Nathaniel Hood

Nathaniel Hood is a transportation planner and blogger living in St. Paul. He writes for Strong Towns and Streets.MN.

Posts about Education and literacy

Strong Towns on Tap

Posted by: Nathaniel Hood Updated: April 3, 2013 - 11:24 AM

“Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”  - Ben Franklin

What better way to bond than over beers, laughs and a good ideas from some of Minnesota's finest young urbanistas?

Strong Towns is hosting "On Tap" on Tuesday, April 9th from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm at HUGE Theater in Uptown Minneapolis (Lyndale Ave & 31st).

The April “on Tap” will be a series of fast-paced, highly-visual presentations on the topics of land use, transportation, urban development, placemaking, urban design, municipal finance or any other Strong Towns-related topic. The event will be recorded, videotaped and produced.

Oh yeah, there will be free food and a cash bar! This is a great venue and we really want to get as many people there as possible, so please plan to attend, invite your friends and neighbors and let everyone in your social networks know.

I hope to see you there!


Strong Towns is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that helps America's towns achieve financial strength and resiliency. For more information, please visit


Election 2012 & Public Spaces

Posted by: Nathaniel Hood Updated: November 7, 2012 - 2:34 AM

There is something great about experiencing an election with a group of strangers over a beer in a public place.

Unlike the last Presidential election, I stayed in this year. It was quite the juxtaposition to 2008 and 2010 (read: Sweeny’s Pub, plenty of ale and countless mini-corn dogs). Last night I enjoyed my girlfriend’s delicious Midwestern-style dinner of chicken and biscuits and a nice, relaxing night in – yet, it didn’t quite rival the excitement of experiencing election results with a large group of strangers over a pint. There is something excellent about being surrounded by people from both parties, cheering for different candidates, all in the same space.

We need to create built environments all over this country where these interactions can happen more often. It’s one reason that I stress our need for more quality “third” places. Twitter is a good place to communicate, but a great third place is tough to beat.

While it'd certainly be fun to be surrounded by like-minded supporters, I can't help but think there is something missing at single-issue / single-party campaign party get-together. You'll expirience one emotion at these places: joy or despair. But, when sharing a space with a diverse group of people, while you might not get the extremes, you'll hopefully have a relatable expirience with the person of opposing viewpoints. It makes your political opposition human and relatable when sharing a place in close proximity.

Well America – that was fun, but can we please get back to upbeat television ads about fast food, laundry detergent, beer and shiny electronics?

You may also enjoy:

Streets.MN: Do Sidewalks Make You Vote Democratic?
Strong Towns: What's the plan now? [if you've read this, just fast-forward to the Twitter image]



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