Inspiring Citizen-Powered Change in Pensacola

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Car-centric America: the bane of a flourishing downtown experience. For decades the thought process has been that if we can simply accommodate more cars, then we’ll have more people and more growth. But throughout the years, that expected growth has come to a screeching halt and in some cases gone backwards as our cities topple further into debt. 

“This system is insane,” said Strong Towns President Chuck Marohn at Pensacola’s CivicCon. 

Pensacola, Florida, is one city working to make a difference and shift their plans for growth to be people centric instead of car centric. For their efforts to make Pensacola a better place to live, work, and thrive, they won the 2019 Strongest Town contest. Earlier in 2017, they began CivicCon, an engaging event that invites speakers like Chuck Marohn to talk on subjects that center around making the city a stronger place. 

These events have inspired citizen-powered change in the community. Jared Moore, a regular Pensacola resident, details in the above video how he was blown away by Chuck’s talks and began to get involved in more government affairs with a passion for true incremental change. Since 2018, he’s served as the District 4 representative, 2019 Council Vice President, and in 2020 he was elected as Council President and served for a year. 

Our current development pattern is not a productive nor a financially resilient way to continue investing in our cities. Pensacola is recognizing that, just like many other North American cities. Let’s follow their lead and start building for people, not cars. 

Check out Pensacola CivicCon’s inspiring video above or on Vimeo to see what other cities are up to in making their towns a better place to live.

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