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Chapters One and Two
Chapters One and Two

In this section, we invite you to share your thoughts, questions, and observations from chapters one and two of Strong Towns: A Bottom-Up Revolution to Rebuild American Prosperity

These chapters discuss how, over many centuries of testing and tinkering, we developed ways of building communities that best supported human flourishing. This was hard-won wisdom, the ever-evolving byproduct of an essentially infinite number of little experiments, developed in times of peace and war, abundance and scarcity, health and pestilence, stagnation and growth.

In addition, we encourage you to participate in several activities that will give you a deeper look into chapters one and two, including: 

Then, join us again to discuss chapter three starting February 1!

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My wife and I live in an old mill village that has seen some revitalization efforts over the past 17 years. We love the idea of housing and community and used to sit on our front porch and talk about buying the home across the street should those neighbors ever want to sell. Long story short, we ended up buying the property and renovating the detached garage apartment into a 651sq ft. ADU. Although small, it provides an additional housing unit and an affordable option for the current tenants. Our town has a long way to go, but its the... (More)

I’m not an expert, but based on the experience I do have, I would say that if it’s assumed the success of failure is ultimately unpredictable, then one is basically taking too big of a risk. 
There are tools and predictable software that will aid in a planning process. If these aren’t used, one is setting themselves and the community up for failure.

There are examples of this all throughout the US and I’m sure nationally.

First Floor of Home Transformed into a Restaurant, Apartment.

In the early 1980s, my landlord and his wife purchased the building above: a three-story house in one of Denton's core neighborhoods. As my landlord has described to me, throughout the following decades, his wife always dreamed aloud of opening her own crepe and coffee shop. Many throughout North America likely share this dream; however, with the high barrier to entry, for most it remains a dream.

As Charles L. Marohn, Jr. discusses in chapters one and two, it doesn't have to be this way. Our ancestors—through their spooky wisdom—understood that the most resilient places can, through design, adapt... (More)

Hey Thomas, great to hear from you and thanks so much for joining the Strong Towns Book Club! Chapters one and two discuss the complexity of human habitats and how—through trial and error—our ancestors learned that the most resilient places incrementally adapt and evolve as the needs of the household or the neighborhood as a whole evolved. These McMansions, I imagine, can't adapt.

How are these infill lots zoned? Can a developer build anything besides large single-family homes? If not, I think you'll enjoy this article on dynamic zoning codes38.

The Referenced Materials25 section for chapters one and two... (More)