Strength Test #1: How’s your Main Street doing?

June 26, 2017 at 10:59 am Leave a comment

“Take a photo of your main street at midday. Does the picture show more people than cars?”

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This is the first item on the Strength Test for a reason. It helps us understand on a very basic level whether your town is filled with cars passing through, or people enjoying your city center as a destination. At Strong Towns, we call humans the “indicator species of economic health.” If you’ve got a lot of them walking around, visiting your town’s businesses, enjoying your town’s amenities and living in your town’s homes, you’re well on your way to being a strong town. That means you have an economic base to support your community and people who genuinely want to live in your place and contribute to it.

On the other hand, if your main street is devoid of people and merely a thoroughfare for cars, that tells us about your town’s auto-dependence (which makes infrastructure costs expensive) and it tells us about the tax base of your community. In our analyses of tax value per acre in city after city, we find that downtown cores and main streets are the most economically productive places.

Read Strength Test #1: How’s your Main Street doing? by Rachel Quedno at Strong Towns.

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Entry filed under: Business, Community, How-To, Placemaking, Relocalization.

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