Aaron Holverson and Michael Smith: An Architect and a Planner in Pursuit of Stronger Towns

Michael Smith is a long-time Strong Towns member who joins this episode of The Bottom-Up Revolution podcast along with his colleague, architect Aaron Holverson. Together they work at Studio GWA, a planning and architecture firm based in Rockford.  In this conversation, we discuss a historic revitalization project in a core neighborhood of Rockford, the challenges that come with a project like this, and also why the street and surrounding blocks matter to the success of a place like this. It’s a great lesson in what it takes to bring an old building back to life—certainly not a piece of cake—but also a lesson in what can happen when a community has a place to feel proud of.

Additional Show Notes

  • Studio GWA website

  • Join us for our upcoming “Late Night with Strong Towns” event on April 8! If you’re a Strong Towns member, you should already have received your invite via email. If you’re not a member, we’d love to have you join the movement today, then you’ll receive your invite. (If you’re a member and haven’t seen your invite yet, email alexa@strongtowns.org and she’ll help you out.)

  • Send us your own voicemail about the small (or big) thing you’re doing to make your town stronger. Just record a voice memo on your phone and email it to rachel@strongtowns.org.

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