"To put it bluntly, the Congress for the New
Urbanism (CNU) is perhaps the only surviving collective intelligence left
in the United States that is producing ideas consistent with the reality.
[...] They recognize the crisis we will soon face in food production, and
the desperate need to reactivate the relationship between the way we inhabit
the landscape and the way we feed ourselves. They recognize that the solution
to the liquid fuels crisis is not cars that can run by other means but
rather walkable towns and cities connected by public transit."
– James Howard Kunstler (www.kunstler.com/blog) after CNU
17 in Denver
Blunt, yes, but also accurate. We've faced
a year clouded with downsizing, global warming, foreclosures and other looming
concerns. Yet, this year's Congress, a gathering of architects, planners,
and real estate development professionals (arguably some of the recession's
hardest hit groups), carried a tone not of doom and fear but of purpose,
excitement, and opportunity. We are witnessing a coming of age of New Urbanism—our
ideas are being embraced by the public like never before and we're seeing
a new receptiveness in state and federal policy. We
need your help to keep up this energy and momentum. CNU is seeking to raise
$20,000 by July 31 to support our efforts to spread New Urbanism.
Please contribute to our movement
today—your support is more important
than ever right now.
The energy at CNU 17 in Denver last month came from an understanding of
the key role New Urbanism must play in addressing some of our society's mega-challenges—global
climate change, peak oil, deteriorating public health, and a demographic-driven
mismatch between the housing we have and the housing that's needed. And it
wasn't just CNU insiders who sensed something special. Here's what Tim Halbur,
managing editor of Planetizen, had to say:
"The atmosphere is dramatic here at CNU, and not just outside
the conference center. Everyone is a twitter (and yes, some people are
Twittering at #CNU17) about the effect of the economy on the role of
New Urbanism. The consensus seems to be that there is a spark of purpose
in attendees and presenters not seen in recent years, driven by the culture
shift inherent in this new economy and the need for new urbanists to
shift into high gear to help solve climate change...”
We rely on your support to help us shift into high gear. CNU is the only
organization that brings together such a diverse, interdisciplinary group
of professionals dedicated to advancing efforts to build, preserve, and redevelop
sustainable pedestrian-friendly communities. We are the collective voice
of new urbanists and for the principles of New Urbanism. And it's the strength
and resolve of this professional community that gives our organization power.
Dan Solomon put this eloquently following his experience at CNU 17:
“New Urbanism exists because of the ever-deepening bonds among
the community of people who sustain it. The lives and life-work of every
one of us have been altered and enriched by our many friends in CNU. There
is nothing else and there could be nothing else as nurturing to our work
and our spirits as annual immersion in the broad, multi-talented circle
of people who have come to know each other so well...”
This year, as members and supporters, you helped develop some of our most
groundbreaking and exciting initiatives:
- Sustainable Street Networks—In December we released
a report on the advantages of highly-connected street networks in
response to the stimulus bill, and this year we've been advocating
in DC for
the adoption of connectivity standards in federal transportation and environmental
- Emergency Response & Street Design—In
May we released a new report on the common ground between new urbanist
street design and emergency response, and last month we submitted proposed
changes to the International Fire Code that seek to improve overall public
safety, street network connectivity, and emergency response times.
- New Urbanist Accreditation—We launched a new
accreditation program last month in partnership with the University of Miami School of
- LEED-ND: Recognizing that Urbanism Is Green—New
urbanists have been working hard to refine this new rating system based
on your feedback to create the strongest version yet upholding new urbanist
values. We will ask CNU members to vote on the first public version of
the LEED-ND rating system later this month.
- Highways to Boulevards—We will continue our initiative
to replace elevated urban highways with neighborhood-friendly boulevards
by bringing our campaign to New Orleans later this year.
Since 1993, we have benefited from robust member participation, strong partnerships,
and valuable grants. However, gifts from individuals are a critical source
of funding for our initiatives and will help bridge the gap between other
funding sources and our budget. We invite you to be part of the new urbanist
solution by donating to CNU today.
President & CEO
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Congress for the New Urbanism
140 S. Dearborn St., Ste. 404
IL 60603, USA