CNU Salons

Tyson's Corner Sprawl "Real Urban Experience?" -- Suburban Soul -- Washington Post

Steven Pearlstein from the Washington Post lauds Tysons Corner for its suburb grit in his article "Suburban Soul: Reston Is Hot Property, but Tysons Hums With 'Messy Vitality.'" While I would tend to agree that the best places evolve over time, creating that "messy vitality," I think Pearlstein is missing the mark here trying to apply that philosophy to sprawl. Reston will evolve over time, becoming more messy -- and more valuable. But I think without urban retrofit, Tysons will just continue to get plain messy.

Jim Kunstler

Mark Givens interviews the always provocative Jim Kunstler in the latest issue of MungBeing, an online magazine, about not only "The Long Emergency" and New Urbanism, but also his paintings, music, and novels.

CNU Transportation Summit Tours Prospect New Town

On the last day of the CNU Transportation Summit in Boulder this past weekend, attendees had the opportunity to experience Prospect New Town by mingling with the local folk during a wine tasting and social house tour for CNU and local residents. In true transportation summit form, we chartered a "Hop" bus from the City of Boulder out to the TND, which was planned by Duany Plater-Zyberk and is known for its diverse architecture.

Visitable townhouses

Recently, I've been taking some time while touring New Urbanism to look out for examples of accessible townhouses. A growing number of New Urbanist designs for townhouses are accessible or visitable by people using wheelchairs. CNU wants to document these buildings to help educate our members about simple ways to incorporate visitable houses into New Urbanist streetscapes.

Transportation in the background

Alley sections often suffer from too wide or too narrow and even too gradated a section. Please share and comment upon good and bad conditions within alleys.

For instance, the Muse lanes in Edinburgh, Scotland are 18' wide with buildings of 2 stories at the sides. They feel wonderful to walk down and pleasant to visit within. Garage heights, however, suggest there is no way a hummer will fit in them. Contrarily the Must lanes in London are often of a much wider section or 30' or larger and provide space to service one's vehicle, or even set-up a furniture manufacturing outfit within them.

CNU Transportation Summit 2006

120 new urbanists and transportation engineers are currently in Boulder, Colo., for CNU's 2006 Transportation Summit. Yesterday, CNU held a workshop on the Context-Sensitive Design manual produced by the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) and CNU. In this second such workshop on the manual, attendees learned from the authors about the recomendations in the manual and how it might be applied, specifically in Boulder. Representatives from the City of Boulder and City of Denver presented local case studies and discussed how new urbanist principles for urban thoroughfare design might be implemented.

New Door to Affordable Housing Opens

The Johnson's recently became the recipients of a donated manufactured home to replace their existing home in Montgomery, MD.

This home is the first of many designed by architect Steve Mouzon who also created the now infamous Katrina Cottage which he called a "FEMA trailer with dignity." The home was generously donated by Housing International, Inc., and given to the Johnson's through a local housing agency when their current home fell under sever need of repair amidst financial struggles.

LEED now to rate neighborhood developments - Grist Magazine

Green building standards are getting greener. Charles Shaw hunts down cutting-edge environmental advocates such as green architect Doug Farr, one of the leaders of the anticipated new green rating system called LEED-Neighborhood Design (LEED-ND). The LEED-ND Core Committee hopes to launch this impressive eco-friendly rating system by 2009. Shaw’s enlightening visits uncover ways this voluntary green development option will help sustain our planet, that is if developers and homeowners choose to go green.

Waterfront street a viable alternative - Seattle Post-Intelligencer

John Norquist and Scott Bernstein shed light on Seattle’s latest Alaskan Viaduct considerations. After reviewing WSDOT’s analysis of the “no-replacement” option, Norquist and Bernstein find exaggerated assumptions and inadequate considerations as to how traffic in downtown Seattle can be absorbed by the existing street grid. According to the columnists, the “no-replacement” option could reduce traffic congestion, increase economic vitality in downtown Seattle, and help the region meet its desired air quality standards.

How to Rebuild New Orleans: start with a trip to Denver - Slate magazine

One year after Katrina, New Orleans is still behind the eight ball when it comes to rebuilding. However, with the help of a Rockefeller grant, the Great New Orleans Foundation is heading a neighborhood-scale rebuilding effort that employs several new urbanist architects. In the recent posting in Slate online magazine, Rybczynski looks to a major new urbanist project in Denver as a reference point for New Orleans’ rebuilding possibilities. Many questions remain as to how an old city like New Orleans will balance its immediate needs while protecting its distinctive character.