Thinking Outside the "Jobs/Growth/Build" Box

Dec 26, 2019

Credit Chuck Marohn / Wiley

Earlier this month, Chuck Marohn was a guest on Northland Morning and said something kind of radical: "Jobs are a byproduct of a productive economy, not a surrogate for it."

Marohn is an engineer and a land-use planner.  He founded something called "Strong Towns," encouraging communities to value resilience over efficiency, to take small, incremental steps instead of undertaking huge projects, to think about continuous adaptation and what people need today, and to focus on current finances rather future growth. He's not convinced that growth at all costs is the way to go, especially when you have to "kick the can down the road" to pay for it.  And he's not sure jobs, certainly an important factor, should be the be-all and end-all when it comes to community projects.

Northland Morning's Lisa Johnson wanted to explore some of these ideas in more detail with Chuck, especially as they relate to some of our housing challenges here in the Northland.