VALPARAISO — Valparaiso is one of 16 communities worldwide that has been chosen to compete in the annual Strongest Town Contest sponsored by Strong Towns, a national nonprofit working to strengthen financial resilience in America’s cities, towns and neighborhoods.
The competition takes a March Madness approach as the 16 communities face off in brackets each week, until the winner is chosen by March 24. This week Valparaiso faces off against Greenfield, Indiana. To help Valparaiso advance, vote at strongtowns.org.
"We were excited to be chosen to compete and feel that Valpo has what it takes to compete internationally," said Tyler Kent, Valparaiso's planning director.
Competitors were chosen based on criteria such as financial solvency, citizen engagement, transportation options and ability to adapt to new challenges.
The 16 towns selected for the initial competition are Traverse City, Michigan; York, Pennsylvania; Wollongong, Australia; Ellsworth, Maine; Bellingham, Washington; San Francisco, California; Greenfield; Valparaiso; Wausau, Wisconsin; Fitchburg, Wisconsin; Brampton, Ontario, Canada; Guelph, Ontario, Canada; Killeen, Texas; Lafayette, Louisiana; Lowell, Massachusetts and Quincy, Massachusetts.