Strong Towns

What does it mean to be a Strong Town? Chuck Marohn, the Founder and President of Strong Towns, will provide some insights on Wednesday April 3 at 6:30 PM at the Portsmouth Public Library.



Common belief is that supporting cities and towns that invest in community is an expensive process. What we often miss from this perspective is a comparison. For generations, local governments have focused on expanding and developing infrastructure for cars—often at the expense of pedestrian safety and community vitality. While liabilities have grown, transportation funding has not kept up. Now there is a desperate need to shift. Rather than build new, we need to maintain existing transportation infrastructure. Rather than emphasize expansion, we need to focus on existing investments. We face an important question: How do we get the most value out of our infrastructure investments while improving walkability, safety, and community strength? 



The Strong Towns approach is a radically new way of thinking about the way we build our world. We believe that in order to truly thrive, our cities and towns must: 

• Stop valuing efficiency and start valuing resilience 

• Stop betting on huge projects, and start taking smart steps 

• Stop fearing change and start embracing continuous adaptation 

• Stop building our world based on abstract theories, and start building it based on how our places actually work and what our neighbors actually need today 

• Stop obsessing over future growth and start obsessing about our current finances 

But most importantly, we believe that Strong Citizens from all walks of life must participate in a Strong Towns approach—from citizens to leaders, professionals to neighbors, and everyone in between. 



Charles Marohn is the Founder and President of Strong Towns. He’s a Professional Engineer (PE) licensed in the State of Minnesota and a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). Marohn has a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Technology and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute.

Marohn is the lead author of Thoughts on Building Strong Towns — Volume 1, Volume 2 and Volume 3 — as well as the author of A World Class Transportation System. He hosts the Strong Towns Podcast and is a primary writer for Strong Towns’ web content. He has presented Strong Towns concepts in hundreds of cities and towns across North America and in 2017 was named one of the 10 Most Influential Urbanists of all time by Planetizen. 



We will reserve ample time for questions and discussion. The event is free and all are welcome. Please register here to help ensure sufficient seating.

Event Sponsors: Piscataqua Savings Bank, Rosamond Thaxter Foundation, Piscataqua Garden Club, Portsmouth Housing Authority, City of Portsmouth, and the Geoffrey E. Clark and Martha Fuller Clark Fund of the NH Charitable Foundation.

Event Partners: Seacoast Media Group,, Coruway Film Institute, and the Sailmaker House.

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