• Josh Lewis

Episode 85 – Strong Towns with Charles Marohn


For thousands of years the ways in which cities and towns developed has provided us with a of blueprint for what human habitats need to flourish. Yet today many of our cities and towns have forsaken these tried-and-true methods and instead imposed rational planning and an overreliance on pricey infrastructure projects to foster growth and further development. What are the potential downfalls of departing from these practices of the past?


Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis is joined by Chuck Marohn of Strong Towns to traverse the world of urban planning and discuss the need for a return to the ancient models of development, the terrible costs of over-indebted infrastructure projects to younger Americans, whether or not Wal-Mart is a net boon or detriment to local communities, and how conservatism can help us form a more prosperous and enjoyable world.


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About Charles Marohn

Charles (or “Chuck” to friends and colleagues) Marohn is the founder and president of Strong Towns, a nonprofit that supports thousands of people across the United States and Canada who are advocating for a radically new way of thinking about the way we build our world. Marohn is a professional engineer and a land use planner with decades of experience. He holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning, both from the University of Minnesota.


Marohn is the author of Strong Towns: A Bottom-Up Revolution to Rebuild American Prosperity (Wiley, 2019). 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. Planetizen named him one of the 10 Most Influential Urbanists of all time. He is a long-time commentator on KAXE Northern Community Radio. He currently co-hosts KAXE’s Dig Deep program, a monthly examination of public policy issues affecting Minnesotans.


Marohn grew up on a small farm in central Minnesota. The oldest of three sons of two elementary school teachers, he joined the Minnesota National Guard on his seventeenth birthday during his junior year of high school and served in the Guard for nine years. In addition to being passionate about building a stronger America, he loves playing music, is an obsessive reader, and religiously follows his favorite team, the Minnesota Twins. Chuck and his wife live with their two daughters in their hometown of Brainerd, Minnesota. You can find him on Twitter @clmarohn


Listener Mail

Josh responds to a listener’s question about conservatism’s challenges with appealing to minorities and whether our nation’s institutions are worth conserving given the history of American slavery and other past sins.


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