I saw a few more panels on Friday, and spent much of the weekend visiting Salt Lake City's various neighborhoods.
Sarah Susanka's plenary address contained one line that spoke to me. She spoke about an "appreciation for space", comparable to an appreciation for music. I think one reason I don't fit in with my relatives and friends who have gotten used to sprawl is that I have a highly developed, perhaps overdeveloped, sense of space. My relatives in Atlanta have gotten used to things (such as streets without sidewalks) that horrify me.
One interesting part of today's CNU session was Andres Duany's keynote speech. Duany focused on the relationship between environmentalism and New Urbanism. He suggested that the fear of climate change was actually more important in shaping public policy than climate change itself, because this fear may create long-term demoralization (especially, I suspect, among environmentalists - though I'm not sure if Duany was saying this).
The first CNU 21 speech I went to was by attorney Craig Galli, who briefly outlined the history of Salt Lake City. He pointed out that one of the region's problems was the dependence of local cities on sales taxes; to attract tax revenue, local governments need to attract sales-generating retailers. As a result, the region became oversupplied with big box stores, some of which are now vacant due to competition from other big box stores.