Post-war city planning has created massive unfunded liabilities for municipalities across North America. A preponderance of roads and their attendant costs for operations and renewal are a millstone for municipalities requiring them to spend too large a portion of their funds in that area. The result is insufficient funds for a range of social and economic development priorities.
Charles Marohn of Brainerd, MN, a civil engineer and city planner has been working on this problem for a few decades. He founded a non-profit organization called Strong Towns. The group is actively working with municipalities across Canada and the United States. Marohn spoke in Thunder Bay in 2016 at the launch of the Earth Care Thunder Bay Community Environmental Plan. His concepts were then part of shaping the recently released (2022) Thunder Bay Official Plan as well as “Complete Streets” concepts and the Transportation Master Plan and Active Transportation Master Plan. Thunder Bay Ventures teamed up with the City of Thunder Bay to bring Marohn back to Thunder Bay to bring the knowledge and wisdom that he has gained from working with hundreds of municipalities across North America.