A month ago, the 2022 Strongest Town contest was launched with an amazing field of 16 contestants chosen by Strong Towns staff from among a host of applicants. The Sweet 16 featured communities of many shapes and sizes, with approaches to building strength and financial resilience as unique as the places, themselves.
Through successive rounds we learned more about these cities, even as the number of remaining contestants was halved again and again. In Round 1, all 16 teams answered a series of questions on topics ranging from transportation and housing, to civic engagement and how their cities are addressing their financial health. In Round 2, our “Elite Eight” gave us a photo tour of some of the things that make their places great. And in Round 3, representatives from the Final Four cities sat down for short podcast interviews with our program director, Rachel Quednau.
Which brings us to this week’s championship round. On Monday, representatives from our two finalist towns—Norwood, Ohio and Jasper, Indiana—participated in a webcast with Rachel Quednau and Jay Stange of Strong Towns. The votes rolled in until polls closed yesterday at 12 p.m. CDT.
And so, after four rounds and tens of thousands of unique votes cast,. The 2022 Strongest Town is…
Congratulations to the Jasper team—Mayor Dean Vonderheide, Mark Nowotarski, Nancy Eckerle, Kate Schwenk, Darla Blazey, Whitney Lubbers, and Lisa Bower—and to the whole town of Jasper!