paytonc's blog

Can't-miss sights for new urbanists in Philadelphia

Before you leave for CNU XV, make sure that you read up on how to get around Philadelphia, print off a map of CNU XV

Urbane big box photo gallery

Spring has sprung in Chicago, so I've taken the chance to update and expand an online photo gallery of big(ger) box stores around the country that are designed in an "urban," pedestrian friendly way. Next time a big chain retailer tells you that "no, it can't be done," you can respond "yes, it can, and in fact, it has."

"Truly," it's new urbanism

One of the more puzzling little themes in several recent "attacks" on New Urbanism is that the critics simultaneously embrace New Urbanists' works as their own, lovingly portraying them as examples of their own (wholly original!) planning philosophy. Joel Kotkin's idea borrowing is most obvious with his report on the "New Suburbanism" -- the examples of which include designs and projects by none other than CNU founders Peter Calthorpe and Andres Duany.

2030 Planning Challenge

I attended a speech last night by Edward Mazria, who's generated a whole lot of buzz within the architecture community with his 2030 Challenge:

Ask CNU: Low-traffic New Urbanism

Today in Ask CNU, Sue from Durango asks, "has anyone quantified the impact that New Urbanism can have on reducing traffic around me?"

It's rare -- but possible -- for new development to actually reduce the amount of traffic on the streets surrounding it; after all, it is still new development. However, New Urbanism (and in particular mixed uses, higher densities, and higher street connectivity) has potential as another tool in a full transportation demand management toolkit that can reduce the number and distance of car trips made. TDM is hard for many transportation planners to understand because its principles often seem counterintuitive -- and, indeed, it is an entirely different way of thinking about transportation.

Miami announces SmartCode

The first major city to propose a complete code overhaul based on the SmartCode is Miami, population 362,470, whose Miami21 comp plan renewal process has advanced

Take CNU's fun new quiz!

CNU has developed a short quiz based on the principles of the Charter of the New Urbanism. Members who score well will be recognized here at Let us know what you think about it -- too easy? weird questions?

Lowe's launches Katrina Cottage site

Lowe's home improvement stores recently began deliveries of Cusato Katrina Cottages to 30 retail stores in the Gulf Coast area.

LEED-ND Corresponding Cmte Update: 10 Jan 07

Posted as a courtesy to CNU members who are not yet part of the LEED-ND Corresponding Committee. Joining the Corresponding Committee is free and recommended for all CNU members; send an email to

Senior housing and New Urbanism

Two of the fastest growing segments of the housing market are New Urbanism and senior housing. Judging by the inquires we get at CNU headquarters, many people are curious about how these two segments are intersecting. Although we've found a few examples of New Urbanist senior housing, New Urbanism's commitment to giving people many choices in housing type, price, and style means that many active seniors find non-targeted New Urbanist developments to fit their lifestyle well. In fact, CNU published a white paper, The Coming Demand, which details how seniors (particularly Baby Boomers) will help to lead the market shift towards New Urbanism in the future.