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ULI Oklahoma: Strong Towns Book Tour

August 31, 2022 @ 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm

Urban Land Institute Oklahoma (ULI Oklahoma) is proud to welcome Charles Marohn, founder of the Strong Towns movement, to celebrate his newest book, Confessions of a Recovering Engineer which lifts the curtain on America’s transportation system.

This free event will take place at 4:30pm on Wednesday August 31 at Central Library (5th and Denver in downtown Tulsa). Please register in advance: https://oklahoma.uli.org/events/detail/8E3E311D-58AA-4079-9773-534B3F7AAFF5/.

Book sales to be provided by Magic City Books, you can order in advance online at https://magiccitybooks.square.site/product/confessions-of-a-recovering-engineer/822.

In this book tour presentation, Marohn demonstrates how the values of engineers and other transportation professionals are applied in the design process, and how those priorities differ from the values of the general public. By showing how transportation investments are a means to an end and not an end unto themselves, Marohn reveals how the standard approach to issues like fighting congestion, addressing speeding, and designing intersections only makes transportation problems worse, at great cost in terms of both safety and resources. By contrast, the Strong Towns approach to transportation focuses on bottom-up techniques for spending less and getting higher returns, all while improving quality of life for residents of a community. 

About Confessions of a Recovering Engineer

The costs of the North American transportation system are too high–not just in money, but in time, safety, and quality of life. Most Americans sense the transportation system is working against rather than for them, that the money spent on transportation may temporarily address a problem but ultimately makes their lives worse. They also feel powerless because they can’t put their finger on why it’s so bad, or how it can be made better.

Americans are rightly frustrated, yet what most suspect to be wrong about transportation is only part of the story. The reality is worse in many ways, with our efforts to fix these systems only reinforcing the problems we are hoping to solve. A new approach is needed.

Strong Towns founder and president Charles Marohn, Jr. is a professional engineer and planner with decades of experience. In his work, he saw firsthand how the conventional approach to traffic engineering is making people less safe, bankrupting towns and cities, destroying the fabric of communities, and actually worsening the problems (like congestion) engineers set out to solve. He founded Strong Towns in 2009 to advocate for a smarter, more resilient, and more fiscally responsible approach. Over the last 12 years, Strong Towns has grown into an international movement of people from all walks of life who are challenging the status quo and changing how we build cities in the U.S. and Canada.

In Confessions of a Recovering Engineer: Transportation for a Strong Town, Marohn pulls back the curtain on the North American transportation system. He explains how transportation got so bad, and why it keeps getting worse. He writes about the deadly toll of bad design, why the conventional approach puts cities on the road to insolvency, and why public transit is in trouble. He also talks about how transportation can be fixed–and why fixing it will involve not just engineers, but local residents and officials who have become effective and empowered advocates, connected with others to make real change.

No one should be consigned to living in a community where transportation gets worse while costing more. Rather than being a burden, transportation should fit with your life. It is possible to build a transportation system that makes you, your family, and your community safer and more prosperous. This book will show you how.

CHARLES L. MAROHN, JR. is Founder and President of Strong Towns, a nationally-recognized movement to build strong and resilient communities. He is the author of Strong Towns: A Bottom-Up Revolution to Rebuild American Prosperity.


August 31, 2022
4:30 pm - 6:30 pm


Central Library
400 Civic Center
Tulsa, OK 74103 United States