CNU January 2010 e-update

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CNU e-Update
January 2010


  1. Beginning-of-Year Message from John Norquist and Ray Gindroz
  2. CNU 18 News: Here Comes a More Interactive Congress
  3. CNU Op-Eds: Helping Washington Find Main Street
  4. Support CNU's Fire Code Changes
  5. Partly Cloudy with a Chance of Slower Streets and "Good Congestion": John Norquist's Transportation Forecast in Metropolis Magazine)
  6. An Upcoming Deadline and What's New at
  7. Reference Guide on LEED for Neighborhood Development Now Available
  8. Planetizen's Top Urban Planning Twitter Feeds: Lots of Familiar CNU Names
  9. Invitation to Tour of Cuba and Cuban Charrette
  10. Seaside Prize Weekend 2010
  11. Chicago Housing Authority Looking for Master Developer to Revitalize Lathrop Homes Using LEED for Neighborhood Development
  12. Additional Continuing Education Opportunities

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1. Beginning-of-Year Message to Members from Ray Gindroz and John Norquist

As we head into a new year and toward a new decade, CNU President and CEO John Norquist and CNU Board Chair Ray Gindroz share highlights from 2009 and preview 2010.

"For all its difficulties, 2009 was a successful year for the CNU: The Denver Congress drew a much larger than predicted number of participants, the Transportation Summit had record attendance and there has been much progress on several fronts..."

With a plea for members to engage with CNU in new and improved ways, the letter seeks your involvement in making 2010 a year of impact.

Read the full letter HERE.

2. CNU 18 News: Here Comes a More Interactive Congress

There's a refreshing new commitment at CNU 18 to putting the Congress back in the Congress. That means initiating a whole new level of interactivity — something that came naturally when the Congress was a small lively forum of reformers but that takes some planning today. Building on constructive critiques by members such as Matthew Lambert (see his image below) and innovative ideas from the Atlanta host committee, CNU plans to make this Congress a streaming, real-time conversation among attendees. The Congress comes to downtown Atlanta, May 19-22, 2010.

Many of CNU 18’s sessions and its physical layout are expressly designed to invite discussion and debate in a wider variety of formats, especially to facilitate dialogue between those in urban design, development and in public health.You will also have 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 talkback, critique and peer review.

Here are more examples of what's new:

Pecha Kucha Presentations: Using this information-intensive rapid format, some sessions will limit presenters to 20 slides for 20 seconds each as a means of focusing laser-like on great ideas and innovative solutions.

Urban Labs: CNU 18’s downtown Atlanta location provides the opportunity for all attendees to participate in critical evaluations of recent design proposals and come up with their own prescriptions for improving the health of downtown.

Initiative Workshops: These 3-hour sessions will brainstorm and refine strategy on programs CNU is actively working to advance. They are your opportunity to participate in developing new models and standards, producing the next manuals and devising strategies for changing current regulations. Past CNU initiatives have included the Low Carbon Urbanism Campaign, the LEED for Neighborhood Development Initiative, the Urban Thoroughfares Initiative and the Emergency Response and Street Design Initiative. Among the topics of emerging initiatives you can help shape at CNU18 are urban agriculture, sprawl retrofit, sustainable communities and development best practices. Anyone can propose an initiative by going here.

Make sure to bookmark CNU18 and visit regularly for the latest news and information!


3. Op-Ed: Helping Congress Find Main Street

Shouldn't the new "Jobs for Main Streets" stimulus bill actually fund walkable, bikable transit-friendly main streets, rather than just auto-only highways? CNU made that argument in the Hartford Courant. Editors at the Charlotte Observer (and Streetsblog) also thought the idea deserved attention in their paper too, this time with a Carolinas spin.

Congress still can't find Main Street

New stimulus bill has right name, wrong aim

After earlier federal bailouts and stimulus bills were faulted for enriching Wall Street and proving anemic in creating jobs, the president and congressional Democrats sent a message in choosing a name for the jobs bill that passed the House just before Christmas - the "Jobs for Main Street" bill. It's progress that this time funds will flow away from, not toward, Wall Street. And the legislation will keep some people working, especially in local and state government. But will funds from this bill really reach Main Street? Well, not so much. When it comes to the largest spending item in the bill - $27.5 billion in highway spending - Main Street is missing. The $27.5 billion isn't targeted to rebuild streets at the heart of older cities and towns. No, it will mostly go to the expansion of wide, motor-vehicle-only highways that go hand-in-hand with energy-wasting sprawl. This follows the earlier stimulus bill that favored massive highway projects, including a batch of expensive "highways to nowhere," which an examination by the Infrastructurist Web site concluded "make no sense." The new bill does reserve $8.4 billion for transit and $800 million for Amtrak. But just when U.S. real estate markets are turning to Main Street and traditional neighborhood design, Congress throws $27.5 billion at infrastructure that supports sprawl.

Read the rest of the op-ed.


4. Support CNU's fire code changes

Less than a month remains to help CNU make the International Fire Code friendlier to good urban streets, and to defeat an amendment requiring a fire code official's approval for any traffic calming measures. The International Code Council is taking public comments on proposed fire code amendments through Feb. 8. Read about CNU's proposals here and follow the links to submit your comments. While you're at it, check out this cutting-edge research from the University of Virginia, which strengthens our argument that connected street networks improve emergency response times.


5. Transportation Forecast: Partly Cloudy with a Chance of Slower Streets and Good Congestion

In Metropolis Magazine, CNU's John Norquist gives the one-, five-, and ten-year forecast for transportation

January is Metropolis Magazine's "What's Next?" issue, with 1-, 5- and 10-year forecasts on issues such as urban planning, energy and public health by a range of people known for being ahead of the curve. CNU's John Norquist makes the most of his few paragraphs on what's ahead for transportation.

Click here for exerpts.


6. Upcoming Deadline and the Latest from

Last Call for Charter Award Submissions

Please note you now have a few extra days to enter. Submissions must be shipped or postmarked by Monday, January 18, 2010.

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. 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


CNU Salons: NY Times: Do walkable neighborhoods increase real estate value?
The New York Times Business section examines the link between walkable, mixed-use developments and property value, finding promising correlations between new urbanism principles and prices.

CNU Salons: names "Urbany" a crucial trend for 2010 —yes, Urbany
@, a consumer trends firm, has named “Urbany” one of their top trends to watch in the upcoming year, based on trends of population growth and innovation.

CNU Salons: LEED awards show why ‘green’ criteria need reform
@ Calendar
Check out the new events on the horizon...

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7. Reference Guide on LEED for Neighborhood Development now available

USGBC has released the LEED 2009 Reference Guide for Green Neighborhood Development, designed to serve applicants applying for LEED-ND certification. The guide concentrates on providing the tools necessary for sustainable choices to be made by developers, planners, architects and others involved in the development of a neighborhood project. In addition to more procedural information, the guide provides the following for each credit and prerequisite in the rating system: intent, requirements, point values, environmental, economic and social issues, related credits, summary of referenced standards, credit implementation discussion, timeline, and team recommendations, calculation methods and formulas, documentation guidance, examples, exemplary performance options, regional variations, resources, and definitions. The Reference Guide for LEED-ND is available in a variety of hard and electronic formats from the USGBC website for purchase.

In addition, CNU Members are able to purchase the Reference Guide for LEED-ND at a reduced price -- $35 off the hardcopy price and $30 off the E-version. To take advantage of these savings, visit and log into your membership account. Once you are logged in, visit the Membership Benefits page to get the discount code and instructions.

If you can't recall your password, you can request a new one at Enter the email address associated with your account (the one where you received this email), then click "Email new password" to request a temporary login. You should receive an automated email within several minutes with a login link (be sure to check your spam box if you don't see it). Follow the instructions in the email and use the one-time login link to access your account. Note that the email contains a login link, not a password. After clicking the login link, you will be redirected to your account settings page to set your password. If you need further assistance logging in or would like the publication discount details sent via email, please contact Juantiki Jones at or 312-551-7300 x19.


8. Wired & Walkable: New Urbanism Shows Up Big on Planetizen's List of Top Urban Planning Twitter Feeds

CNU members — and CNU too — helped make New Urbanism one of the leading source of urban design and development tweets in 2009 —tweets being the ultra-short updates, news bites, observations and web links shared using fast-growing Twitter networking service.

A batch of CNU members made Planetizen's Top Twitter Feeds on Urban Planning list in the individuals category. And CNU's NewUrbanism Twitter feed was listed first among non-profit organizations on the list. Among CNU members and friends, Planetizen suggests you follow Steve Mouzon, John Massengale, Kaid Benfield, Mike Lydon, Carol Coletta, Anthony Flint, Dan Burden, Reconnecting America, and of course, CNU's NewUrbanism feed. As Planetizen says, "While much of its frivolity remains, Twitter has evolved into a sophisticated tool for keeping up with the latest news and observations about urban planning, design and development."

9.Invitation to tour of Cuba and Cuban Charrette

Of particular interest to Canadians and others who face few travel restrictions to Cuba, the International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture & Urbanism (INTBAU) will host a one week tour of Cuba March 14-20. The tour will provide an introduction to the history of Urbanism and Architecture of Havana, Cienfuegos and Trinidad, all listed as UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. It will also study the restoration and regeneration of Old Havana and go on one day tours by bus to two smaller historic towns, Trinidad and Cienfuegos.

The week following the tour, there will be an urban design charrette in Havana March 22 -27, 2010.

For registration details and contact information, click here.


10. Attend Seaside Prize Weekend 2010

On January 29th and 30th, The Seaside Institute will announce Allan B. Jacobs as the 2010 recipient of The Seaside Prize. Join Jacobs and many others for a weekend filled with unique discussions, book signings and a cocktail dinner with special guests Chris & Idie Hastings. The Seaside Prize is awarded annually to individuals or organizations that have made significant contributions to the quality and character of communities. The ceremony, which is free and open to the public, will be held in the Seaside Chapel.

The Seaside Prize Ceremony is only part of a busy two-day weekend celebration. The program begins on Friday, January 29th at 6 pm with a lecture and reception featuring John T. Edge. Tickets are $20 per person and available at the door. On Saturday, January 30th, Seaside Prize Recipient Allan B. Jacobs joins a panel discussion with renowned architects, planners and authors to discuss “The Life of Great Streets” at 10 am. Panelists will also include John T. Edge, Seaside Founder Robert Davis, Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, principals of DPZ, a major leader in the practice and direction of urban planning, and Melanie Hammet, a former Escape to Create artist. Following the discussion, guests are encouraged to enjoy “Lunch on the Street” by visiting one of our many outdoor restaurants throughout Seaside. At 2 pm, join many of our guests for a book-signing event at Sundog Books, followed by the prize ceremony at 4 pm. All forums and discussions are free and open to the public. The weekend concludes with “An Intimate Evening on the Avenue” where guests will join hosts Robert & Daryl Davis at their home in Seaside for a dinner prepared by Chris & Idie Hastings of Birmingham’s Hot and Hot Fish Club. The cocktail dinner will begin at 7 pm and tickets are $75 per person. All proceeds from the evening will benefit The Seaside Institute.

Click here for more information.



11.Chicago Housing Authority Looking for Master Developer to Revitalize Lathrop Homes Using LEED for Neighborhood Development

As one of the first developments commissioned by President Franklin Roosevelt's Public Works Administration, Lathrop Homes consists of three-and four-story red and brown brick apartment buildings and two-story row houses. And unlike the public housing built afterwards, Lathrop Homes has been a more integrated public housing community in Chicago. With the leadership of local Alderman Manny Flores, the Chicago Housing Authority is now looking for a development and property management team to lead the multi-year, multi-phase revitalization of Lathrop Homes and to achieve a LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) Gold or Platinum rating. The redevelopment of Lathrop using LEED-ND could set the example for a new wave of housing reform that provides working-class residents with healthier, more vibrant and sustainable neighborhoods. Given the landmark status of Lathrop -- with its red brick edges and scallop with finials, round windows, archways and stone medallions -- it is good news to hear that LEED-ND will be used as a guide because of the value the rating system places on the reuse and adaptation of existing buildings. Given the critical contributions of the New Urbanism movement to the development of the LEED-ND rating system, CNU encourages new urbanist firms to check out the RFQ. The RFQ is available electronically by emailing Rowena Biermann of The Habitat Company, at The request should be labeled LATHROP RFQ REQUEST, and should include the name and address of the firm requesting the RFQ. For additional information, refer to the CHA's website.


12. Additional Continuing Education Opportunities

Learn about the latest from the National Charrette Institute:

  • NCI Charrette System™ Certificate
    * February–Lansing, MI
    * March–Portland, OR
    * April–London, UK
    * May–Phoenix, AZ
  • NCI Charrette Management and Facilitation™ Certificate
    * March–Portland, OR
    * June–Washington, DC

And check out new offerings from the Form-Based Codes Institute:

  • 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
  • FBC 301: Completing, Adopting and Administering the Code
    April 26-27, 2010, Portsmouth, New Hampshire


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Congress for the New Urbanism
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