CNU E-Update
September 2010


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Further Proof that New Urbanism Makes Economic Sense
U-VA Study Sees Mismatch Between Market Demand and Current Housing Stock
Analysts scrambling to figure out why the housing market has remained so poor for so long have pointed at everything from mortgage policy to excessive construction for answers. But William H. Lucy, a professor of architecture and urban and environmental planning at the University of Virginia who has focused his research on the changing demographics of homebuyers, sees the continued problem as springing from a fundamental misreading of what Americans now value in the place they call "home." Increasingly, Lucy reports in a new University of Virginia study, the sorts of things that homeowners and buyers are looking for in a home are shifting, from an exurban-centric model to a more convenient, walkable, and neighborhood-oriented model. The housing market's failure to adapt to these changes in mindset and values is one of the major factors depressing the already troubled American housing market.

Images: Just three blocks from a commuter rail station and around the corner from a Starbucks coffee shop and other amenities, School Street in downtown Libertyville, IL is an example of a walkable, mixed-use location that is seeing strong demand in today's tough housing market. The developer of a new urbanist infill project there has sold 14 of 24 future homes in six months. Courtesy of School Street Libertyville.

Read the full story at

Introducing New Urban Network
Going Beyond New Urban News

Created by the publishers of New Urban News,  New Urban Network "is a new online publication providing dynamic news, research, and implementation tools for citizens and professionals interested in New Urbanism and smart growth."

The site offers users news, blogs, a wiki, a professional directory, a smart growth how-to, book reviews, discussions, and much more. Much of the site is accessible for free. However, traditional subscribers of New Urban News -- including all CNU members -- get an all-access pass to the entire site, including key subscriber-only news articles and a complete archive of NU News' entire body of coverage. It's another valuable benefit of CNU membership.

If you are a CNU member and don't already have an account, just head over to and enter your email address to request a password.

Check out New Urban Network now!

CNU 19 Preview Event
Doug Farr Speaks Tonight in Madison, WI

Join Doug Farr, sustainable architect/planner and renowned author of Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design with Nature, as he shares his insights on how the Madison area can use LEED-ND, the first-ever green certification for neighborhoods. These fast-changing times challenge each of us to find happiness while reducing our global impact. Living a choice-rich local life is proving to be a powerful global trend for achieving these goals.

Event: Living Locally and Sustainably: Sustainable Urbanism and the Promise of LEED for Neighborhood Development
Date: Thursday, September 30, 2010
Time: 6 - 7 p.m.
Location: Monona Terrace Convention Center - Madison WI

This is a preview event for CNU 19: Growing Local, the nation's premier conference for making communities more livable and sustainable, which will be held in Madison June 1-4, 2011.

Katrina: Five Years Later
Getting real about both sober lessons and gains

Marking the five year anniversary of the historic 2005 Mississippi Renewal Forum in Biloxi, Ben Brown gives an update on the results of the forum.

Six weeks after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, the 2005 Mississippi Renewal Forum was initiated to help encourage Mississippi residents to rebuild their towns using new urbanist principles and tools such as form-based codes. During the eight days of this historic charrette, new urbanists came from all over the country to aid in the renewal process.

Looking back, Brown acknowledges that much on the forum's to-do list was not accomplished. "What's clear is how naive I was about the extent of the devastation and the appetite for 'building back better than ever.' At least in the ways we outsiders imagined," observes Brown, who led the communications effort at the charrette and forged close ties with editors, reporters and public officials over countless return trips to the coast. He offered the thoughts at Placemakers' Placeshakers blog. "I understand: It would have required monumental effort for places with intact infrastructure and energized leadership to tackle the to-do list the Forum left behind. It was delusional to expect the 11 towns and three counties of coastal Mississippi to digest our ambitions, then marshal the resources and energy for implementation, when everything they knew had been blown out from under them."

However, form-based codes were introduced in a number of the towns destroyed by the hurricane. Also, the Katrina Cottage was designed, built and has established a foothold as a model of enduring "storm-fortified emergency housing, an important evolutionary step beyond the FEMA trailer.  Despite dreams unfulfilled, the forum had a lasting legacy.

Free Fall Flick: Partnering to Support Sustainable Communities
HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan

We know you've been waiting eagerly for another free webcast featuring a highlight from CNU 18, so here you go. This month's flick captures an unforgettable moment in recent CNU history -- this summer's impressive speech by Shaun Donovan, the 15th U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Building on the visionary leadership he provided in overseeing a housing sector ravaged by market shock, Donovan brought to the Congress an important and welcome message about the elimination of government silos and the removal of policy barriers in order to make neighborhoods more walkable, connected and diverse -- all at a tremendous value to the economy. Listen as he discusses CNU's role in planning reforms that are influencing federal policy and as he makes  news by reporting that criteria from the LEED for Neighborhood rating system (created through a partnership of CNU, NRDC and USGBC) will be used in all future HUD grant application reviews.

CNU 18 Webcasts

Almost every ticketed and non-ticket session from CNU 18 is available online for viewing. If you attended the conference, you're eligible for access to the all the non-ticketed session as well as any 202 sessions you attended. So if you taken the time to log in and gain access to this fine resource, do so now.  CNU members who didn't attend the Congress can access sessions at discounted prices.

Login note: Everyone who registered for CNU 18 should have received a message with a code to enable viewing of webcasts. If you haven't seen your code, check your inbox (look for "your complimentary code" in the subject line) or e-mail to have it sent to you again. Please specify whether you're retrieving codes for non-ticketed sessions, 202s or both.
The CNU 18 webcast library is made possible through support of Green Street Properties. Photo remix from original by Michael Kesler via Flickr.

CNU Looking for Volunteers to Review Papers
Call for Papers Deadline December 3rd

It's back to school time again and that means that CNU is beginning its annual search for academic papers! Every year we ask for submissions of academic papers to be reviewed and presented at our annual congress.

While the December 3rd submissions deadline is still fairly far off, CNU is beginning its search for volunteers to review papers. Reviewers should be familiar with new urbanist principles, projects, and issues and be willing to thoughtfully review submitted papers. If you're interested in participating, please e-mail a short paragraph describing your areas of expertise to

For more information about reviewing or paper submissions -- plus  the full text of past papers -- go to

CNU Members In the News
Making headlines around the world

New at CNU and
The latest news from our site

FHWA & FTA Call for Recommendations Deadline October 8th
Case Studies Linking M&O Strategies to Livability and Sustainability

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) are developing a primer document on how management and operations (M&O) strategies can support livability and sustainability goals. While the concepts of livability and sustainability are not new to transportation practitioners, the role of M&O strategies in helping create and maintain more livable, sustainable communities is not yet well-defined. This resource will be directed at planners and operators and will identify the links between M&O and livability and sustainability both conceptually and through case examples from places where an agency applied M&O strategies to support livability and sustainability goals.

In support of this project, they are seeking recommendations of practices where M&O strategies (e.g., integrated corridor management, transit signal priority, traveler information, special events management, etc.) have been used to support livability and sustainability.  The recommendations will be used to identify case examples, lessons learned, and conceptual ties between M&O and livability/sustainability.

If you or your organization knows of good examples of M&O linked to sustainability and livability, please forward them by October 8th to Michael Grant,, and Katie Rooney,

Do You Digg CNU?
Follow CNU at!

Digg, the popular news website, has just completed a redesign that promises to change the way growing numbers gets their news. In the past users would submit news articles to Digg and other users would be able to vote on those articles if they liked them. Stories with the most votes would be promoted to the home page, which would allow everyone to see what was most popular. The new version of Digg takes that concept to a whole new level, putting content syndication in the hand of publishers in addition to users. Dubbed the "Twitter of news," the site allows publishers to import their news right into Digg, and then allows users to follow those profiles. It essentially combines the old version of Digg with an RSS feed aggregator, but in a simpler and more social fashion.

Our new profile syndicates news from CNU News as well as the CNU Salons. If you are already a Digg members, please follow us at If you do not yet have an account, what are you waiting for? Sign up today!

And don't forget to follow CNU on the most popular social media services too.

Find us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter

Smarter Codes, Smarter Growth Registration Opens October 3rd
CNU members receive a 10% discount!

The Transect Codes Council presents Smarter Codes, Smarter Growth: How to Achieve your Smart Growth Goals through Zoning Code Reform. The event will be taking place on February 2, 2011 at the Westin Charlotte hotel in Charlotte, NC.

Fourteen of the nation's leading Smart Growth practitioners, led by CNU co-founder Andrés Duany, provide an information-packed, day-long workshop at the Westin. This workshop will provide everything you ever wanted to know about Smart Growth Codes, one of the most effective tools cities have for creating healthy, walkable communities. For $89, you will receive a boxed lunch, AICP credits, and the benefit of being in a room full of folks searching for the most timely and cost-effective ways to get from sprawl-inducing conventional zoning to comprehensive coding for character, community and public health.

You can register at starting October 3rd. CNU members receive a 10% discount!

CNU Illinois Chapter Charter Awards Deadline November 5th
Now open to students and with lower submission fees!

The CNU Illinois Chapter's regional charter awards program is going into its third year! The chapter is looking for submissions of Illinois-based projects.

The awards program has two goals. They are to "to recognize and applaud those who have achieved excellence in planning, design and development, and prepare the regional Charter Award winners for participation in the annual CNU Charter Awards program to get national and even international recognition at the CNU Congresses."

This year two things are changing. First of all, students are not eligible to make submissions. Second, the submission fees are being lowered in order to attract more submissions.

The deadline for submissions is November 5th, 2010, at 5:00 p.m. center time. For more information on submissions for for submittal forms, head over to

Upcoming Webinars and Courses from CNU's Continuing Education Partners
CNU Members Eligible for Discounted Prices

National Charrette Institute

The National Charrette Institute is a nonprofit educational institution that trains professionals and community in best practices for charrettes -- a design-based, accelerated, collaborative project management system that harnesses the talents and energies of all interested parties to create and support a feasible plan. Since NCI is a CNU continuing education partner, CNU members are eligible for a 10 percent discount

Upcoming NCI Charrette System Certificate Trainings are:
October 11-13 - Portland, OR

NCI Webinar Series
NCI is pleased to offer the following webinars for 2010. We are partnering with a range of experts on each topic to bring you fresh perspectives on these current issues. The next webinar is Charrettes for Form-Based Codes in September, 2010. Read more.

Form-Based Codes Institute
The Form-Based Codes Institute was founded in 2004. The goals of the institute are to set standards for the practice of Form-Based Coding, to educate and reach out to various audiences, and to create a forum for discussion about FBC.

Upcoming Form-Based Codes Courses:
October 5 - The ABC's of Form-Based Codes: Special One-Day Introduction - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
November 10 - The ABC's of Form-Based Codes - Covington, KY

For more information, read more.

About the Congress for the New Urbanism
The Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) is the leading organization promoting regions, cities and towns built around walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods.  Learn more.