CNU January 2009 e-Update

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CNU e-Update
January 2009

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  1. Help CNU Improve the Stimulus Package
  2. CNU New York Becomes Ninth CNU Chapter
  3. Members Receive Steep Disounts on Popular New Urbanist Books Through Partnership with John Wiley & Sons
  4. Save the Date and Spread the Word! CNU 17 is Coming to Denver June 10-14
  5. New England Chapter Conference April 2-3, 2009
  6. What's New @
  7. Your Help Needed: Survey for Urban Infill Research Study
  8. Seaside Institute: Upcoming Events
  9. Form-Based Codes Institute: 2009 Driehaus Form-Based Codes Awards and Upcoming Trainings
  10. National Charrette Institute: Upcoming Trainings

Dear [Firstname],

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1. Help CNU Improve the Stimulus Package

CNU and its board and partners have been working to influence the massive Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Bill that passed the House this week, with some promising results. Next, the bill moves to the Senate, where messages and calls from CNU members to their Senators will help to make sure two important House amendments are retained and to push for additional strengthening of the bill in a few key ways.

Here's where things stand:

Transportation: Although the Obama Administration and Congressional backers predicted that the bill would make historic investments in renewing and rethinking infrastructure, transportation spending was shaved to about $41 billion out of a total $820 billion in stimulus by the time the bill left the House. Though the bulk of that goes to states, much of it for conventional highway projects, a silver lining is that highway spending was scaled back as well, largely in recognition that massive concrete projects are slow to break ground and create jobs. On transit, a successful amendment introduced by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)—and supported by CNU and the Transportation for America coalition, of which CNU is a member—restored $3 billion in transit capital spending and New Starts funding, bringing the total for transit and rail to $13 billion.

In another promising development, Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) succeeded in doubling from $1 billion to $2 billion the funding for high-speed rail in the Senate version of the bill.

Housing: CNU also worked with former HUD official and HOPE VI partner Elinor Bacon and the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities to support inclusion of $5 billion for the construction or repair of low-income housing in areas that provide "good access to public transportation or employment centers." House and Senate versions both allocate $5 billion but the Senate version would deliver less of the money directly through the existing formula and more via competitive grants.

Here's how you can help:

Contact the Senators from your state and let them know how important it is to maintain the recent gains made in the House version of the bill (and in the Senate provision added by Sen. Kerry). Specifically, it will help to urge Senators to do the following:

  1. Support the full $13 billion that the House allocated for public transportation and interstate rail.
  2. Support the recent "chairman's modification" secured by Senator Kerry to double high-speed rail funding to $2 billion.
  3. Hear the call from CNU and the Transportation for America coalition to strengthen accountability measures so that any money sent to states for bridge and highway spending first goes to fixing structurally deficient infrastructure, not adding lanes to existing highways or building new ones.
  4. Support the $5 billion for the repair and construction of low-income housing in areas with transit service and access to job centers, with a greater share ($4 billion) coming from the existing formula, as reflected in the House version.

CNU has also been a leading voice for deeper transformative change to shift the emphasis of federal pavement funding from automobile-only highway projects to networks of walkable streets that support efficient and convenient options for pedestrians, cyclists, transit-riders, and drivers. While CNU's networks proposal did not make the fast-moving stimulus package, awareness and support of it is growing quickly. While you have his or her attention, urge your Senator to read the CNU proposal or John Norquist's recent essay in Planetizen and commit to rethinking how we invest in transportation in the long-run.


2. CNU New York Becomes Ninth CNU Chapter

CNU is excited to announce its ninth local chapter, CNU New York. The chapter will provide a local organization for new urbanists in the State of New York for education, outreach, and to organize around local issues.

CNU members in New York State are now automatically members of the New York Chapter.

The New York Chapter maintains a website at


3. Members Receive Steep Disounts on Popular New Urbanist Books Through Partnership with John Wiley & Sons

Your Membership Saves You Money!

CNU is proud to offer a new member benefit through John Wiley & Sons, giving members 30% off popular new urbanist books. At a time when many organizations are seeking ways to save money, we hope you'll find this new discount helpful. This new benefit is offered in addition to existing special member discounts on Next American City, Metropolis, Places, and the Journal of Urbanism. Learn more about your member benefits at

John Wiley & Sons provides professional and technical publications for architecture, planning, and construction customers worldwide.  Whether you are studying for a career or looking for professional guidance, inspiration or knowledge, Wiley offers an extensive catalog of books, online products, or services for urban designers, planners, architects, and building professionals who are eager to make a positive impact on our buildings, communities, and lives.   

Members can visit our partner to save 30% on online orders.  To get the discount code, log in to and visit or email with your full name as listed on your membership.

Form Based Codes: A Guide for Planners, Urban Designers, Municipalities, and Developers
by Daniel Parolek, Karen Parolek and Paul Crawford
Written by three recognized leaders in the field of New Urbanism, including an urban planner and an architect, this book is the first to address this subject comprehensively. After defining Form-Based Codes and explaining why they are a necessary alternative to conventional zoning regulations, the authors detail the various components of Form-Based Codes and then go step by step through the process of creating and implementing them. Finally, a series of case studies illustrates best practice applications of Form-Based Coding at various scales from county-wide to site specific, and various project types from city-wide development code replacement to the preservation or evolution of downtowns.

A Legal Guide to Sustainable Urban Development for Planners, Developers, and Architects
by Daniel Slone, Doris Goldstein with W. Andrew Gowder
Written by pioneering attorneys in the emerging fields of urbanism and green building, this book offers you practical solutions for legal issues you may face in planning, zoning, developing, and operating such communities. Find information on legal issues related to urban form, legal mechanisms and ways to incorporate good urban design into local land regulation, overcoming impediments to sound urban design practice, and state and Federal issues related to the legal issues of urban design and planning.

Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs
by Ellen Dunham-Jones and June Williamson
While there has been considerable attention by practitioners and academics to development in urban cores and new neighborhoods on the periphery of cities, there has been little attention to the redesign and redevelopment of existing suburbs. Here is a comprehensive guidebook for architects, planners, urban designers, and developers that illustrates how existing suburbs can be redesigned and redeveloped. The authors, both architects and noted experts on the subject, show how development in existing suburbs can absorb new growth and evolve in relation to changed demographic, technological, and economic conditions.

Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design with Nature
by Douglas Farr
Written by the chair of the LEED-Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) initiative, this book is both an urgent call to action and a comprehensive introduction to "sustainable urbanism"—the emerging and growing design reform movement that combines the creation and enhancement of walkable and diverse places with the need to build high-performance infrastructure and buildings. Providing a historic perspective on the standards and regulations that got us to where we are today in terms of urban lifestyle and attempts at reform, Douglas Farr makes a powerful case for sustainable urbanism, showing where we went wrong, and where we need to go. He then explains how to implement sustainable urbanism through leadership and communication in cities, communities, and neighborhoods.


4. Save the Date and Spread the Word! CNU 17 Is Coming to Denver June 10-14

Today's economic and environmental crises will become advantages for those who know how to harness the forces driving the recovery. Walkability. Quality of life. Energy-efficiency. Lower carbon emissions. A rewarding sense of place and community. The essential qualities of New Urbanism are now strategies you simply can't afford to ignore. And the seventeenth annual Congress for the New Urbanism will focus on the edge they give you in a trying marketplace. It's boot camp for the designers, developers, and community leaders who will bring recovery back to communities.

CNU 17's theme is Experiencing the New Urbanism: The Convenient Remedy and will focus on how New Urbanism provides ready solutions to many of today’s most pressing issues. As the oil-dependent, high-carbon models of development exhaust themselves, CNU 17 offers ready solutions that are truly sustainable, both economically and environmentally. New Urbanism is a remedy that makes communities more livable and convenient, creating exciting opportunities to green the American Dream.

CNU’s multi-disciplinary approach to community building combines planning, architecture, development, transportation, green design, and government to deliver long-term value and success. CNU 17’s tracks and site tours will take you to the cutting edge of each of these areas and more.

Since CNU’s last Denver Congress in 1998, the city has seen an explosion of new urbanist development. Returning to Denver creates the opportunity for examining just how well new urbanist principles are performing in practice. New for CNU 17 are innovative "Experiences," which will put three new urbanist communities under the microscope. Experiences will give attendees the opportunity to interact with residents, business owners, designers, and developers, while using the Charter principles to critique these places and learn where they excel, where they fail, and why.

Join the conversation and learn how to make the most of urbanism's edge in today’s marketplace by putting CNU's principles of New Urbanism to work for you. Visit for details. Registration will open March 4.

You can also connect with CNU 17 elsewhere on the web and begin networking with other attendees before you arrive! Plug in at these sites and invite your colleagues and friends to join you at the Congress.


5. New England Chapter Conference April 2-3, 2009

2030 Sustainable Urbanism Summit: Addressing Climate Change in New England
April 2-3, 2009
Portsmouth, N.H.

Building on CNU National’s "Climate @ CNU" Initiative, local and national experts, together with all summit attendees, will generate ideas for helping New England communities create low-carbon infill development and compact neighborhoods, sharing tools such as form-based codes and smart street design alternatives to help break down the barriers that encourage auto-dependent sprawl. More info. will be available in the next month at

The Sustainable Urbanism Summit will address climate change in New England and seek to develop new strategies for reducing our region's effect on this crisis. The Summit will provide speakers and attendees with the platform to craft innovative and proactive strategies to move New England into a new era of civic, economic, and environmental opportunity. Working sessions will explore strategies for more walkable development patterns, increased public transportation opportunities, new innovations in sustainable energy production, incentives for local agriculture, and other issues raised by the Summit's many innovative speakers.


6. What's New @

Here's a sample of what's happening at

CNU Salons: A New Urbanist Version of

CNU Board Chair Ray Gindroz calls for members to use to share crisis strategies and enhance our national agenda.

CNU Salons: Battling City Hall on Narrow Streets & Alleys

How does one successfully navigate the gauntlet being imposed by three municipal departments to get street and alley standards that both developer and government can be comfortable with?

CNU Salons: Death to Sustainability!

Here in NZ the incoming (rightist) government has signalled that sustainability is now out of favour.

In the News: Charrette produces ideas, enthusiasm for Brewery District
On Saturday, nearly 120 Over-the-Rhine residents and business owners, architects, developers, civic-minded Cincinnatians and students from the University of Cincinnati and Miami University spent their day at the Art Academy of Cincinnati hammering out plans for improving the Brewery District sub-neighborhood of Over-the-Rhine.

CNU Salons: Follow CNU News and Views on Twitter (as well as Facebook)

Follow the movement through Twitter and Facebook.

If you haven't experienced 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 to learn more about the website.


7. Your Help Needed: Survey for Urban Infill Research Study

The link below will direct you to a brief online survey. This survey is part of a National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) study to develop guidance and a methodology for the preparation and review of transportation impact analyses (TIAs) of infill development in urban or urbanizing areas. You can help support this effort by answering a few brief questions.

Why this is important

Higher density, mixed-use redevelopment and infill development are smart growth concepts that are an increasingly common form of development subject to environmental review and often traffic impact studies. However, there is a lack of standardized guidance and trip and parking generation data for preparing these studies.

Why your help is needed

The first phase of this study involves collecting information on current infill development definitions, infill traffic and parking generation data and estimation methods, TIA analysis methods and agency review procedures. Kimley-Horn and Associates, on behalf of NCHRP, would like to survey those involved in various aspects of infill development in order to collect this information. Your responses are completely confidential and will be used to identify valuable information and resources regarding the current state-of-the-practice of analyzing the impacts of infill development.

Thank you for your time. Please click on the link below to complete the survey:


8. Seaside Institute: Controversial Author and Activist James Kunstler Wins 2009 Seaside Prize 

The Seaside Institute, a local Florida non-profit organization that promotes responsible community development, has selected James H. Kunstler as the recipient of their annual Seaside Prize. The honor is awarded to an individual or organization that has made significant contributions to the quality and character of our communities.

Born and raised in New York City, Kunstler graduated from the State University of New York, Brockport campus and worked as a staff writer for Rolling Stone Magazine.  Throughout the years, Kunstler authored several fiction titles; however, his first non-fiction foray, The Geography of Nowhere, published in 1994, earned him much acclaim. The Geography of Nowhere traces our country’s evolution from community-based environments to identity-lacking sprawl. Kunstler says he wrote the book “…because I believe a lot of people share my feeling about the tragic landscape of highway strips, parking lots, housing tracts, megamalls, junked cities and ravaged countryside that makes up the everyday environment where most Americans live and work.”

Following The Geography of Nowhere, Kunstler penned Home from Nowhere, focusing on remedies for the problems identified in his previous title. His most recent non-fiction work, The Long Emergency, published in 2005, addresses our global oil dependency, climate change and how our lives will be lived in the future.  Kunstler addressed these concerns before they became main-stream. His newest title, World Made By Hand, is a fictional depiction of our world after the end of oil, global warming and other catastrophes outlined in The Long Emergency.

James Kunstler continues to raise eyebrows with his contributions to the New York Times Sunday Magazine and Op-Ed page, writing on environmental and economic issues. In May 2008, Kunstler also appeared on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report to promote World Made By Hand.

Founded in 1982, The Institute’s mission is to promote the building of community in cities and towns through design, education and the arts. Hosting an average of six conferences annually, The Seaside Institute has become a premier facilitator in the discussion and education of the key elements in sustainable development. The Seaside Institute’s international efforts include the Seaside Pienza Institute for travel and education. Visit or call 850.231.2421 for more information. 


9. Form-Based Codes Institute: 2009 Driehaus Form-Based Codes Awards and Upcoming Trainings

Want to preserve or increase the quality of our communities? Because Form-Based Codes can require rather than recommend the vision elements that make for good urbanism, FBCs are being adopted at an ever increasing rate throughout the U.S. The mission of the Form-Based Codes Institute (FBCI) is "to advance the knowledge and use of, and develop standards for, Form-Based Codes as a method to achieve a community vision based on time-tested forms of urbanism." Perhaps the most important way FBCI advances knowledge and standards for FBCs is through its 3-course series, taught by nationally recognized practitioners.

2009 Driehaus Form-Based Codes Awards

The Form-Based Codes Institute is looking for the best Form-Based Codes adopted to date to hold up as models for others to emulate. Has your community adopted an excellent Form-Based Code? Did you help to develop a code that has since been adopted into law? FBCI wants to recognize the communities that have adopted excellent codes and the codes themselves during CNU 17 in Denver, June 10-14, 2009.

Submissions for consideration must be received by FBCI no later than 4:00 PM Friday, March 6th and winners will be notified by April 30th. Go to the FBCI website for additional information and the award submittal form:

This year's jury includes the following code experts:

Mary Madden, AICP Partner, Ferrell Madden Lewis, Jury Chair
Peter J. Park, AICP Manager, Community Planning and Development, City of Denver
Daniel Parolek, AIA Principal, Opticos Design
Samuel E. Poole, III, JD Shareholder, Berger Singerman Attorneys

Upcoming Trainings

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 301: Completing, Adopting and Implementing the Code, Ventura, Calif., March 16-18, 2009. Faculty include Bob Sitkowski, Bill Spikowski, Dan Parolek, +2 more

Registration for these courses is available at Driehaus Charitable Lead Trust Scholarships of $500 each are available for representatives from not-for-profit historic preservation organizations or public organizations with oversight authority for historic preservation as well as students and faculty from schools of architecture.


10. National Charrette Institute: 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. All NCI trainings in the United States will qualify for AICP credit hours.

NCI Charrette System™ Certificate
March 9-11, Portland, OR
May 6-8, Washington DC

NCI Charrette Management and Facilitation™ Certificate
March 12-13, Portland, OR


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Congress for the New Urbanism
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