What is a Congress?

The annual Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) is the leading venue for new urbanist education, collaboration, and networking. CNU members come from around the world to discuss development practices and public policies, learn from recent innovative work, and advance new initiatives to transform our communities.

  • The essential components of New Urbanism are now strategies you simply can't afford to ignore. Learn proven New Urbanist solutions to a number of relevant issues:
    • How to survive the housing meltdown
    • How to adapt to demographic changes
    • How to deliver major energy savings and slow carbon emissions
    • What are the growth opportunities under a new administration
    • How to be ready to meet demand for a projected 50-million-unit increase in new residences by 2030
  • Connect and collaborate with innovators -- including green designers, architects, builders, developers, city planning officials, transportation design, and community leaders— committed to adapting and incorporating principles of New Urbanism in our cities and towns, as well as abroad.
  • Experience excellent traditional urbanism firsthand though local tours of successful neighborhoods in Madison and Wisconsin. See how projects are adapting to new challenges, and how getting the details right is more important than ever.
  • Learn about the latest applications of New Urbanism -- from LEED for Neighborhood Development to retrofitting suburbs to infill successes.
  • Contribute your own ideas and experience to take New Urbanism to the next level.
  • Learn about new products and the latest innovations at CNU exhibits.
New Urbanism is an urban design and development movement dedicated to implementing community-oriented principles of traditional town and city planning in contrast to the prevailing system of formless sprawl. New Urbanist developments are walkable, provide a diverse range of housing options, encourage a rich mix of uses, and provide welcoming public spaces as detailed in the Charter of the New Urbanism. New Urbanism is an interdisciplinary movement. We welcome developers, architects, landscape architects, town planners, urban designers, engineers, environmental consultants, transit/transportation planners, bicycle and pedestrian advocates, housing specialists, real estate brokers, regulators, real estate financiers and government officials. Students, community activists and interested members of the public are also encouraged to attend.

Program Highlights

CNU offers a number of formats for expanding the current thinking on New Urbanism, as well as expanding your understanding of its principles.

New Urbanism 101: Introduction to the Principles of New Urbanism
This in-depth primer on the history, principles, and concepts of New Urbanism will provide Congress attendees the opportunity to hear Andrés Duany and other founding members of the movement discuss why New Urbanism works. The day-long course provides an illustrated introduction and a foundation in key concepts such as conventional vs. traditional development, the Charter, why transportation planning matters, and theory vs. practice -- all presented by leading experts in the field. Attend this session and you will walk away with an excellent understanding of what makes a great place and why!

Breakout Sessions
CNU 19 will be organized around several tracks, with more than 50 concurrent sessions that make up the heart of the programming on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Breakout offerings include sessions for first-time attendees and seasoned New Urbanists alike, allowing you to create an agenda that suits you.

Plenary Sessions
Plenary sessions bring the entire Congress together for a shared experience. Each features an innovative thinker and expert practitioner to share the latest advances in New Urbanism.

These in-depth specialized seminars, led by expert practitioners, are geared toward the advanced professional. These sessions require a separate ticket (though they are included with the Package registration).

Guided Tours
Get to know Madison and Wisconsin, and see New Urbanism in practice throughout our host city/region. The Guided Tours are a great way to discover Madison and its surrounding areas that boast one of the nation’s most well-established and fastest growing farm-to-table movements, and the undulating glacier-built kettle moraine landscape that attracts bicycling tourism from around the world. The tours are ticketed events and require additional registration. Space is limited. Early registration is strongly advised.

Networking and Social Events

CNU 19 is a wonderful opportunity to tap into others’ expertise and share your own. Engage with fellow attendees through our networking and social events. From the Exhibit Reception to the Salons and Saturday night closing networking party, CNU 19 offers plenty of opportunities to connect, debate and share with fellow attendees.