CNU April 2008 e-Update
1. Message from John Norquist on Climate
Sustainability and the role new urbanists can play in addressing climate change was a focus of a conversation I had with Geoff Anderson last week in Washington, D.C. I met with Anderson, now President of Smart Growth America (SGA), to discuss how CNU and SGA can work together to bring the built environment's contribution to greenhouse gas emissions to the forefront of our national dialogue. One immediate challenge is Senate Bill 2191, introduced by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Sen. John Warner (R-Va.). The bill's title, "America's Climate Security Act," is compelling, but its content needs work. Many of the projects within the bill are funded by its proposed cap and trade system on carbon dioxide. This system is projected to generate a lot of money, but instead of going to energy saving measures like, say, transit, the bill directs more funds to subsidize the oil, coal, and gas industries.
With more than half of greenhouse gas emissions coming from our buildings and transportation sectors, our nation needs to hear the expertise of new urbanists. As a member of this movement, we hope you will participate by contacting your legislators and calling for better funding for transit and land use planning. Watch CNU.org and additional emails for more details and a proposed letter you can send to your Senators to improve the bill. In the meantime, here are some links describing the bill from various perspectives:
2. At Austin Congress, New Urbanists Rally Around Responses to Climate Change, Housing Market Volatility
The Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) wrapped up one of its best attended annual Congresses ever last week in Austin, where work on solutions to climate change, household gasoline dependency, and troubled real estate markets kept nearly 1500 attendees engaged for three and a half days (and evenings). By the time the event concluded, the part played by walkable, mixed-use urban development in reducing carbon emissions and in providing long-term value amid volatile real estate markets had come into clearer focus, as did plans for CNU to coordinate and advance these solutions.
Additional Congress Notes
Video, audio, and slideshows from presentations are being added daily to our online Presentation Library as we continue to sort through materials from CNU XVI. Watch the website and your email box for more announcements about the CNU XVI archive.
Visit the CNU Salons to read blog coverage from CNU XVI.
3. CNU Releases New Report on Housing Affordability
CNU released the latest issue in the CNU Report series, Housing Affordability 2008, at CNU XVI in Austin earlier this month. The report advances a crucial dialogue at a time when the housing bubble and foreclosure crisis are reinforcing housing as an ongoing national problem.
Former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros' opening-night plenary address in Austin helped bring housing affordability and the innovative redevelopment strategies that he pioneered with new urbanists through the Hope VI program back to the forefront. The new publication re-examines the legacy of Hope VI — as well as the criticisms from the political right that led the Bush Administration to slash the program's funding. Like the CNU-initiated housing summit in 2005 that inspired it, the publication features prominent voices from across the political spectrum and across the world of New Urbanism: Cisneros, Ray Gindroz, Renee Glover, Dan Solomon, John Norquist, Emily Talen, Howard Husock, David Riemer, Shelley Poticha, Steve Mouzon, and Richard Green.
The report affirms the value of walkable traditional neighborhoods in accommodating a variety of affordable housing types and explores other policy solutions, many building on the lessons of Hope VI. Download the report, read it, and consider sharing it with those who are active on housing issues in your community.
4. New Jersey Joins CNU's Growing List of Chapters
CNU is excited to announce its seventh local chapter, CNU New Jersey. The chapter will provide a local organization for new urbanists in New Jersey for education, outreach, and to organize around local issues.
Learn more about other CNU Chapters at www.cnu.org/chapters.
5. CNU Awards Three New Athena Medals
Three pivotal figures in the advancement of urbanism joined the prestigious list of Athena Medal recipients during CNU XVI: New Urbanism and the Booming Metropolis, April 3-6 in Austin, Texas.
The latest trio to win the Athena Medal, which is given to an individual who has helped pioneer and lay the groundwork for the concepts of New Urbanism, are Austin's own Sinclair Black, Allan Jacobs, and His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales.
6. What's New @ CNU.org
Here's a sample of what's new at CNU.org:
CNU Salons -- Call for Livable Community Award Applications
In the News -- NPR: Home Prices Drop Most in Areas with Long Commute
In the News -- Robert Campbell in Boston Globe on Prince Charles
and new Scottish project
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.
7. Street Smart: Streetcars and Cities in the 21st Century, May 22 in LA
Imagine a public-private partnership that leverages tremendous value for property owners and local businesses, helps market new high-rise residential development, mixed-use and a "green" lifestyle, and helps achieve public goals like affordability, sustainability, parks, and high-quality public spaces. Streetcars can be the catalyst for these goals -- in downtowns and in urban and suburban neighborhoods.
The spectacular success of the Portland streetcar has revolutionized the way cities think about transit and development by stimulating $3.5 billion in investment in two new neighborhoods near Portland’s downtown. The brand new Seattle streetcar is having similar success in South Lake Union -- where property owners put up half the cost of streetcar construction. San Francisco’s F-Line streetcar has played an important role in the rebirth of the Embarcadero as a walkable, transit-oriented neighborhood since the freeway was taken down. And streetcars have promoted economic development and investment in walkable, higher-density, mixed-use neighborhoods in communities as diverse as Kenosha, Wis., Tampa, and Little Rock.
Streetcars are a boon for pedestrians and streetlife, link disparate places into “someplace,” connect to regional transit systems and promote ridership, and create sustainable communities where it's possible to live without a car. Streetcars are cheaper than other rail transit (affordable even for small cities), fit easily into built environments, they’re energy efficient, and they are strong and proven economic development engines for revitalizing neighborhoods.
Hear about the success of the most robust new streetcar systems at the last of four national workshops, hosted by the national nonprofit Reconnecting America and the Seaside Institute, the American Public Transportation Association, national Community Streetcar Coalition, PB, and other national and local sponsors. Speakers from around the country will talk about the political and funding strategies that are getting new streetcar systems built. The cost of the full-day workshop is $75, at the historic Los Angeles Theatre on Broadway in downtown.
For more information visit www.reconnectingamerica.org.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. New Book, Upcoming Courses from the Form-Based Codes Institute
The Form-Based Codes Institute has released a new book, Form-Based Codes: A Guide for Planners, Urban Designers, Municipalities, and Developers, the only comprehensive, illustrative guide to Form-Based Codes for urban designers, architects, planners, developers and city agencies. This book is authored by Daniel Parolek, Karen Parolek, and Paul C. Crawford, founding board members of the Form-Based Codes Institute. Purchase online.
Save the date for the following Form-Based Code trainings. 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
13. 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.
Portland, OR · May 19 - 21
Portland, OR · July 14 -18
Harvard University Graduate School of Design · August 4 - 6
Congress for the New Urbanism