The Strong Towns answer to your most pressing questions... When and where you need it.
Picture this: You’re at a community meeting and the group begins to discuss a topic that directly impacts your neighborhood, constituents, or job. Let’s say it’s affordable housing.
You get that people need an affordable place to live, however, you’re struggling to understand the theories of affordable housing.
But then, as with any newfound knowledge, you face the inevitable question that we encourage all of our readers to ask themselves: “How can I apply this concept to make my town stronger?”
Enter the Strong Towns knowledge base: a new Strong Towns platform dedicated to giving you—the citizen, the elected official, the city planner—the answers you need to take action.
To get the most out of the knowledge base, we recommend you learn more about the three best ways to use the knowledge base:
You can learn more about each one below.
Search for a Question
Say your city council is considering removing on-street parking in a mixed-use neighborhood to create a bike lane. From reading Strong Towns, you’re familiar with the concept that bike lanes benefit both the residents and the businesses.
However, when the council hears the proposal in a public meeting, a few of the small business owners on the street object, and the council considers voting down the project.
You’re faced with another question: “How can I show business owners that fewer parking spaces won't hurt their business?”
You can enter your question in the Strong Towns knowledge base and, if it’s been answered, find an article with advice on the exact situation you’re dealing with, so you can confidently take action.
If you can't find your question, you can ask a question through the knowledge base.
Ask a Question
This is a new platform; therefore, we’re starting small—this is Version 1.0. We’ve answered a few of our most frequently asked questions to get things rolling. Admittedly, that means we likely haven’t tackled your question yet.
That’s why the knowledge base allows you to join the conversation. (This is the most important feature of the knowledge base!) Your question will appear in the New Questions column on the homepage, where others can comment with helpful insights, links, and feedback.
That means, while we're working to get your question answered, you can immediately begin gathering ideas from others.
When you’re submitting your question, remember that this is a public knowledge base. Therefore, ensure that your question is generalizable and helpful for others so they can use it to take action as well. (AKA: skip the hyper-specifics. If you have more particular questions—i.e. how can I make Green Street in Anytown, DE more walkable? rather than how can I make any neighborhood street more walkable?—hopping on our Slack board can be a great way to chat with other readers and get real-time feedback. You can even start your own city- or region-specific channel.)
Contribute to a Question
The Strong Towns staff is intentionally small, and we can only do so much in a work week. But our members and readers comprise a whole community of people with a collective wealth of expertise on how to make towns more financially strong and resilient—and how to get others on board. We want to crowd-source your insights and wisdom, not just contribute our own.
Check the New Questions section and—if you see a question for which you have helpful insights, links, or feedback—share them with us in the comments section at the bottom.
We’ll add helpful comments to the article so they can help other readers get their questions answered as well.
Because the knowledge base is an ever-changing platform—with new and updated articles every week—your feedback and comment will be essential to helping us give you the answers you need to take action.
If we get a comment on a question that really nails it, we might just reach out to you and make your answer part or all of the “official” answer, too.
In true Strong Towns fashion, the Knowledge Base is intended to grow incrementally. As readers ask their questions and we get answers added to the platform, we believe the knowledge base can become the resource you need to translate your knowledge into action.
If you want to help your council understand why your main street matters; if you want to help your neighbors understand why we need to slow the cars on your street; if you want to help small business owners embrace bike lanes; if you want to build a strong town, then it’s time to get started.
Visit the Strong Towns knowledge base, ask your questions, and help us create a platform that can make every town in America stronger.