CNU e-Update
March 2009

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  1. CNU Announces 2009 Charter Award Recipients
  2. Breaking Silos: Momentum Builds in Washington for Livable Communities, Sustainable Networks
  3. CNU Welcomes Eleventh Chapter -- CNU Colorado
  4. Norquist in Streetsblog Q&A: It's not roads vs. transit — it's good street networks vs. mindless out-of-scale roads
  5. What's New @
  6. Call for Entries: 2009 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement
  7. USGBC Colorado Chapter: Colorado Sustainability ’09, May 6-7
  8. Your Help Needed: Survey for Urban Infill Research Study
  9. SmartCode Workshop, Decatur, Georgia, April 16-18
  10. Form-Based Codes Institute: Upcoming Trainings
  11. National Charrette Institute: Upcoming Trainings

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1. CNU Announces 2009 Charter Award Recipients

Winners of Urbanism's Premier Award Demonstrate Excellence and Ambition in Putting Charter Principles into Practice

The Congress for the New Urbanism announces the recipients of the Charter Awards for 2009. The 10 professional and 2 academic projects selected by a jury of leading urbanists represent the best of the New Urbanism. They will be recognized in a ceremony at the annual Congress for the New Urbanism in Denver, CO, June 13.

The 12 recipients bring excellence in urbanism and sustainability to sites large and small, ranging from the blocks around a formerly abandoned streetcar storage facility in Toronto to the Crystal City office corridor near Washington DC to the entire Hertfordshire region in England. The honorees showcase the adaptability of New Urbanist principles to this extraordinary range of contexts while also illustrating how today's urbanists are building on collective experience and successfully tackling ever more ambitious challenges.

Read full story...


2. Breaking Silos: Momentum Builds in Washington for Livable Communities, Sustainable Networks

House testimony by CNU's John Norquist follows promising announcement by DOT-HUD Secretaries

In its approach to the built environment, the federal government has long operated independent silos. They include low-income housing, transit, and the biggest silo of all -- superhighways. This policy isolationism has helped weaken the connections between housing, jobs and community destinations in regions across the country. It's left the middle class and working poor facing high travel costs getting to and from work, school, and the range of places serving their daily needs.

But serious interest in a smarter coordinated approach to housing, transportation and economic policy is surging within both the Obama Administration and Congress. This new reform spirit was on display this week at a two-day hearing on advancing livable communities and greening federal transportation and housing policy held by a House subcommittee with an appropriately interdisciplinary name: the Appropriations Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation and Urban Development chaired by Rep. John Olver (D-MA).

Read full story...


3. CNU Welcomes Eleventh Chapter -- CNU Colorado

CNU is proud to announce its newest chapter -- CNU Colorado, the host of CNU 17 in Denver this June. The chapter will provide a local organization for new urbanists in the State of Colorado for education, outreach, and to organize around local issue long after CNU 17 has left town.

All CNU members in Colorado are now automatically members of the Colorado Chapter.

For more information on CNU's chapters, visit


4. Norquist in Streetsblog Q&A: It's not roads vs. transit — it's good street networks vs. mindless out-of-scale roads

That's the short takeaway from a two-part, extensive and lively Q&A with John Norquist in Streetsblog.

With the announcement of the HUD-DOT "Sustainable Communities" initiative last week, there's new buzz around walkable green neighborhoods and the infrastructure that supports them. Covering this terrain with tenacity and intelligence, Streetsblog is hungry for specifics about how the two big federal agencies can make good on their intentions:

At the moment ... the scene on the ground shows how far we have to go before the reality catches up to the rhetoric: State DOTs flush with federal stimulus cash are plowing ahead with wasteful, sprawl-inducing highway projects. Ultimately, you can't end car dependence or create livable places without enlisting the people building those roads -- the metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), state DOTs, and other entities that shape local policy. How can the feds affect their decisions?

The Congress for the New Urbanism has some intriguing answers. During the stimulus debate, CNU proposed a new type of federal road funding that would help to build connected grids -- the kind of streets that livable communities are made of. The proposal didn't make it into the stimulus package before the bill got rushed out the door, but the upcoming federal transportation bill will provide another chance. CNU President John Norquist -- a four-term mayor of Milwaukee who first got into politics as an anti-freeway advocate -- was down in DC last Thursday to share his ideas with Congress. Streetsblog spoke to him afterward about what's broken with national transportation policy and how to fix it.

Read more about how to fix a broken system at Streetsblog:


5. What's New @

Here's a sample of what's happening at

CNU Salons: TIME Magazine: Recycling Suburbia is #2 "Idea Changing the World Right Now"

TIME Magazine recently released its list of the “10 Ideas Changing the World Right Now,” highlighting some of the progressive ideas reshaping the face of our global economy. Coming in at #2 is “Recycling the Suburbs,” a concept that offers an alternative for a commercial suburbia threatened by dying shopping malls and empty retail prospects.

CNU Salons: Virginia adopts innovative smart streets rules

Under the leadership of governor Tim Kaine, the Commonwealth of Virginia has adopted new requirements designed to make neighborhood streets more connected, walkable, and safe. In particular, the new regulations limit the number of new dead-end cul-de-sacs, require sidewalks in most new subdivisions, and encourage narrower street widths that slow traffic.

Special Publication Discounts for CNU Members!

Don't forget that CNU members get special discounts on great publications from, Next American City, Metropolis, Places, and the Journal of Urbanism. Log in to to access the discount codes.

If you haven't experienced yet, it's time for you to see what you're missing. Please take a moment to log into our site and learn about the features it has to offer. Please read our Login Instructions to get started.

Visit to learn more about the website.


6. Call for Entries: 2009 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for the eighth annual National Award for Smart Growth Achievement. This competition is open to
public-sector or private sector applicants that have used the principles of smart growth to create better places. Private-sector applicants are encouraged to submit applications for projects that demonstrate a significant public-private partnership.

Smart growth development serves the economy, the community, and the environment. Smart growth approaches to development create clear environmental benefits, including improved air and water quality, preservation of critical habitat and open space, and more cleanup and re-use of brownfield sites.

This year, applications will be accepted in five categories:

  • Built Projects
  • Policies and Regulations
  • Smart Growth and Green Building
  • Smart Growth Streets
  • Overall Excellence in Smart Growth

Interested parties are encouraged to submit applications for smart growth activities that have shown significant activity between April 23, 2004, and April 23, 2009. Successful applicants will have incorporated the principles of smart growth to create places that respect community culture and the environment, foster economic development, and enhance quality of life and public health.

This year, the public sector winners will receive support for further implementing smart growth strategies in their communities. In addition, public sector winners will receive one complementary registration to the New Partners for Smart Growth Conference in 2010.

Applications are due on April 23, 2009. Up to five winners will be recognized at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. in December 2009.

For more details about the National Award for Smart Growth Achievement, including an application packet, visit:


7. USGBC Colorado Chapter: Colorado Sustainability ’09, May 6-7

Colorado Sustainability ’09: The Colorado Facilities & Green Building Expo and Conference
Wednesday, 5/6/09 – Thursday, 5/07/09
Colorado Convention Center

The U.S. Green Building Council Colorado Chapter is hosting a spectacular event; Colorado Sustainability ’09: The Colorado Facilities & Green Building Expo and Conference. This exciting two day event will include a full exhibit hall, and a wide variety of educational programs featuring cutting edge information on all aspects of sustainable design, construction, and operations practices for buildings and communities, including their impact on people, the environment, and the economy.

Visit to learn more, to see the education session schedule, and for registration information.

Interested in a booth at the expo? Contact Jan Welch: or 727-230-9828


8. Your Help Needed: Survey for Urban Infill Research Study

The link below will direct you to a brief online survey. This survey is part of a National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) study to develop guidance and a methodology for the preparation and review of transportation impact analyses (TIAs) of infill development in urban or urbanizing areas. You can help support this effort by answering a few brief questions.

Why this is important

Higher density, mixed-use redevelopment and infill development are smart growth concepts that are an increasingly common form of development subject to environmental review and often traffic impact studies. However, there is a lack of standardized guidance and trip and parking generation data for preparing these studies.

Why your help is needed

The first phase of this study involves collecting information on current infill development definitions, infill traffic and parking generation data and estimation methods, TIA analysis methods and agency review procedures. Kimley-Horn and Associates, on behalf of NCHRP, would like to survey those involved in various aspects of infill development in order to collect this information. Your responses are completely confidential and will be used to identify valuable information and resources regarding the current state-of-the-practice of analyzing the impacts of infill development.

Thank you for your time. Please click on the link below to complete the survey:


9. SmartCode Workshop, Decatur, Georgia, April 16-18

Start: 04/16/2009 5:30 PM
End: 04/18/2009 6:30 PM
Location: Decatur, GA (Atlanta metro)

Overcoming the limitations of single-use zoning demands tools that are comprehensive and cost-effective. The form-based SmartCode is such a tool. It provides an integrated template for stimulating healthy growth in keeping with community character and for broadening choices for residents and businesses. At the spring SmartCode Workshop, you can hear context-setting theory from those who invented the Code and get a line-by-line explanation of its key provisions. With technical experts guiding discussions, you can dig deeply into lessons learned and best practices for implementation. Five miles east of downtown Atlanta and serviced directly by rail, Decatur exemplifies the challenges of any modestly sized city operating within a larger metropolitan region. You'll be surrounded by colleagues with similar goals and empowered by the collective wisdom of leading practitioners.

The evening of Thur., April 16, features a public lecture with John Norquist and Andrés Duany.

Host Organization: PlaceMakers, LLC
Contact phone and/or email:, 204.989.0217
Contact URL:


10. Form-Based Codes Institute: Upcoming Trainings

Want to preserve or increase the quality of our communities? Because Form-Based Codes can require rather than recommend the vision elements that make for good urbanism, FBCs are being adopted at an ever increasing rate throughout the U.S. The mission of the Form-Based Codes Institute (FBCI) is "to advance the knowledge and use of, and develop standards for, Form-Based Codes as a method to achieve a community vision based on time-tested forms of urbanism." Perhaps the most important way FBCI advances knowledge and standards for FBCs is through its 3-course series, taught by nationally recognized practitioners.

Upcoming Trainings

Save the date for the following Form-Based Code trainings. Visit the Form-Based Codes Institute website for more information and a full list of events.

The ABC's of Form-Based Codes: Special One-Day Introduction
June 17, 2009, Denver
The Form-Based Codes Institute is offering an abbreviated version of its acclaimed Introduction to Form-Based Coding at a greatly reduced registration fee as part of CNU 17.

FBC 201: Preparing a Form-Based Code – Design Considerations
May 18-19, 2009, Lansing, MI

FBC 301: Completing, Adopting and Administering the Code
July 13-14, 2009, Lansing, MI

Registration for these courses is available at Driehaus Charitable Lead Trust Scholarships of $500 each are available for representatives from not-for-profit historic preservation organizations or public organizations with oversight authority for historic preservation as well as students and faculty from schools of architecture.


11. National Charrette Institute: Upcoming Trainings

Visit the National Charrette Institute (NCI) website for details on upcoming trainings. Current CNU members receive a 10% discount on NCI registration fees for public trainings held in Portland. All NCI trainings in the United States will qualify for AICP credit hours.

NCI Charrette System™ Certificate
April 6-8, Phoenix, AZ
May 6-8, Washington, DC
May 27-29, Olds College, Olds, Alberta, Canada
July 13-15, Portland, OR
July 27-29, Harvard University
October 19-21, Portland, OR

NCI Charrette Management and Facilitation™ Certificate
July 16-17, Portland, OR
October 22-23, Portland, OR


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