since the election, that sentiment has continued across the country. At Strong Towns, we have a very different perspective. In a nation that has spent more than seven decades frantically spreading out, there are trillions of dollars of unproductive infrastructure already in the ground today waiting for us to make better use of.
At Strong Towns, we see that our cities, towns and neighborhoods are dripping with opportunity. These opportunities are not of the mega-project variety. They are small, but they can positively transform everything about how we live our lives.
If you'd like to be part of changing the American conversation about infrastructure and helping your town focus on small-scale investments instead of risky mega-projects, it's time to become a member of the Strong Towns movement.
In times like this, where we're asking cities to innovate and to do more with less, we should be adding tools to the local government toolbox, not removing them.
Many would have us believe that America is failing to invest in its infrastructure. If only it were that simple.
In this episode, Chuck Marohn discusses the need to create a new infrastructure funding system, not keep dumping more money into the existing system.
Small maintenance projects focusing on below ground infrastructure in old, established neighborhoods have the greatest potential for positive returns.
Social justice concerns are an acceptable motive for collective action, but they don't free us from the requirement that our infrastructure investments make financial sense.
We can make low risk, high returning investments in our cities while improving the quality of life for people, particularly those who are not benefiting from the current approach.
Problems have solutions. Predicaments have outcomes. We're in a predicament.
Devolution isn't so scary when the alternative is this crazy.
Cities have to live with constraints that the federal government does not.
Improving a city doesn't take a lot of money. It just takes courage.
A federal infrastructure bill is going to make your city poorer in the long run. Here's how.
Interested in seeing how these concepts apply in your city? Bring Strong Towns to your community for a presentation about America's infrastructure crisis and how your city can get the best return on investment for its infrastructure developments.
We interviewed several leaders from around the country for their thoughts on federal infrastructure spending. Here's what they had to say:
Today, Heyden Walker and Chuck Marohn discuss the highway I-35 project in Austin and the need for better transparency in transportation spending.
In this podcast, Professor of Architecture, Thomas Fisher, discusses a design-thinking approach of bottom-up vs. top-down decisionmaking, and the danger of building the wrong types of infrastructure for the future of America.
In this interview, Chuck Marohn and Russ Roberts, host of the EconTalk podcast, discuss the political appeal of infrastructure spending vs. the economics perspective. They also talk about how to ensure a good return on investment and how to focus on smaller-scale projects.
Chuck Marohn interviews Kate Kraft, the Executive Director of America Walks to talk about how to use infrastructure spending to create more walkable places across America.
Ed Erfurt discusses his perspective as a local leader in a small town on what infrastructure is worth investing in, how to get a real return on your investment and how to avoid getting "caught up in free money."
We're honored to feature an interview with Ray LaHood as part of our #InfrastructureCrisis conversation.
Former Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn talks about America's infrastructure crisis and how to not waste this moment.
(Top photo by Oleg Kuzmin)