Within the Congress for the New Urbanism, there’s a platform for participants of diverse backgrounds to present ideas, interact, debate and explore innovative ways to improve our built and natural environment. With speakers from groups such as Strong Towns and The Street Plans Collaborative, NextGen (short for “The Next Generation of New Urbanists”) was featured Wednesday at CNU 20.
Chuck Marohn, executive director of Strong Towns, introduced his non-profit as based around challenging the development patterns of post-war America and calling for a shift to growth models that allow for towns to become financially resilient.
One highlight from Marohn’s discussion was a pervasive feature on the American landscape that he termed the “stroad.” With its auto-centric design and drive-in commerce, a “stroad” tries to function as both a street and a road. Marohn described stroads as the “futon of transportation options” because they try to do too many things — accommodating businesses and moving cars, pedestrians, cyclists and transit users — while doing none of them particularly well. ..................(more)