CNU March 2008 e-Update
1. John Norquist on Robert Caro and Gigantism's Threat to Urbanism
In 1974, I ran for the Wisconsin House of Representatives at the age of 25. I won. My victory over an incumbent was fueled in part by opponents of a proposed freeway in Milwaukee, the Stadium South. They objected to it cutting through hundreds of homes and beautiful Jackson Park designed by Frederick Law Olmstead's stepson.
After the election, I visited the Capitol in Madison. A veteran legislative leader who shared my aversion to urban freeways handed me a copy of Robert Caro's book the Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York and said "read this." I was riveted and read it in two days. It confirmed my still-forming view that grade separated highways degrade the value of cities. Caro, like Jane Jacobs before him, understood that highways channel and speed traffic, but can have negative consequences on cities and the people who live in cities.
With the help of other legislators and Governor Patrick Lucey, the Stadium South was stopped; so were two other freeways, and five years ago Milwaukee joined the growing list of cities that have actually removed a freeway. The Park East Freeway is gone and replaced with McKinley Boulevard, a four-lane surface street connected to downtown Milwaukee's rich street grid. Perhaps none of this would have happened without the inspiration of Caro's book.
Others in similar fights in San Francisco, Seattle, and Buffalo have drawn on Caro's book for encouragement. On Friday evening, April 4, Caro will address CNU in Austin. He'll talk about the threat of Gigantism to Urbanism; not just freeways, but self-referential giant slab architecture promoted by star architects and the sometimes brutal insertion of convention centers and stadia into the fine grain fabric of cities. He'll say a bit about Austin having experienced it over the 30 years he's spent on his biographical series about Lyndon Johnson.
This theme, Gigantism's Threat to Urbanism, will be carried through a number of sessions, including Correcting the Moses Freeways with UM Professor Robert Fishman. Fishman will review Moses' impact on the proliferation of limited-access roads throughout the U.S. and will look ahead to correcting these roads and building cities with complexity.
My wife, Susan Mudd, and I had dinner with Caro and his wife about a month ago on the west side of Manhattan. Caro looks forward to his speech to CNU. He knows that he will be among friends and admirers who realize he wrote one of America's most profound and pro-urban books.
2. Follow CNU XVI as It Happens at the Congress Blog
Regardless of whether you're attending CNU XVI or not, you can follow along by checking the live Congress Blog next week for coverage of the many exciting events and seminars. You can also find daily recaps at CNUXVI.org. CNU will have a crew of dedicated bloggers on-site, and members are also encouraged to add their own observations and notes.
To post your own commentary to the Congress Blog, log in to CNU.org, go to the CNU Salons, and post a new Salon conversation in the Congress category. Logging in also allows you to join in on conversations by commenting on other posts. Click here for help logging in. Don't forget to upload your photos!
Following the Congress, CNU will post an archive of multimedia recordings and presentations from various sessions.
It's not to late to register for CNU XVI! Online registration ends today at 5 p.m. EDT. And those of you who live closer to Austin can register onsite. Click here for onsite registration hours and online registration.
3. Help Promote New Urbanism Through Facebook!
CNU has entered the world of Facebook as a way to reach out to a new audience through our network of members and as another tool for our members to connect with each other. We have posted a Congress for the New Urbanism Page, as well as a New Urbanism Cause, where visitors can donate to CNU through Facebook.
If you have a Facebook profile, please consider becoming a "fan" of CNU to help grow the movement through your network.
4. What's New @ CNU.org
Here's a sample of what's new at CNU.org:
CNU Salons -- DPZ Receives Green Award from USGBC Charlotte Chapter
and Charlotte Business Journal
In the News -- Big Dig's Big Bad Example
CNU Salons -- Is there hope for good urban Aldi stores?
If you haven't experienced CNU.org yet, it's time for you to see what you're missing. Please take a moment to log into our site and learn about the features it has to offer. Please read our Login Instructions to get started.
Visit http://www.cnu.org/features to learn more about the website.
5. Second Annual Driehaus Form-Based Codes Award Winners
The Board of Directors of the Form-Based Codes Institute (FBCI) is pleased to announce the winners of the second annual award for achievement in the writing and implementation of Form-Based Codes, sponsored by the FBCI with the generous support of the Richard H. Driehaus Charitable Lead Trust:
Downtown Mixed Use Master Plan
Near Southside Development Standards and Guidelines
Midtown Corridors Development Code
CNU XVI registrants are invited to attend the awards session in Austin on
Saturday, April 5, from 9:45 AM – 12:30 PM in Room 9 of the Austin
This session will be a great opportunity to explore best practices in Form-Based Coding! Visit the FBCI website for more information about FBCs: www.formbasedcodes.org
6. Active Living Research Call for Proposals
Active Living Research is pleased to announce the release of its Call for Proposals (CFP) – Round 8. This call for proposals is the first to reflect a new emphasis for Active Living Research, which will focus on supporting research to inform policy and environmental strategies for increasing physical activity among children and adolescents, decreasing their sedentary behaviors and preventing obesity.
All proposals must be submitted through The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Grantmaking Online system. The full proposal submission deadline is Wednesday, May 14, 2008, 1:00 p.m. PDT. Please visit the Web site http://www.activelivingresearch.org/grantsearch/grantopportunities for more information and to link to the RWJF Grantmaking Online system. If you have any questions about the proposal submission process, please contact Amanda Wilson, Research Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 619-260-5538.
7. New USGBC LEED Committee Positions Open Soon – Help Bring the New Urbanist Perspective to Green Building
In 2008, the LEED
committees will be restructured to include three core committees
to oversee the certification process, market responsiveness, and technical
rigor of LEED. The Technical, Certification, and Market Sector committees will
work on harmonizing and aligning credits, maintaining the technical rigor of
LEED, ensuring an effective certification process, and monitoring the responsiveness
of LEED to the different markets within the building industry.
8. Call for Papers for New International Journal of Neighbourhood Renewal
On January 30, 2008, at the "Regeneration is 30" Conference
in Liverpool, U.K., a new journal focusing on the promotion of effective
Neighbourhood Renewal strategies was launched. The International
Journal of Neighbourhood Renewal is an exciting new journal that seeks
to publish articles and book reviews that focus on sharing good practice in
Neighbourhood Renewal and promoting good research and evaluation in the field.
9. SmartCode Workshop Coming to Denver May 29-31
The SmartCode Workshop is coming to Denver May 29-31, 2008. This event is an opportunity to join planners, architects, developers, elected officials, professors, and students to learn how to implement practical solutions for quality livability using form-based and transect-based development codes.
Andrés Duany will lead the workshop, where the SmartCode will be studied with respect to principles, calibration, implementation, and administration. A synoptic survey walking tour will be followed by a hands-on calibration session in charrette format.
Speakers include Andrés Duany, John Norquist, Howard Blackson, Hazel Borys, Bill Dennis, Geoff Dyer, Chad Emerson, Doug Farr, Ken Groves, Rick Hall, Susan Henderson, Jennifer Hurley, Nathan Norris, Dan Slone, and Peter Swift.
A public lecture by Andrés Duany and John Norquist will occur on Thursday, May 29, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. No registration is required for this evening lecture at the Adams Mark Denver.
More information for the full event available at www.smartcodecomplete.com/learn.
10. Upcoming Courses from the Form-Based Codes Institute
Visit the Form-Based Codes Institute website for more information and a full list of events.
FBC 101: Introduction to Form-Based Coding
FBC 201: Preparing a Form-Based Code – Design Considerations
FBC 301: Completing, Adopting and Administering the Code
11. National Charrette Institute's Upcoming Trainings
Visit the National Charrette Institute (NCI) website for details on upcoming trainings. Current CNU members receive a 10% discount on NCI registration fees for public trainings held in Portland. Please note that all NCI trainings in the United States will qualify for AICP credit hours.
Austin, TX · April 2
Asheville, NC · April 16 - 18
Portland, OR · May 19 - 21
Portland, OR · July 14 -18
Harvard University Graduate School of Design · August 4 - 6
Congress for the New Urbanism