Making your town a strong town

Founding Mother, Chard & Stripes.

By now, I expected to be regaling you with tales about building my micro boutique and a better food system in my hometown. But I’m still in hometown limbo so those tales will have to wait.

What I can do now, however, is learn and plan, so I can hit the ground running once I get to Greenville. That’s why I was thrilled to find Strong Towns, the 1st on The Chard & Stripes List of National Treasures!

Strong cities, towns, and neighborhoods cannot happen without strong citizens (people who care).


Reminder: At Chard & Stripes, National Treasures are organizations whose work “we” love.

And work dedicated to making North American communities financially strong and resilient—and puts “everyday” people at the center of that—unequivocally gets love from me.

But it was five simple words on Strong Towns’ website that made me swoon at first sight:



The Strong Towns approach is a radically new way of thinking about the way we build our world, which brings to mind my #1 guiding principle: Our way of thinking creates our physical reality. That means, …

If your town isn’t thriving, it’s calling for new thinking.

Strong town thinking.

And Strong Towns is here to help you form that kind of thinking and work with local leaders.

Or become a local leader.

They do this in four main ways:

Creating Media
Strong Towns Media produces high-quality articles, podcasts and videos asking hard questions about how we build today while spotlighting a better approach for tomorrow.

Teaching Courses
Strong Towns Academy is a comprehensive, and expanding, resource that provides access to courses on a range of topics, like “strong-towning” transportation and creating housing opportunities.

Providing Tools & Resources
Strong Towns Action Lab provides tools and resources for you to take action in your community. Find checklists, how-to guides and more, plus Strong Towns advocates near you.

Hosting Events
Strong Towns Events help people see paths for applying principles for strong towns in their towns. I went on their Local-Motive Tour last year, and have my ticket for virtual “travel” this February – March.

Click the pic or here to learn about this year’s Local-Motive Tour and hop aboard!

I hope you’re as excited to discover Strong Towns as I was.

Dr. Mary-Elizabeth Harmon is a scientist turned storyteller and Founding Mother of Chard & Stripes, a “school” of prosperity making and word-of-mouth marketing platform for kind people, products and businesses in food, fashion & more. Subscribe to her newsletter here.