CNU December 2009 e-update

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CNU e-Update
December 2009

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  1. Charter Awards Call for Entries: Submit by January 18th for the awards that honor urbanism's best
  2. Breaking CNU 18 News: David Byrne rolls into opening night lineup; CDC's Dr. Howard Frumkin to serve as honorary Congress chair
  3. Registration for Next CNU Accreditation Exam Now Open
  4. Give the benefits of New Urbanism to someone important to you: Share a CNU gift membership
  5. Visit the 2009 CNU Transportation Summit archive — and see what all the tweeting was about
  6. Read CNU Board minutes and reports online
  7. Norquist to join Harvard economist Ed Glaeser in project assessing health and effectiveness of US city governments
  8. What's New @
  9. New Partners for Smart Growth: 2009 Conference— Register Now!
  10. Continuing Education Opportunities

Here is the latest news and resources from the Congress for the New Urbanism — along with our best holiday wishes.

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1. Charter Awards Call for Entries: Submit by January 18th for the awards that honor urbanism's best

As it enters its 10th year, CNU's Charter Awards program has generated more than 1200 entries and recognized 147 projects from 93 firms or schools. Project types recognized in the early years of the program now represent major trends in real estate development and community renewal — transit-oriented development, suburban mall retrofits, Hope VI transformations, and conversions of former military bases and post-industrial brownfields into walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods.

Most important is the track record of awardees in transforming communities for the better. The awards recognize the best of the design and development that deliver more walkability, more livability, more energy efficiency and independence, more beauty and diversity, more transportation affordability, more long-term value and more common sense.

Headed by Charleston developer and two-time Charter Award winner Vince Graham, this year’s jury is a strong one with deep experience across the Charter’s three scales from region to building and block. Read more and download entry forms at And note that you now have a few extra days to enter: submissions must be shipped or postmarked by January 18, 2010.

2. CNU 18 Breaking News: David Byrne rolls into opening night line-up; CDC's Dr. Howard Frumkin to serve as honorary Congress chair

Talking-Head-turned-two-wheeled-urbanist David Byrne will join the opening session of an Atlanta Congress dedicated to exploring the health, social, environmental, and economic benefits of the more active, connected form of living that flourishes in walkable, bikable cities and towns. It's another major sign that CNU 18 is on track to be a meeting place of top thought-leaders and action-leaders from the worlds of urbanism, public health and government. So is the announcement of the Congress' honorary chair — Dr. Howard Frumkin, director of the Center for Environmental Health at the Centers for Disease Control and a co-author of Urban Sprawl and Public Health. CNU 18: Rx for Healthy Places will run from May 19-22, 2010 and is being organized in cooperation with the CDC, headquartered in Atlanta.

Byrne's new book Bicycle Diaries chronicles how his use of bicycles as his primary form of transportation (and folding bicycles wherever he travels) taught him to view the world and its cities differently. A wry and insightful essay in the Wall Street Journal about his "dreams of a perfect city" this fall showed why he's connecting with audiences over issues of urban life and transportation as well as music. In it, he championed elements such as "human scale" and "mixed use" as essential to great cities. As was the case when he joined NYC transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and Cong. Earl Blumenauer in DC, Byrne will welcome the opportunity for lively on-stage engagement with cutting-edge urbanists such as Ellen Dunham-Jones, Charles Brewer and Scotty Greene.

An internist, environmental and occupational medicine specialist, and epidemiologist, Dr. Frumkin has authored and co-authored more than 160 scientific journal articles and chapters. His books include Urban Sprawl and Public Health, named a Top Ten Book of 2005 by Planetizen. Dr. Frumkin oversees CDC’s Healthy Community Design Initiative, which looks at how communities can be designed to make it easier for people to live healthy lives. “Serving CNU as Honorary Chair of its 18th Congress is a signal honor,” says Frumkin. “On behalf of my health professional colleagues here at CDC, and in agencies and universities across the nation, I am delighted. Protecting public health is a noble calling, and so is creating great places; the growing partnership between health professionals and those in design, planning, and architecture reflects our many shared goals and the many synergies between our two worlds. Read more about Dr. Frumkin and CNU 18.

Putting the congress back in the Congress
And expect to hear more soon about CNU 18 and its many sessions and forums designed expressly to invite discussion and debate. New features of the Congress format include “Diagnosis and Rx” encounters that give you the opportunity to influence high-level policy development at sessions in which briefings from top officials and experts in urban design and public health are followed by talk-back, critique and peer review. Some sessions will incorporate Pecha Kucha rapid-format presentations of 20 slides for 20 seconds each on a range of topics and case studies. CNU18’s downtown Atlanta location provides the opportunity for real-world Urban Labs. Initiative Workshops will also allow CNU members and newcomers to work together to develop specific points of the organization’s agenda.

Finally, don't forget the CNU 18 call for academic papers. Research must be submitted by December 14


3. Registration for Next CNU Accreditation Exam Now Open

Exam Registration Open until Jan. 14, 2010

Last June, CNU proudly announced its new professional accreditation program to recognize the talent within the new urbanist movement for creating walkable, sustainable places. CNU has partnered with the University of Miami School of Architecture to use their online exam as a key requirement of the program. Registration for the first exam surpassed expectations, with 174 members signing up for this Fall.

The accreditation program seeks to elevate the practice of the principles of New Urbanism and to develop a premier standard of professional excellence in the design of the built environment. Professionals who meet the requirements of accreditation will be recognized as CNU-Accredited. CNU-Accredited members are now searchable on the CNU Member Directory. The accreditation credential can be used for business identification, reference criteria, and optional credits within the LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) rating system.

New Urbanists can take the exam online during three access windows that will be scheduled each year. The next exam access window is scheduled for Mar. 22 - Apr. 26, 2010. Registration for this exam window opened Dec. 1 2009, and closes Jan. 14, 2010. Visit to register now.

The University of Miami also offers a self-paced online course, titled The Principles and Practice of New Urbanism, which provides preparation for the exam but is not required. Registration for the course is separate from CNU Accreditation registration and is available online at

More Information

For further information and to register for the online exam today, visit


4. Give the benefits of New Urbanism to someone important to you: Share a CNU gift membership

This year, you could help someone you care about become an urbanist. Whether it's a colleague, local official or someone else who shapes the civic agenda in your city or town, your gift of a CNU membership will give them a needed advantage as our economy comes out of a deep recession and seeks sources of real value.

They will enjoy the benefits of membership and begin learning more about CNU's principles and how they improve street networks, TODs, form-based codes and retrofitting suburbia. Welcome them into our growing movement of committed individuals and organizations dedicated to restoring good urbanism to America’s built environment.

Benefits include:

  • A handsome card notifying the recipient of your gift.
  • An annual subscription to New Urban News along with regular e-updates and notifications from CNU.
  • Free admission to a CNU chapter, if one is operating in their region. (There are now 12 chapters and 7 chapter organizing committees).
  • Savings and special rates on CNU’s unparalleled events, awards submissions, books and merchandise

Download a gift membership form (as an editable MS Word form or PDF) and return it to CNU by e-mail to or by fax at 312-346-3323 or by mail to 140 S. Dearborn, Suite 404, Chicago, IL 60603.

And please don't forget the importance of end-of-the-year contributions in helping CNU enter 2010 on the strongest footing and pursue our shared agenda vigorously. Make a contribution now.



5. Visit the CNU 2009 Transportation Summit archive — and see what all the tweeting was about

CNU's summits and Congresses pack a wealth of knowledge into what seems like a blink of an eye. A decade ago, participants clamored for handouts to retain ideas that might otherwise prove fleeting. Now using suddenly ubiquitous social media platforms, particularly Twitter, attendees report on conferences in real time. Almost as soon as a thought is presented at a CNU event, it is often broadcast to Twitter followers. From there, the idea may carom around the globe as it gets forwarded (or "retweeted"), cheered and critiqued.




The Portland Transportation Summit in November was the second CNU event where Twitter coverage was common. The short term or "hashtag" identifying summit-related postings appeared in more than 380 tweets over the three days of the conference. Read our twitter tally for a revealing glimpse at what resonated both inside and outside the room.

Visit the summit website to see the extensive archive of summit presentations, including an audio-synched "slidecast" of Portland planner Stuart Gwin on the centrality of street connectivity to their plans for making key neighborhoods more livable and the lack of support in federal policy for such efforts.


6. Read CNU Board Minutes and Reports Online

Technology is helping CNU's board stay in closer contact with members. Russ Preston, the first member of the board representing CNU's chapters, shared news and observations from the early-October board meeting via Twitter. For more in-depth coverage, view the minutes from that meeting and pre-meeting memos and reports from Board Chair Ray Gindroz and CEO President John Norquist. Plus, you can catch up on minutes from past board meetings. It's all in the board section of


7. Norquist to join Harvard economist Ed Glaeser in project assessing health and effectiveness of US city governments

CNU President John Norquist has been invited to join a small group of economists and city government experts meeting at Harvard to develop an Index of Urban Quality. CNU's principles and metrics for better-performing urban design, infrastructure and emergency response has drawn the attention of some of America's leading economists, leading them to be reflected in this effort, which is co-sponsored by the Manhattan Institute. Look for an update after the group begins its work at Harvard in mid-January.



8. What's New @

Check out the latest from

CNU Salons: Texas adopts CNU's context-sensitive streets guidance
Texas has become the first state officially to adopt the comprehensive set of context-sensitive street design guidelines written by the CNU and the Institute of Transportation Engineers..

CNU Salons: Energy Consumption: Map Illustrates U.S Energy Use, With a Global Perspective
Eric De Place of the Daily Score illustrates and compares the energy use of various countries around the world to that of individual states within the US. It's a pretty eye opening way to see how much energy we use are using as a country.

CNU Salons: Can New Urbanism Save America? From the Huffington Post
@ Calendar
Check out the Smart Ideas Design Competition and more...

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9. New Partners for Smart Growth: 2009 Conference—Register Now

The 9th annual New Partner’'s Conference will be held on February 4-6, 2010. Register now for opportunity to choose from 95 different sessions and 300 different speakers.  Visit New Partners for prices, a list of speakers and tours.


10. Continuing Education Opportunities

Visit the Form Based Codes Institute website for details on upcoming courses.

The ABC's of Form-Based Codes: Special One-Day Introduction
January 27, 2010, St. Petersburg, Florida
March 24, 2010, Kansas City, Missouri

FBC 201: Preparing a Form-Based Code – Design Considerations
February 18-19, 2010, Ventura, California

Also visit the National Charrette Institute (NCI) website for 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.

Upcoming 2010 Certificate Trainings

NCI Charrette System™ Certificate
January–Miami, FL
February–Lansing, MI
March–Portland, OR
April–London, UK

NCI Charrette Management and Facilitation™ Certificate
March–Portland, OR


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Congress for the New Urbanism
140 S. Dearborn St., Ste. 404
Chicago, IL 60603, USA
TEL 312.551.7300
FAX 312.346.3323