Nelson wins first round of Strong Towns competition

Voting ends at 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 28

Nelson won out over last week’s rival, Amesville, Ohio, in the Strongest Town in America contest, and moves on to the next round.

This week the city is competing against Guthrie, Oklahoma.

Nelson is one of 16 finalists in the online contest, a month-long, bracket-based competition designed to spotlight communities from around the world that are building enduring financial resilience at the local level and actively embodying the Strong Towns approach to economic growth and development.

Scroll to the bottom of this page to vote, but only until 10 a.m. Thursday, March 28.

Towns that make the cut will be announced on Friday. In the weeks that follow, towns that make each successive round will be asked to take part in a series of interactive challenges designed to highlight how financially strong they really are.

The other second round contests are: Delray Beach, FL vs. Pensacola, FL; Erwin, TN vs. Safety Harbor, FL; and New Rochelle, NY vs. Portsmouth, NH.

Past winners of the Strongest Town competition have included Muskegon, Mich., Traverse City, Mich., and Carlisle, Penn. The winner of the Strongest Town 2019 contest will receive a commemorative plaque and a visit and interactive community presentation with Charles Marohn, Strong Towns founder, president and author of the forthcoming Strong Towns: A Bottom-Up Revolution to Rebuild American Prosperity.

In the first round,with eight pairs of towns competing, there were 8,000 votes cast overall, and in the voting between Nelson and Amesville, Nelson got 80 per cent of the votes.

Nelson was nominated by Tammy Everts, John Palozzi, city councillors Rik Logtenberg and Keith Page, and former councillors Anna Purcell and Paula Kiss.

“For generations, North American communities have been growing — or at least, they’ve been building,” states the Strong Towns website. “But as we’ve paved endless roads, raised countless buildings and put more and more infrastructure in the ground, we’ve given almost no thought to whether future generations will be able to afford to maintain the world we’ll leave them with — or how many of the things we build are making our communities worse places to live today.”

The website goes on to outline some recommended changes in the way we think about towns:

• Stop valuing efficiency and start valuing resilience;

• Stop betting our futures on huge, irreversible projects, and start taking small, incremental steps and iterating based on what we learn;

• Stop fearing change and start embracing a process of continuous adaptation;

• Stop building our world based on abstract theories, and start building it based on how our places actually work and what our neighbours actually need today;

• Stop obsessing about future growth and start obsessing about our current finances.

“But most importantly, we believe that Strong Citizens from all walks of life can and must participate in a Strong Towns approach — from citizens to leaders, professionals to neighbors, and everyone in between. And that means we need you.”

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