Chuck Marohn Visits Roswell

Last week, RoswellNEXT hosted guest speaker Chuck Marohn of StrongTowns.org.  Chuck spoke at RoswellNEXT's Town Hall Roswell event and presented his Curbside Chat to an engaged audience.  The StrongTowns approach to fiscal responsibility when it comes to infrastructrue and economic development is one that every municipality in our country needs to hear.  

Chuck makes the point that the development pattern of the last 60 years has been wholly unsustainable and that with each life cycle of development, we have moved into a different, less sustainable method of financing it.  The first life cycle was financed with savings.  The second life cycle was financed with public debt.  The third life cycle shouldered an increasing and concerning amount of private debt on top of the increasing amount of public debt.  The obvious conclusion is that we are broke and the current way of financing our projects is not going to function as it has over the past 60 years.  The Federal and State aid programs that cities and counties have been able to rely on are goign to be increasingly less and less available.  

The main point of the argument and one of the biggest reasons that his message hits home to New Urbanists is that the traditional development model that was proven over centuries prior to the suburban experiment seems to be one of the most financially sustainable and resilient development patters.  Maybe our ancestors actually did know what they were doing.  

Here's a video of the talk.

Jonathan Copsey of NorthFulton.com had a nice recap of the event here.