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Workshops & development strategies to help your community become financially resilient, resource-conscious, and people-friendly. 


“I love what’s going on here. CULTIVATE! Collaborative is doing the next hard thing that needs to be done to build Strong Towns—helping communities answer the question, "What do we go out and do?"

Chuck Marohn

Founder & President of Strong Towns

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The way most communities are being planned, built, & managed is not sustainable.


Misalignment between plans, codes, and processes rarely leads to results communities are happy with.



They don't consistently engage and serve all members of the community. As a result, frustration and apathy set in.



They spend too much time and money attempting to buy jobs and court businesses from elsewhere, instead of growing a self-sustaining local workforce and economy.



They build places for cars instead of people, and prioritize building new over investing in what's already there.


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Their development pattern is critically dependent on near-term growth, without considering long-term fiscal impacts and natural resource constraints. 

We're left with fragile local economies, escalating service costs, and disconnected residents—while frustrated city staff & council are stuck administering policies that create places not worth caring about.


It's time for a different approach.

There are realistic, affordable steps to take right now to bridge these gaps and get our communities back on the path to a healthy and prosperous future.

It will mean casting aside the conventional way of doing things and embracing new approaches that empower citizens and city staff, maximize productivity of natural resources and infrastructure investments, grow local businesses and entrepreneurs, and build unique places where people want to be—and invest in—today and in the future.

We formed the Cultivate Collaborative to help community leaders and citizens who are interested and ready to make their community a Strong Town, but need some guidance in overcoming the hurdles associated with business as usual.

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Let's get started on your community.

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Looking for guidance on how to put Strong Towns principles into practice? Our training sessions curate and explain a mix of proven and emerging strategies for planning, growing, and managing your city. You'll be armed with an improved understanding of how to realistically address your city's growing needs using the resources you have on hand.

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Cultivate Community Program

Typical comprehensive planning efforts are expensive, time-consuming, and often include pages of implementation recommendations that never happen. Our Cultivate Community process emphasizes low-risk, resource-conscious projects that, when strung together, can have an immediate impact on a neighborhood or a downtown.


The Cultivators

We are pioneers, educators, and collaborators who just also happen to have backgrounds in urban design and planning, engineering, and development.

Kevin Shepherd PE, ENV-SP

Strong Towns planning & Engineering

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Matt Lewis CNU-A

Urban design & code streamlining

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Amanda Popken

Tactical economic development & placemaking

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Jordan Clark

Storytelling & ecological design

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"Kevin and his team are leaders in the field. When only a few others were even talking about it, Kevin was looking for answers as to why cities struggle financially and how engineers can change their approach to put the financial health of the community—and not just the next project—front and center."

Chuck Marohn

Founder & President of Strong Towns

“Amanda and her team brought to reality that which was inconceivable for our community and made it look effortless.”

Michael Stewart

CEO of Navarro Regional Hospital & Chair of Economic Development Committee for Corsicana and Navarro County Chamber of Commerce

"Matt Lewis has figured out many of the secrets to speeding up zoning codes and approval process where it is most needed—in small and medium fast-growing municipalities. I encourage everyone to adopt Matt's best ideas."

Doug Farr

Founder & President of Farr Associates

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