Five urbanist goodreads for a cold fall day.

Tonight and tomorrow are supposed to be windy, rainy and cold. Curl up with your favorite device and dive into these excellent long-reads. Stroad Nation – Strong Towns Decline isn’t a result of poverty. The converse is actually true: poverty is the result of decline. Once you understand that decline is baked into the process of building auto-oriented places, the poverty aspect of it becomes fairly predictable. The streets, the sidewalks, the houses and even the appliances were all built in the same time window. They all are going to go bad at roughly the same time. Because there is a delay of decades between when things are new and when they need to be fixed, maintaining stuff is not part of the initial financial equation. Cities are unprepared to fix things — the tax base just isn’t there — and so, to keep it all going, they try to get more easy growth while they take on lots of debt. Strong Towns founder Charles Marohn dives into Ferguson and comes away with larger points about the way we design, build, and tax our communities. Further Reading: BuzzFeed’s How Ferguson’s Rotting Suburbia Created A Powder Keg. In America’s Poorest City, a Housing Breakthrough – CityLab “Somebody who makes $8.50 an hour, they’re never asked, ‘What do you want?’” Mitchell-Bennett points out. “The longest part of it is getting them out of their shell.” The new process pays off in the clients’ sense of empowerment and ownership, he says. “By the end of the process … they designed this house.” Over one third of Brownsville, Texas residents live below the poverty line. Amanda Kolson…