PBS Michiana Streaming. Watch NowWatch Now PBS Michiana Streaming. Watch NowWatch Now
Get the Free PBS App Download on the App Store Get in on Google Play

Economic Outlook

Jeff Rea’s Blog Post (Episode 1508)

November 19, 2019 (Updated: 1:46 PM)
Author Jeff Rea

About Jeff

Jeff Rea is currently the President & CEO of the South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce. Jeff has over 20 years of executive leadership experience in our region while working in areas such as Economic Development, Business Development, City Planning, Marketing, and Local Government. Jeff has a degree from Campbell University in Buies Creek, NC and executive management continuing education work at the University of Notre Dame.

Welcome to my blog post related to our taping on our show about what manufacturing looks like today. I sure appreciate your support of WNIT, Public Television (PBS), and our show!

If you are not familiar with the show, we hope you’ll make plans to join us each week as we bring you stories about the people, companies and communitiesdriving economic growth in our region! If you want to take a look at some of our previous shows, their available at www.wnit.org/economicoutlook.

I was fortunate this week to catch up with Chuck Marohn Jr., the founder and President of the Strong Towns movement. He launched the movement aimed at changing how Cities and Towns think about development opportunities. That movement now has an audience of over 3 million people annually and boasts some 3,000 members. Chuck is currently on a 302-city tour sharing the lessons he’s learned along the way and offering advice as to how locals should look at future growth. South Bend was one of his early stops.

I joined a group of community members for a talk with Chuck at the former Studebaker complex. As a former City Planner myself, I really enjoyed hearing the perspective of a former Planner and Engineer. That event attracted a large crowd! During the event, Chuck went through many of the findings from his new book, “Strong Towns, A Bottom-Up Revolution to Rebuild American Prosperity.”

Chuck joined me the following day for a one-on-one conversation on the show where we dove a little deeper into his findings and his experience, as well as some thoughts for South Bend. Generally, the Strong towns advice on how Towns can thrive:

  • 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 neighbors 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.

Chuck offered some great advice! There is no silver bullet. We shouldn’t wait for some magic plan. Everyday, ordinary people can make a difference. And they can start with doing simple things in their own neighborhoods.

I encourage you to check out the strong town’s movements, listen to their podcast, and check out Chuck’s new book. You can find it about anywhere books are sold. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Chuck!

Your feedback is valuable, feel free to reach out anytime (jrea@sbrchamber.com)  with comments, compliments, criticisms, story ideas. I’ll do my best to get back you as soon as possible. Also, follow-us on facebook, Twitter (Jeff_Rea), or at WWW.WNIT.org/economicoutlook for all the latest info on the show.  Enjoy the show!