CNU E-Update
October 2010


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Highways to Boulevards Breaks Through With Today's Joint HUD-DOT Announcement
TIGER II Grants and Community Challenge Planning Grants Announced

Federal transportation funding underwent an important shift today with the awarding of $20 million in grants for projects in three cities that propose to replace elevated, urban highways with walkable boulevards. The awards for projects in New Orleans, New York City and New Haven (CT) were part of a joint announcement including both TIGER II grants from the US Department of Transportation and Community Challenge Planning Grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

While proponents of previous highway-to-boulevard conversions have often found at least some sources of federal funding to move their projects forward, the grants today are the first that specifically target transforming parts of our cities that have been hurt by elevated highways. $20 million out of the $668 million available - amounting to 3% -- is not an incredible amount given that the federal government incentivized urban freeway construction by covering 90% of the construction costs, this represents a significant change in how we invest in our communities.

Click here to read the full story.

New Government Affairs Platform
Four Policy Reforms Approved By CNU Board's Government Affairs Committee

On September 1st, 2010, CNU's Board of Directors approved four policy reform priorities proposed by the board's Government Affairs Committee chaired by Sam Sherman.  Although each issue was already the subject of ongoing CNU outreach, the board action helps CNU chief executive John Norquist and the board organize CNU's policy reform efforts around a clarified set of objectives.

Objective 1: Limits on non-residential development for capitalization of residential projects under three federally chartered entities or programs -Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and HUD's 221 d 4 Multi-Family Housing program - should be raised from 20%( Fannie and HUD 221) and 25% (Freddie) to at least 50% of imputed rent.

Objective 2:Promote the integration of CNU/ITE Context-Sensitive Streets guide content into federal and state law and policy.

Objective 3: Encourage the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Water in updating its stormwater program to promote regulations that are compatible with higher-density walkable development with significant environmental benefits.

Objective 4: CNU expresses its opposition to California Proposition 23 which would repeal California's comprehensive effort to address climate change.

Norquist praised the effort as a successful example of collaboration between staff and board. "It certainly is valuable to have these positions clarified and affirmed. Each is crucial in its own way to clearing our path of obstructions so new urbanists can truly transform communities for the better."


For more detailed versions of our objectives and for more information on our Government Affairs Platform, click here.

Call for Papers Deadline Approaching
Submit you papers by December 3rd, 2010

The Congress for the New Urbanism is beginning its annual call for academic papers. The CNU welcomes submissions on a wide range of topics within New Urbanism, but papers that incorporate this year's Congress theme, "Growing Local," will be especially considered. Creative, innovative, and thought-provoking papers are encouraged.

All submitted papers will be read and commented upon by at least two reviewers, and several papers will be selected for presentation at this June's Congress in Madison. The deadline for submission is December 3rd, 2010.

For more information - and to read the full-text of papers presented at past Congresses - go to

CNU is also looking 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

Ken Groves: A Model Planning Director
Montgomery's Planning Director Passes Away, Leaves Behind Legacy

At the end of last month Montgomery's planning director, Ken Groves, passed away. Ken Groves had been the city's planning director for nearly ten years. During that time he worked hard to revitalize Montgomory's downtown. Ken was a firm believer in New Urbanism. In 2006 he pushed the City Council to adopt a SmartCode, which allowed mixed-use development in Montgomory's downtown. He wanted Montomery to once again be a place people wanted to live, shop, and visit. Before he died, Ken said, "You know, Montgomery is really starting to become a place where people want to come downtown again ... This is really becoming a special place."

Ken should be remembered as a man who firmly believed in the power of a traditional neighborhood. He is a model for what a good planning director should be. Ken loved his city and he enjoyed being part of the New Urbanist community that is CNU. We will miss him very much.

Support People for Bikes
Share your support for bikes

A movement toward more bike friendly cities and towns is gaining momentum across the country, but it might not always be apparent to officials just how important biking is to residents. is working to unite one million bike supporters with a common voice.  During CNU19, June 1-4, 2011, we will dedicate an entire track of the Congress to the issue of biking and transportation because we know how important biking is to the future development of healthy and livable places.

Share your support for biking at

The Next Seaside Prize Winner: Dhiru Thadani
CNU Board Member to be honored January 28-30, 2011

Each year, the Seaside Institute awards the Seaside Prize to individuals or organizations "who have made significant contributions to the quality and character of our communities."

The prize's next recipient - to be honored at a ceremony held during a weekend of events at Seaside, January 28-30, 2011 - will be architect, author and CNU Board Member Dhiru Thadani. Read about Dhiru's Charter-Award winning architecture and urban design work at his website  

Past Seaside Prize recipients include:

Giancarlo de Carlo
Donlyn Lyndon
Alexander Cooper
Jaquelin Robertson
Daryl Rose Davis
Robert S. Davis
Aldo Rossi
Robert A.M. Stern
Peter Calthorpe
Elizabeth Moule
Stefanos Polyzoides
Daniel Solomon
Joseph P. Riley Jr.
Jane Jacobs
Leon Krier
City of Portland, Oregon
Christopher Alexander
Andres Duany
Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk
Vincent Scully
Elinor Bacon
Ray Gindroz
Witold Rybczynski
Hank Dittmar
James Howard Kunstler
Allan Jacobs

Upcoming Events on CNU Calendar
APA Planners Workshop & LEED-ND Trainings

APA Planners Workshop

Next month CNU's Ellen Dunham-Jones and June Williamson will be teaching an APA Planners Workshop on Retrofitting Suburbia. The workshop will be taking place in Chicago from November 12-13. Also, Scott Bernstein, another CNU board member and the president and co-founder of the Center for Neighborhood Technology, will be a guest speaker at the event. For more information go here.

Understanding the LEED for Neighborhood Development Rating System

The LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) program, launched earlier this year, is a certification system for a wide range of development project types that incorporate smart growth, new urbanism and green design and construction.
As a new member of the LEED family, a full day workshop is available to educate you about the rating system. This workshop will be held before the Greenbuild Conference in Chicago, from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm on Monday, November 15, 2010. For more information, go here.

Local Government Leveraging of LEED-ND: Securing a Sustainable Future Fast

As LEED-ND may be used by local governments to facilitate LEED-ND developments in their jurisdictions, a half-day workshop is being offered by Criterion Planners to explore this topic at the tail end of the Greenbuild conference on Friday, November 19, 2010 from 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm.
For more information, go here.

To see more upcoming events or to add your own to CNU's member calendar, head over to

Communications Changes at CNU
Stephen Filmanowicz Changing Trains

After seven years of commuting by Amtrak to Chicago, CNU Communications Director Stephen Filmanowicz wrapped up his time at CNU this month to take a position closer to home at Marquette University. 
"It's a testament to the meaning and value of New Urbanism that I never complained about my commute - even when people encouraged me to do so," he wrote last week to frequent e-mail contacts (a message he wanted shared with all members here). "Whether the setting was CNU's offices in Chicago, a train car moving 80 miles-per-hour or an event in a revitalized city, I felt privileged to learn from and share the ideas of an incredibly talented pool of experts who are defining a new paradigm for more livable, better-performing places, plan by plan and project by project. That includes so many of you."

As preparations progress for hiring his replacement, please direct communications and media inquiries to For communications and media assistance by phone, reach John Norquist via his assistant Mindy Martinez, 312-551-7300, x10 or directly, 312-551-7300, x14.

CNU thanks Steve for his splendid service advancing CNU and the new urbanist movement, wishes him well in his new pursuits. We all look forward to his volunteer contributions to the Madison Congress June 1-4.

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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:

  • Coming soon

NCI Webinar Series
NCI is offers 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.

  • Charrettes for Form Based Codes - November 10, 2010
  • Charrettes and Sustainable Urbanism - February, 2011
  • High-tech, High-touch Charrettes with a Focus on Social Media - April, 2011
For more information, 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:
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.