The Green Recovery Starts Here

CNU 17 offers valuable insight for leveraging urbanism's sustainability advantages

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Coming to Denver, June 10-14, the 17th Congress for the New Urbanism brings the resourcefulness and ingenuity of the New Urbanism movement together under one roof.

Urbanism presents an opportunity to accelerate the coming recovery — and increase your involvement in that recovery — by tapping into a national reurbanization that was underway before the current economic crisis and will be bolstered by major demographic, lifestyle, and energy trends. When combined with the expertise of new urbanists in making walkable neighborhoods work, these trends are expected by leading authorities to bring a strong preference shift away from large-lot automobile in favor of neighborhoods with a range of housing choices, shopping and cultural options, and transportation choices.

In session after session, CNU 17 will focus on green development solutions that will not only boost our economy but will also provide environmental advantages over outdated modes of design. There is an entire track of sessions on the green recovery through which new urbanists will help rewrite expectations for development in this country, teaching everyone from elected officials and developers to everyday residents that they can get more—more convenience, more energy savings, more return on investment—from their communities. These sessions include:

  • In the face of the housing meltdown, a panel of some of CNU’s most seasoned and inventive designers will feature their thoughts on ”Homes for the New Era,”— dwellings that deliver more character, efficiency and value per square inch. Learn about renewed forms of housing and their timely in a session featuring new urbanist veteran Andrés Duany, Steve Mouzoun, Marianne Cusato and moderator Tim Halbur.
  • Top-notch marketing consultants and partners have been helping CNU and partners frame urbanism's energy and climate benefits so they resonate with key audiences. In ”Selling the Green Urban Advantage,” Robin Rather of Collective Strength and Carol Coletta of CEOs for Cities show how to frame the debate and highlight tangible economic and fiscal benefits (both household and community wide) in convincing metropolitan-level leaders that walkable urbanism is in their best interests.
  • Jim Kunstler, CNU member and author of the books The Long Emergency and World Made By Hand, believes the time to change our way of thinking is now. In his session, ”The New Urbanism and the Continuing Great Demographic Shift,” Kunstler will address how present demographic shifts are set to drastically alter the traditional American terrain, and what New Urbanists must do in order to keep up.
  • Since climate planning needs better tools for showing how new urbanist design and smart locations produce predictable energy savings and greenhouse gas reductions, new urbanists are helping to create them. In the ”New Tools for Low-Carbon/High-Performance Development,” session, Dan Parolek and Joseph DiStefano will show how proposed new tools build on advances in new urbanist planning and coding, the Transect, and carbon performance modeling to help implementers meet carbon goals and achieve a range of economic and quality of life benefits.
  • Since response to new state laws, California planners and public agencies are wrestling with the details of exactly how urbanism's climate advantages get factored into transportation plans, general plans and project approvals. Since what's happening in California will spread state by state, you'll want to attend ”The Low Carbon Frontier” and hear veteran innovators Peter Calthorpe and Judy Corbett report from the cutting edge.
  • Common systems for measuring the carbon impact of development and transportation have roots in a variety of disciplines, such as air quality and traffic modeling. They need continued work to make them more responsive to variations in urban form, urban context, regional location and transportation patterns, with much of the leadership coming from CNU members and allies such as Joe DiStefano, Peter Haas and John Thomas. Catch them in the ”Measuring and Modeling your Carbon” session.

You won’t want to miss out on all of the opportunities at this year’s Congress for the New Urbanism, June 10-14 in Denver, Colorado. Why wait? Register now and begin the green recovery.

Photo (courtesy of 416style via Flikr Creative Commons License): A building in downtown Chicago, Illinois utilizes a "green roof."