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1. Comment Now to Defend Virginia DOT's Street Connectivity Reforms
When state DOT officials advance reforms that help support good urbanism, they often face the same resistance new urbanist practitioners and developers encounter. That's the case in Virginia, where new standards that encourage better connectivity on secondary streets between TNDs, subdivisions, and other developments have come under fire from builder groups. Comments in the coming days from as many CNU members as possible will help the DOT hold the line against strong pressure to water down these policies or drop them altogether. Your comments will help create a better environment for CNU members practicing in Virginia and will encourage the Virginia DOT to continue pushing pro-urban reforms.
Since Virginia operates and maintains an unusually large share of secondary streets, the reform known as the Secondary Street Acceptance Requirements would revise the terms under which the commonwealth accepts new streets into its system. If the streets fall below a certain link-node ratio (as many subdivision cul-de-sacs would, especially if connections to surrounding developments were rejected), then the streets would be classified as for "private benefit" rather than "public benefit" and would not be accepted into the commonwealth system. As CNU member Dan Slone, who helped draft the new standards, says, "the requirements would be extremely beneficial to TNDs and would in general stimulate better connectivity and better pedestrian environments in areas likely to have higher density development in Virginia, whether they are designed as TNDs or not." The measure would also provide for narrowing residential streets from 36-40 feet to 29-36 feet, in part to calm through traffic. A powerpoint presention from Assistant DOT Secretary Nick Donohue provides a concise overview of the proposal and its benefits.
Comments expressing support for greater connectivity in general, rather than NU design in particular, will have more weight. Your comments can make a difference.
Comments should be sent to Transportation Board assistant Carol Mathis at email@example.com for forwarding to board members, with a copy to Assistant Secretary of Transportation Nick Donahue at Nick.Donohue@governor.virginia.gov.
The proposed Requirements are available online at virginiadot.org/projects/ssar.
2. Green Architect and Urbanist Sim Van der Ryn Celebrated with Athena Award
"Father of sustainable design" calls for "resilient" communities
Sim Van der Ryn began earning an international reputation as the “father of the green building” during his tenure as California State Architect during then Governor Jerry Brown’s administration, but CNU made sure his pioneering role advancing sustainable urbanism received overdue recognition when it made him the 10th recipient of the Athena Award in a ceremony in San Francisco on September 26th. After receiving the award, Van der Ryn delivered the keynote lecture at CNU’s Sustainable Communities 2008 conference, which explored the past and future of a field Van der Ryn did so much to establish.
3. Call for Papers Now Open for CNU 17
Contribute to the Intellectual Dialogue on New Urbanism
Every year, the Congress for the New Urbanism invites academic paper submissions for presentation at the annual Congress.
CNU 17, which will focus on the theme of "Experiencing the New Urbanism: The Convenient Remedy," promises to be an exciting opportunity to share new experiences and ideas. The selection and presentation of academic papers on evolving issues surrounding New Urbanism is a crucial aspect of the ongoing intellectual dialogue within the movement.
Submissions are welcome on a range of issues and disciplines related to New Urbanism. Selection is based on the paper’s contribution to critical discussion and practice of New Urbanism and for synergies within sessions. Papers that incorporate the theme of the Congress are especially welcomed.
More information, detailed instructions for submitting a paper and copies of the papers selected last year are available on the Call for Academic Papers webpage.
4. Transportation Summit Less Than Two Weeks Away
CNU's 2008 Transporation Summit is less than two weeks away, but it's not too late to register and join us in Charlotte, N.C., Nov. 6-8. Visit http://www.cnu.org/transportation2008 to register now!
As high fuel costs force us to re-examine the wisdom of the "highways now, highways tomorrow, highways forever" ideology, CNU's Transportation Summit is a rare opportunity to work at the vanguard of a growing movement to redesign and renovate the American transportation network.
The ultimate goal of the Summit is to decide CNU's position on transportation networks. But the ripples from this year's Summit could have far-reaching effects as the federal government takes up its six-year transportation funding plan in 2009.
Don't miss this exciting opportunity to help shape a vision for our urban transportation networks.
5. Big Changes Coming Soon to LEED-ND—Be the First to Know!
An updated version of the LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) rating system will be released in the next few weeks. The previous version has undergone hundreds of changes based on findings from the pilot phase, where the rating system was tested against a number of diverse projects from across the nation.
Please consider joining the LEED-ND Corresponding Committee where you will be given the first opportunity to comment on technical items and the new version of the LEED-ND rating system. As a new urbanists, your perspective on what works and what doesn't is important to the continued development of LEED-ND. The first of two public comment periods will open Nov. 17, 2008, and close Jan. 5, 2009. Watch for more emails from CNU on ways to participate in the coming weeks and learn more about LEED-ND at www.cnu.org/leednd.
To join the Corresponding Committee, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org stating that you'd like to join the LEED-ND Corresponding Committee.
6. What's New @ CNU.org
Here's a sample of what's happening at CNU.org:
If you haven't experienced CNU.org 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 http://www.cnu.org/features to learn more about the website.
7. CNU Carolinas Light Imprint Workshop Nov. 13-14 in Beaufort, S.C.
The CNU Carolinas chapter is hosting Green, Urban, and Healthy: The Light Imprint Workshop Nov. 13-14 in Beaufort, S.C. This workshop includes an overview of the Light Imprint Initiative, case studies, walking tours, local food convivium, and a hands-on work session on select projects. The audience is geared towards developers, public officials, planners, architects, landscape architects, engineers, investors, environmentalists, bariatric physicians, organic gardeners, health food merchants, natural food restaurateurs, and community activists. AIA/CES credits will be available for the workshop.
8. Greenbuild 2008: Visit CNU and Learn about LEED-ND, Nov. 18-21 in Boston
Visit CNU in the exhibit hall at nonprofit table #5. Drop by our table anytime to talk with Greenbuild attendees about New Urbanism! Your help would be most appreciated during the Tuesday evening reception, Wednesday lunch, and Thursday afternoon reception.
Learn more about what's new with "LEED for Neighborhood Development 1.0," the first open release of a national rating system for green neighborhoods, at the LEED-ND Update Session on Wednesday, 11/19, 12-1 PM. A more detailed, half-day workshop will be held on Tuesday, 11/18, 1:30-5:30 PM.
Join CNU New England for a sustainable Happy Hour at Persephone, 283 Summer St., on Thursday, 11/20, at 6:30 PM.
9. Call for Smart Growth Streets Case Studies
The U.S. EPA Office of Development, Community and Environment (widely known as the “Smart Growth” office) is sponsoring a study on “Implementing Smart Growth Streets” that is being conducted by ICF International and Ellen Greenberg. CNU members are encouraged to participate in this work by bringing candidate case studies to the attention of the project team.
The project, which is in its initial phases, is using the following summary definition of smart growth streets:
We are seeking exemplary cases that demonstrate innovation, quality and replicable results with respect to one or more of the principles. Because the practice of creating smart growth streets is an evolving one, we do not expect that each case study will illustrate all of the principles discussed below. This study is focusing on documenting such examples, as well as on the implementation activities and institutional arrangements that are leading to positive outcomes.
If you would like further information about the project, or to suggest projects or programs that might be valuable case studies, please contact Ellen Greenberg and Ellen@EllenGreenberg.com or 510-450-0949. Thank you.
10. Registration Open for 8th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference, Jan. 22-24, Albuquerque, N.M
Registration is now available for the 8th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth: Building Safe, Healthy and Livable Communities Conference, Jan. 22-24, 2009, in Albuquerque, N.M.
The New Partners for Smart Growth Conference has grown significantly since it began several years ago -- increasing in scope, attendance, and prestige -- and is now considered to be the "premier" smart growth conference held each year. The strength of this conference comes from the variety of participants and speakers who cross disciplines to share experiences and insights, and valuable tools and strategies to encourage smart growth implementation and "get it done."
The program will span three full days. There will be some pre-conference tours scheduled for Wednesday, January 21, but the main program will kick-off on Thursday morning, January 22 and continue through Saturday afternoon. The three-day schedule includes a dynamic mix of plenaries, breakouts, implementation workshops, specialized trainings, peer-to-peer learning opportunities, and coordinated networking activities. It will also feature exciting tours of local projects in the Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Taos areas, and many other interesting case studies from throughout the region. There will be something for everybody, from veteran experts to smart-growth novices, with over 100 sessions and workshops. Learn from hundreds of speakers who cross disciplines to share insights, valuable tools and strategies for making smart growth a success in your community.
Visit www.NewPartners.org to get more conference details and to register for the conference!
11. Seaside Institute Seminar: Exploring Architecture Along NW Florida's Gulf Coast, Nov. 12-14 in Seaside, Fla.
Northwest Florida’s Gulf Coast has four unique traditional neighborhood developments within a ten mile stretch. While they were all developed with the Gulf of Mexico’s holiday appeal in mind, their developers and planners are mindful of the retiring baby boomer market and hope their communities will be perceived as good places to live year-round. A key role in designing these successful towns has been played by the town architect.
The Seaside Institute’s upcoming seminar, Exploring Architecture along NW Florida’s Gulf Coast, will focus on the importance of determining, maintaining and communicating the architectural vision of a traditional neighborhood. This seminar will teach the process of choosing a project’s architectural character; discuss the relationship between the town architect, developer and builder; and through a panel discussion with notable town architects, discuss and debate the how the town founder’s vision survives the approvals process. Architects and developers will present case studies highlighting each community’s design review and focus on the nuts and bolts of communicating effectively with those responsible for on-the-ground execution, the builders.
This is the perfect opportunity to advance your knowledge of New Urbanism, tour four developments along Florida’s Emerald Coast with their town architects and learn from other community’s successes and challenges. Participants will take part in lively discussions and question and answer sessions.
Visit the Seaside Institute website for more information. Current CNU members receive a 10% discount on workshop registrations with their membership card.
12. Upcoming Courses from the Form-Based Codes Institute
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 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 practioners.
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.
FBC 101: Introduction to Form-Based Coding, Oak Park, Ill.,
Nov. 20-2, 2008. Faculty include Geoff Ferrell, Karen Parolek, Sam Poole,
Sandy Sorlien and Kevin Klinkenberg
Registration for these courses is available at www.formbasedcodes.org. 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.
13. National Charrette Institute's 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. Please note that all NCI trainings in the United States will qualify for AICP credit hours.
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Congress for the New Urbanism