By Kaitlyn Benacquisto
The city of San Marcos is in the 2018 Strongest Town Competition, which is a media organization that is encouraging cities everywhere to rethink how they are built.
Rachel Quednau, communications director of Strong Towns, explains that members, readers and listeners of Strong Towns nominated towns based on their strengths and principles.
“This contest came out of a desire to showcase towns around the continent that are doing interesting, innovative things to become more economically and financially resilient,” said Quednau.
The competition is bracket-style, with sixteen towns total in the first round. After the first round of user voting there will be eight towns left, then four, then two, and the winner will be announced March 30. Since cities will advance based on votes, the cities that most effectively rally citizens and the community to vote will probably be the most successful.
San Marcos is going against Kent, Ohio in the first round. All of the cities in the contest have provided answers to questions asked by Strong Towns regarding economic resilience, community involvement, land use, and more.
“The true strength of San Marcos comes from the diversity of its people, the beauty of its unique natural assets including the San Marcos River and the greenspace that surround us, and the resilient small business community,” said an entry submitted by a San Marcos residents.
“We hope that people will vote based on how they see these towns aligning with what we believe makes a strong town,” said Quednau.
Strong Towns has core principles that they believe all strong towns should have.
- Strong cities, towns and neighborhoods cannot happen without strong citizens.
- Local government is a platform for strong citizens to collaboratively build a prosperous place.
- Financial solvency is a prerequisite for long term prosperity.
- Land is the base resource from which community prosperity is built and sustained. It must not be squandered.
- A transportation system is a means of creating prosperity in a community, not an end unto itself.
- Job creation and economic growth are the results of a healthy local economy, not substitutes for one.
Strong Towns has a website where they publish daily stories, weekly podcasts and interactive webcasts. You can view which towns are in the competition, see what makes them a strong town, and place your votes on their website.
Featured image by Kaitlyn Benacquisto.