Expert on stronger towns scheduled

A expert who finds ways cities can evolve and strengthen and how their citizens can contribute in these difficult economic times is scheduled to make a stop Oct. 2 at Lycoming College.

Charles Marohn, executive director of Strong Towns, a nonprofit group based in Minnesota, plans to hold an event billed as a Curbside Chat discussion with the public and later a private session with local leaders, business owners and developers that day, according to Brittany McLaughlin, a marketing coordinator with Larson Design Group, the architectural, engineering and surveying company that is sponsoring the event.

The Curbside Chat programs deliver speakers to cities and towns across the nation to discuss the present economic times, examine development patters and define what has and hasn’t worked, according to Paul Bleichner, a marketing director for Larson Design Group.

Marohn’s discussions include ways to maintain and build a financially stable local government. Walkability and interconnectivity are ideas that he frequently discusses and he brings a set of ideas that work with similar size communites all around the nation, according to McLaughlin.

“He presents pointed topics we should be considering,” she said. No decisions will be made in either meeting, but expect plenty of back and forth and shared ideas, she added.

It begins at 1:30 p.m. at Lycoming College’s Wendle Hall lecture seminar room with the public portion.

“It’s our first Strong Towns meeting ever,” McLaughlin said.

“As an engineering firm, it’s our duty to be community stewards,” Keith Kuzio, president and CEO of Larson Design Group, said. “We design communities and we want to make sure we’re designing them to best serve their residents.”

The goal is to listen to his ideas and spark ongoing discussion to find ways to improve the city.

“And we’ll be listening,” Kuzio said.