One place that drove a lot of traffic—so to speak—in the direction of the AMA was the YouTube channel Not Just Bikes (NJB). NJB fans were the source for many Strong Towns AMA comments, including one from a user who hopes to see more collaboration between the organizations, such as the series NJB produced on the Strong Towns approach.
One participant, screen-named humerusbones, wanted to know if the Strong Towns movement, which reaches an audience of two million people per year, will reach a “tipping point,” after which “it will be possible to have a bigger impact, or simply be a bigger part of the national conversation?”
Strong Towns wants to build a movement of a million people who care enough to tell someone else about the organization, Marohn said, “if we reach that level of interest, there won’t be a city in the U.S. making a financial decision where our thoughts and ideas don’t influence the conversation…if we’re not at this goal already, we’re really close.”
Jacobs4525 told Marohn they wanted to know what strategies Strong Towns has for convincing people that ideas like upzoning, mixed-use zoning, and reduced parking minimums will work, “…since I feel like I’m talking to a brick wall when I mention that I don’t like not being able to walk to places that are close by and really should be accessible by foot, for example.”
Strong Towns worked hard at the beginning to change minds, but in the past six-plus years the goal has been to go where people are already asking for change, Marohn wrote. “I don’t need (anymore) to convince the skeptical as much as explain to the curious.”
“The people we see doing the best work today are people who do more listening than speaking, avoid getting bogged down or defined by national political discourse, and just relentless[ly] do what they can accomplish and use that to build momentum. I wish I had a magic way to change someone’s mind today, but the reality is that it is a long game.”