CNU Monthly Review
April 2011


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CNU 19 is Nearly Here!
Early Registration Extended Till May 6th


The finishing touches are being put on CNU 19: Growing Local, and this year's Congress is looking to be one of the most engaging and vital yet.

From the real-life urban-ag example of Saturday morning plenary speaker Will Allen, to the Sprawl Retrofit sessions and Got Capital? 202 breakout examinations of what is right-sized in the age of The New Normal, to the Elizabeth Moule-chaired Charter Awards that herald the best urban-minded designs of the year, and to the hotly anticipated Charles Waldheim-Andres Duany showdown, CNU 19 is the only event that offers such a breadth of ideas, debates, designs, and tools for application.

The breakout sessions, plenaries, guided tours, and featured speakers - not to mention the numerous social and special events happening throughout the week in Madison - offer an unparalleled experience you can't find at any other conference. That's why we call it a Congress.

Visit the in-depth CNU 19 schedule now, and see all that awaits.

Don't miss your chance to join the discussion - and join the movement. Register for CNU 19 today! 


Why I Attend the Congress
Tell Us Why You Attend


As the above illustrates, it's no secret that the annual Congress for the New Urbanism is the leading venue for New Urbanist education, collaboration and networking. Every year, the top minds and practitioners from around the globe travel to the CNU event to engage with the ideas that give shape and meaning to the communities we inhabit. By congregating a diverse collection of thought-leaders, planners, architects, academics, government officials, students, and citizen-activists, CNU creates a community for the design of ideas, and readies them for application.

Why I Attend the Congress is a new series dedicated to sharing the first-hand experience and insight gained from attending the yearly event. Already, CNU has heard from central figures such as Victor Dover and Jason King from Dover, Kohl & Partners, Scott Bernstein of the Center for Neighborhood Technology, Todd Zimmerman of Zimmerman/Volk Associates, and Sarah Lewis of Ferrell Madden Lewis LLC. Read why they attend, tell us why you attend, and let the inspiration begin. 


CNU Salons: Dive into the Discourse
Exciting New Format Unleashed for CNU 19


Over the years, CNU has perfected the art of urban-related conversation at our Congresses. CNU provides forums that are lively, fun and engaged. This year, the Salons take on an exciting new format that includes both project critiques and the chance to discuss some of the most pressing issues of the day.

Eager to share your thoughts on proposed projects? Just curious to see what ideas are floating out there? Stroll around the Salon Presentations, where you can review and critique projects from like-minded associates and disciples of New Urbanism. Presenters will be sharing brief overviews of recent projects, and viewers will be able to engage in on-the-spot discussion. To present your project, sign-up here.

In addition to the Salons Presentations, those looking for vigorous debate can hop into adjacent rooms and dive into the discourse in the Salon Sessions.

What are the Salons Sessions you ask? Salon Sessions are where institutional opinions are pit head-to-head concerning some of the most pressing and urgent urban issues of the day. Come ready for an intellectual challenge as we explore topics such as:


Conservative New Urbanists
New Urban Infill in an Era of Less
Home is Where Your Car Is/Isn't: CNT's Location Efficiency Measure critiqued by NAHB, defended by Scott Bernstein
HUD Sustainable Communities: How 's it Working? How Can it Work Better?
Are Charettes Obsolete?
Head-on Collision: CEOs for Cities vs. the Texas Transportation Institute's Congestion Index. TTI and CEO's for Cities Dig for the Truth.

Whether you participate in the Salon Presentations, the Salon Sessions, or both, CNU Salons are a time for direct engagement and dialogue with fellow new urbanists. 

Takin' It to the Streets
CNU on the Screen


Armed with a speed gun and a working knowledge of what it takes to make streets safe, CNU's Heather Smith recently set out on downtown Chicago to check the speeds of mid-morning traffic. Takin' It to the Streets allows you to follow along with Smith as she catalogs the speed of westbound traffic on Chicago's Adams St. and encouragingly pronounces the flow of traffic to be "not too deadly."


Click through to watch the first two installments, including the second episode, "The Slow Down on State St.," on our recently revitalized YouTube Channel. Stay tuned for more.

Streetfilms' Moving Beyond the Automobile series recently called upon CNU CEO & President John Norquist to star in its "Highway Removal" episode. In just five-plus minutes, Norquist takes us on an action packed wealth-creating, quality-of-life improving, highway-demolishing journey from New York-to- Buffalo-to-New Orleans-to San Francisco- and back. 



Click to watch


A Victory in Charleston: I-526 Plans Collapse
CNU Members Score Large Victory as Highway Expansion Plans Voted Down


In what CNU member Josh Martin called "a truly amazing testament to the power of community organizing and smart growth advocacy," the Charleston County Council voted 8-0 to reject the plan to complete the Mark Clark Expressway.

Martin worked as a lead advocate for over two years with partners such as Glatting Jackson, Hall Planning and Engineering, and the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League to prevent the highway's expansion. Their efforts paid off as the Charleston City Council unanimously blocked the original South Carolina DOT plan, with the hope to free up the funding the state had earmarked for the Mark Clark/I-526 expansion for other county transportation needs. 




CNU Welcomes Gabe Klein to Chicago
Incoming Chicago Dept of Transportation Commissioner Stops at CNU HQ


Just one day after being announced as the incoming head of the Chicago Department of Transportation, Gabe Klein, the now former director of D.C.'s DOT, dropped into CNU HQ to get a pulse on the organization's work in the city and beyond. Klein, whose innovative approaches in D.C. resulted in an expansion of bike lanes, the creation of the country's largest bike-sharing system, and the installation of electric car-charging stations throughout the city, sat down with CNU to discuss ways in which value - monetary, or otherwise - can be maximized in cities through effective built form and transportation infrastructure.

We look forward to continued work with Klein and the incoming Emanuel administration, and warmly welcome him to Chicago. 

Vibrant Cities, Urban Forests
Norquist Named to Task Force


Recognizing the need to call attention to urban forestry practices nationwide, the  New York Restoration Project, along with the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, convened the Vibrant Cities & Urban Forests task force earlier this month, dedicated to the advancement of urban forestry and natural resources stewardship.

John Norquist, among a select group of 25 national and local leaders selected for the task force, joined the group in Washington D.C. to discuss and recommend how federal policy, programs, partnerships, and investment can move forward urban tree planting and stewardship programs. Noting the benefits that manicured spaces give cities, Norquist stated, "Forestry or parks incorporated into a city's fabric not only provide shade, beauty and recreational opportunity but add to a city's real estate value." This added economic benefit leads to "higher real estate values and sales volumes," further drawing together how urban forests serve to create vibrant cities.

With "the conversation focused on adding to a city's tree canopy," as Norquist explained, the initiative is helping promote solutions for how urban forestry can help cities design green spaces that pay multiple dividends: helping cities' values grow, warding off climate change, attracting federal partnerships, and most of all, creating sustainable and vibrant communities. 

CNU March-April 2011 Press Round-Up
New press clippings just released!





See the latest press and news reports on the Congress for the New Urbanism at our Press Round-Up page.

CNU Year in Review
2010 Accomplishments


As recovery from The Great Recession continues, the principles that guide CNU and its Charter have become increasingly in demand. In response, over the course of the past year, CNU has expanded our initiatives, grown our local presence through newly established chapters, positioned New Urbanism as the de facto choice of development among policy makers and the private sector, and continued to provide valuable educational and networking opportunities for new urbanists throughout the world.

Read about our 2010 successes in Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares, launching LEED-ND, pushing for Fannie and Freddie reform in Washington, transforming neighborhoods through our Highways-to-Boulevards initiative, and much, much more by accessing our Year in Review at

Upcoming Events on the CNU Event Calendar
More at


The Death + Life of Social Factors: A Conference Reexamining Behavioral and Cultural Research in Environmental Design

Fri, 04/29/2011 - Sun, 05/01/2011

Berkeley, California


Building Community, Jobs and a Green Economy

Sun, 05/01/2011

Evanston, IL


Great Books Chicago 2011

Thu, 04/28/2011 - Sun, 05/01/2011

Chicago, IL


Webinar: Sustainable and Resilient Communities

Wed, 05/04/2011




See more events or post your own at

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.