CNU 18: Be Front and Center for Economic Advantages and Policy Breakthroughs

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Join federal officials and market leaders in capitalizing on the urbanist advantage. Register now for CNU's Atlanta Congress, May 19-22, and save with early registration rates.

01 SHIFT AT THE TOP 02 DOWNTURN HEIGHTENS URBANISM'S VALUE 03 ATLANTA: URBANIST LAB 04 TOUR: BELTLINE Forward this e-mail to a friend or colleague who may benefit from CNU 18!

PLAN NOW TO JOIN US IN ATLANTA

Visit cnu18.org for all the details.

 


DEADLINES NOT TO MISS

Apply for CNU 18 Scholarships and Volunteer Opportunities by March 18th.

CNU 18 PARTNERS


Transformative Partners

The Home  Depot Foundation Logo

Visionary Partner:
Andy and Laura Heery Prozes
Sustainable District Partners:


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WHILE YOU'RE IN ATLANTA

The Old Fourth Ward, just east of Downtown, includes the Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic District. Once a segregated but intact African-American community, later challenged by disinvestment and decline, this is now one of intown's thriving communities. Stroll Auburn and Edgewood Avenues to see promising residential infill and new retail. (King Memorial MARTA, or bus 113.)
Photo: Amber Rhea via Flickr

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01
A SHIFT AT THE TOP: FEDERAL COMMITMENT TO HEALTHY AND SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES SHOWCASED AT CNU 18
New urbanist networks hummed when, shortly after taking office, President Obama proclaimed that "the days of just building sprawl forever are over." The federal government took a significant step toward supporting that goal when the HUD-DOT-EPA Interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities was announced last June. The mission of the Partnership reflects CNU principles including a commitment to transportation choices, diverse and affordable housing, and sustainable community form.  

Shelley PotichaFormer CNU executive director Shelley Poticha, now HUD's senior adviser for sustainable housing and communities, is helping to guide the effort. Poticha will be one of the  featured speakers in a series of CNU 18 sessions on Thursday, May 20th featuring policymakers representing public health, housing, transportation and regional issues.

 One of the represented federal agencies, CNU 18 organizing partner the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was already advocating to bring together transportation, housing, and environmental planning through its Healthy Places Initiative. The agency's research is identifying health issues related to community design, and suggesting design approaches for healthier communities. CDC is also actively promoting the use of Health Impact Assessments, a tool for gauging the potential health effects of a proposed policy or development project. HIAs are the subject of another Thursday session led by Karen Leone, an Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank official formerly with the CDC. Honorary Congress Chair Dr. Howard Frumkin of the CDC will help lead off the Thursday policy sessions and others from the CDC will present and participate throughout the three-plus days of the Congress.

Health topics in Congress sessions include the relationships between parks, physical activity, and new urbanist planning; leveraging codes for healthier communities; and innovative methods for assessing health and climate impacts of development projects, including Health Impact Assessments. Learn more about CNU 18 topics and sessions here.
02
IN A DOWNTURN AND BEYOND, URBANISM HAS CRUCIAL ECONOMIC ADVANTAGES  

As real estate markets continue to struggle, the current economic crisis has exposed the fundamental financial flaws in the conventional suburban model. And New Urbanism continues to have a strong economic advantage over conventional sprawl. CNU 18 offers many opportunities to explore the economic viability and advantages of New Urbanism.

From high foreclosure rates and loss of equity to challenged municipal budgets, conventionally developed suburban areas have suffered most in the latest recession.

Yet new urbanist communities create long-term, financially viable developments for their many stakeholders. Market demand allows developers to charge a premium for mixed-use, neighborhood-focused developments while reducing risk through a diversification of product types. And studies have shown that municipalities with denser, smart growth development lower both their short-term and long-term infrastructure spending.

Metro Atlanta has among the nation's highest rates of foreclosure and loss of property value, but it has many new urbanist developments that have escaped the worst hardships associated with sprawl and the current economy.  With seminars led by enterprising developers and tours of these economically vibrant communities, CNU 18 and the Atlanta region showcase the economic advantages of New Urbanism.

Many Congress sessions will also focus on economic issues such as rethinking stalled suburban development, economic considerations for suburban retrofits, retail industry trends toward reliance on small retailers and strategies for creating thriving mixed-use centers in New Urbanist developments. Learn more about CNU 18 topics and sessions here.


03
URBAN LABS SHOW ATLANTA'S TOP LEADERS PRIMED FOR CNU 18

Three pre-Congress "urban labs" this year are intended to introduce a broad range of Atlanta leaders to CNU approaches and to build excitement and participation in the Congress, May 19-22, by engaging leaders in applying urbanist strategies in Atlanta. The second of three pre-CNU 18 "urban labs" took place in Atlanta on March 3 -  and it performed beyond expectations, attracting an impressive line-up of leaders, both from CNU and from the Atlanta Metro Area.

Like the January workshop, this one focused on an area of Downtown Atlanta with redevelopment challenges requiring the full new urbanist tool box. The lab actually kicked off on the evening of March 2 in Atlanta City Council chambers, where Council president Ceasar C. Mitchell welcomed attendees and introduced Mayor Kasim Reed. The next day, Councilman Mitchell joined other Atlanta leaders at the morning urban lab hosted by the Coca-Cola Company at their world headquarters. Georgia Tech architecture professor and CNU 18 co-chair Ellen Dunham-Jones joined with other CNU board members Doug Farr, Stephanie Bothwell and Dhiru Thadani in leading lab discussions. While all Congresses are in their own way urban labs in host cities, the Atlanta Congress appears to be setting new standards for pre-conference activities involving business, political, and non-profit leaders in the host region.




04
CNU 18 TOUR HIGHLIGHT: ATLANTA'S BELTLINE

The ambitious transformation of an abandoned rail corridor into a 22-mile loop of parks, bike trails, transit, and infill development -- encircling Downtown and linking 45 historic neighborhoods - is moving Atlanta giant steps closer to a walkable, sustainable future and a thriving metropolitan core. Register for this tour to experience the BeltLine's enormous potential and hear how planners and health experts evaluated the project using a Health Impact Assessment. But first, watch this fantastic video by Steve Bransford of Terminus Films that shows this transformation in the making. Find out more about this and other CNU 18 tours here.