The Real Reason your City has no Money

By Charles Marohn, Strong Towns

Image from Wikimedia. Lafayette, Louisiana, has a population of around 125,000. That makes it about the 200th largest city in the country; not really big but not really all that small either. It has a unique culture and geography, but the layout and design of the city are very ordinary American. Get outside of the core downtown and surrounding neighborhoods to visit the strip malls, big box stores and residential subdivisions and Lafayette looks like any other city you'll pass through. I stress its unremarkable nature not to denigrate it in any way -- I love the city and I have a special fondness for the people of Lafayette -- but to help connect you, the reader, to a shared plight. Except for a small handful of North American cities -- literally five or less -- Lafayette provides an insight into why your city has no money. Problems have solutions....