CNU May 2009 e-Update

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CNU e-Update
May 2009

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  1. Your Feedback Needed: Second Public Comment Period on LEED-ND Ends June 14
  2. New CNU Report Highlights Emergency Response and Street Design
  3. It's Not Too Late to Come to CNU 17
  4. What's New @
  5. Brownfields 2009, November 16-18 -- Registration Open
  6. 2010 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference -- Call for Session Proposals Now Open
  7. Your Help Needed: Survey for Urban Infill Research Study
  8. Form-Based Codes Institute: Upcoming Trainings
  9. National Charrette Institute: Upcoming Trainings

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1. Your Feedback Needed: Second Public Comment Period on LEED-ND Ends June 14

CNU calls on new urbanists to review and comment on the latest draft of the rating system

As the LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system approaches completion, the partners are opening it up for a second public comment period. This comment period follows on the heals of an intense editing process in response to over 5,000 comments received during the first public comment period earlier this year. The prerequisites and credits available for comment will be limited to those that have been significantly revised based on the advice of the public and the experience from the pilot projects.

USGBC is hosting the online comment form on their website. To submit your comments, visit the LEED Rating System Drafts page. After a simple sign-in, members of the public can comment on the specific prerequisites and credits that were revised.

"New urbanists voiced their support as well as their concern on specific components of the rating system during the first public comment period. We have revised significant portions of the rating system where possible and we now ask new urbanists to review this work and support the gains made," stated Doug Farr, CNU board member and LEED-ND Core Committee member.

The second public comment period opened on May 1, 2009, and closes June 14, 2009. For more details about recent changes to the rating system, check CNU's LEED-ND initiative page. In addition to the latest draft, pilot projects, and information on how to comment, the website highlights specific credits and explains a bit of their evolution. 

CNU 17 will feature a free, all-day LEED-ND Working Session that will review the recent changes to the rating system. The session will not only help with commenting on this current draft but also with making a voting decision. Later this summer, the final rating system will be balloted by CNU members.


2. New CNU Report Highlights Emergency Response and Street Design

Connectivity leads to safer streets, better response times

Connected networks of traditional streets provide better safety for pedestrians and vehicles alike, while readily accommodating emergency responders’ access needs.

The Congress for the New Urbanism’s newly published Report on Emergency Response & Street Design demonstrates this by laying out the common ground found between CNU, fire marshals, and the U.S. EPA, and drawing upon research presented at CNU XVI and Transportation Summit 2008 to show how they:

  • “Can improve emergency response times by providing several routes to any given address.”
  • “Are safer for pedestrians, drivers and emergency responders since they calm traffic below speeds that are more likely to result in fatal or serious injury collisions.”

The 16-page paper, intended for new urbanists and fire code officials alike, cites connectivity research from the 1990s through the 2008 Charlotte, N.C., study, and examples from Virginia’s just-issued, cutting-edge connectivity standards.

The report, available as a PDF file via the Emergency Response & Street Design Initiative page, provides a wealth of information for new urbanists and fire code officials alike on how to reconcile each other’s needs, and why they should do so.


3. It's Not Too Late to Come to CNU 17

Let's get together in Denver to help each other advance

It's not too late to join us in Denver next month for an exciting program at CNU 17. Taking place June 10-14 in Denver, Colorado, the 17th Congress for the New Urbanism is built to help you benefit from the advantages of New Urbanism—learn how to make communities more walkable, more energy efficient, more enduring, and more livable just as demographic and cultural changes swing demand in our direction.

Check out our Q&A sessions with five CNU 17 speakers and the winner of the CNU 17 video contest, then head to the Registration page to sign up.


4. What's New @

Here's a sample of what's happening at

CNU Salons: The Geography of Carbon Emissions from Driving, with Maps

The Center for Neighborhood Technology is releasing today a new series of GIS-based maps showing where carbon emissions from driving are the highest in the nation's metro areas. The maps demonstrate vividly that, although emissions on a per-acre basis are greatest in highly urban areas, it is in the suburbs and outlying areas where we pollute the most on a per-household basis.

In the News: 3/4-power law and economies of scale

Interesting guest column in the New York Times on Tuesday, May 19, titled "Math and the City" by Steven Strogatz. In addition to reviewing Zipf’s law, where the population of a city roughly inversely proportional to its rank according to their populations, the column reviews some relatively new mathematical discoveries that have to do with how city size affects markets and operations.

In the News: Maybe George Will Should Stick to Writing About Baseball

After fumbling over climate change science in recent months, George Will gives transportation design and the built environment similar treatment in Newsweek, taking a swipe both at New Urbanism (a quick one) and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, calling him the Secretary of Behavior Modification.

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5. Brownfields 2009, November 16-18 -- Registration Open

Brownfields 2009: Sustainable Communities Start Here
November 16-18
New Orleans
Registration is open at

The National Brownfields Conference is the largest, most comprehensive conference focused on cleaning up and redeveloping abandoned, underutilized, and potentially contaminated properties in the nation.  Registration is free and by signing up you gain access to over 150 educational sessions, including lively panel discussions, dynamic roundtables, outstanding plenary sessions, special trainings, film screenings, and more.  The conference has plentiful networking and business development opportunities including the Brownfields Transaction Forum and the Brownfields 2009 Exhibit Hall.  While you are in New Orleans experience the city with mobile workshops and walking tours.  Whether you’re a newcomer to the world of economic and environmental redevelopment, or a seasoned professional looking to make new connections and increase your business, Brownfields 2009 offers something for you. 


6. 2010 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference -- Call for Session Proposals Now Open

The Call for Session Proposals for the 2010 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference is officially open, and will close on June 26, 2009.

The Submittal Form and Instructions are now posted on the conference web site and are available to download. This form should be used to submit any proposals for breakouts, workshops, trainings, tours, or networking activities.

To access the form and instructions, visit


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. Form-Based Codes Institute: 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.

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.

The ABC's of Form-Based Codes: Special One-Day Introduction
June 10, 2009, Denver
The Form-Based Codes Institute is offering an abbreviated version of its acclaimed Introduction to Form-Based Coding at a greatly reduced registration fee as part of CNU 17.

FBC 301: Completing, Adopting and Administering the Code
July 13-14, 2009, Lansing, MI

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.


9. 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
June 22-24, Olds College, Olds, Alberta, Canada
July 13-15, Portland, OR
July 27-29, Harvard University
October 19-21, Portland, OR

NCI Charrette Management and Facilitation™ Certificate
July 16-17, Portland, OR
October 22-23, Portland, OR


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Congress for the New Urbanism
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