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America’s ‘Strongest Town’ is in Cumberland County


Carlisle narrowly beat out Hoboken, N.J. to be named the “Strongest Town” in America.

The March Madness style competition, which pitted 16 towns against one another, ended Monday with Carlisle becoming named the victor. Former and current residents sent in messages and photos and voted online to demonstrate the Cumberland County’s town’s strength.

“There’s no way that we won just because of support of people who live here now,” said Dickinson College’s Brenda Landis, who represented Carlisle in the competition.

“The reason we won is because we tapped into the communities within the communities.

According to the Strong Towns website, Carlisle’s winning factors included safe and accessible transportation, active community organizations, the presence of parks, gardens and events and the important role played by local colleges.

“Diverse residents make their home in this place, and challenges like the loss of factory jobs are met as opportunities for growth and transformation,” the website said.

“Carlisle stood out for its diverse and supportive community, which has helped to shape this town into a truly wonderful place to live.”

Carlisle won the “Strongest Town” competition by a narrow margin. Carlisle received 52 percent of the votes while Hoboken, N.J. took 48 percent of the votes.

According to the Strong Towns website, a “strong town” is defined by:

  • Small, incremental investments;
  • Resiliency of result over efficiency of execution;
  • Ability to adapt to feedback;
  • Inspired by bottom-up action;
  • Conducting as much of life as possible at a personal scale; and
  • Obsession for accounting for its revenues, expenses, assets and long term liabilities.

Carlisle will receive a copy of the site’s upcoming book, “Thoughts on Building Strong Towns, Vol. II,” and a certificate proclaiming the town “The Strongest,” as well as “eternal fame and glory,” according to the website.

 This story was published on Pennlive.com on April 4, 2016 and updated April 5, 2016.
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