Opening Night Reception and Plenary*


Celebrate the opening of the 15th annual Congress with John Norquist, President and CEO of CNU, and Hank Dittmar, CNU Board Chair and Chief Executive of the Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment. They will welcome you to Philadelphia and open the Congress. John Norquist introduces Elinor Bacon, urban policy expert and assistant HUD secretary in the Clinton administration, who will share thoughts on the legacy of her father, Edmund Bacon, who served Executive Director of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission from 1949 to 1970.

The opening plenary will feature a special presentation of the Driehaus Form-Based Codes Award sponsored by the Form-Based Codes Institute. As first jury chair, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk will present the inaugural awards for achievement in the writing and implementation of form-based codes.

CNU co-founder Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk will introduce legendary Philadelphia author Witold Rybczynski, who will give the opening plenary lecture. For his new book Last Harvest, Rybczynski committed four years to following the design, construction, and marketing of a neotraditional residential community in exurban Chester County, Pennsylvania – a development process lengthened by zoning changes, community resistance and several unforeseen problems. Rybczynski will discuss what he sees as lessons learned from this experience: traditional town planners need to look at varied ways of accommodating cars on small lots, while also studying how people do—and don’t—want to live. Since concepts such as neighborhood and community can be difficult to market, developers and builders should bear in mind that their customers are buying a home, not an ideology. Equally at home as a high-profile architecture writer and critic and as a real estate professor, Rybczynski is also the author of City Life and Home, and recently received the Vincent Scully prize from the National Building Museum.

Visit to download the full winning codes from the Driehaus Form-Based Codes Awards.

elinorbacon.pdf8.97 MB
FBCI Awards Presentation5.75 MB
OpeningPlenary1.mp36.92 MB
OpeningPlenary2.mp37.7 MB
OpeningPlenary3.mp312.63 MB