Agenda and Session Types

  • Crosstown_Concourse_2018_Charter_LooneyRicksKiss
    From former warehouse to "vertical village"
    <strong>Crosstown Concourse</strong>&nbsp; <em>Memphis, Tennessee</em>

    Build Great Places / #thisiscnu

  • Southside
    Ten acres that transformed a city #thisiscnu

    Build Great Places / #thisiscnu

  • A unique building becomes a hub for historic neighborhoods
    <strong>Ponce City Market</strong> <em>Atlanta, GA</em>

    Build Great Places / #thisiscnu

  • Mercado District | Tucson, Arizona
    A timeless place from the ground up. #thisiscnu

    Build Great Places / #thisiscnu

  • From parking lot to urban tour-de-force
    <strong>UCLA Weyburn</strong>&nbsp;<em>Los Angeles, California</em>

    Build Great Places / #thisiscnu

  • Expanding options for a car-oriented suburban area
    <strong>Village of Providence</strong> <em>Huntsville, AL</em>

    Build Great Places / #thisiscnu

  • Historic arcade houses young professionals
    <strong>Microlofts at The Arcade Providence</strong>&nbsp;<em>Providence, Rhode Island</em>

    Build Great Places / #thisiscnu

  • Jazz Market New Orleans Audience Seating
    Jazz Market New Orleans Audience Seating
    Trumpeting a cultural revival
    <strong>Peoples Health New Orleans Jazz Market</strong>&nbsp; <em>New Orleans, Louisiana</em>

    Build Great Places / #thisiscnu

  • A mixed-use center for town and gown
    <strong>Storrs Center</strong> <em>Mansfield, CT</em>

    Build Great Places / #thisiscnu

This Congress, we begin a shift responding to feedback from our members. 

As we continue to move away from a conventional conference format, this year we aim to produce an engaging event that leverages the passion of our multi-disciplinary cohort to create forward momentum in our respective practices. This requires rethinking the format of the event as well as the session types. It also means ensuring that each Congress has a 'focus' that ties to the Charter and issues important to our host city. This year, that focus is the Corridor. 

Session Types

Below are the session types at CNU 31 - none of which are a traditional panel of powerpoints. 


Meetings can be focused discussions on current topics in design and specific areas of new urbanist practice, or critiques which can include juried project critique or examination of a specific method or practice. An example of a topical critique would be a session addressing the question of regulating building types through form-based codes. These sessions range from 60-120 minutes based on content. They are being solicited through an open call for ideas. 


This session type features subject matter experts presenting core new urbanist principles, an understanding of current trends and topics, or learning concepts branching from the focus on corridors. Classes range from entry-level introductions to advanced innovation in technical subjects, practice, or design. Attendees should be regularly engaged in conversation or activities throughout a class to advance their comprehension of the subject matter. These session types range from 60-90 minutes based on content. They are being solicited through an open call for ideas. 

Short Format Presentations

Short Format presentations allow for a broad range of topics, innovations, and fresh perspectives. These are approximately 8 minutes and will be grouped together with other presentations of similar subject matter. Many will be followed by shared conversation. Short Format presentations will be mixed throughout the Congress and offer opportunities to members of all backgrounds and levels of engagement with CNU to share their work and ideas. They are being solicited through an open call for ideas. 

Main Stage Talks

An evolution of the plenary, Main Stage Talks will be a series of TED-inspired, highly curated 20 minute presentations addressing topics related to the Congress Focus. They will be grouped together with curated Q&A by a pre-selected moderator. Main stage talks are intended to challenge, inspire, and inform, setting the stage for each day of the Congress. They are being solicited through an open call for ideas. 

Marketplace of Ideas

The Marketplace of Ideas will generally follow the Main Stage Talks and will provide an opportunity for follow-up discussion with those presenters, concurrent discussions on topics stemming from those talks, and pecha kucha or other short-format presentations. They will be curated based on submissions from the call for ideas. 

Roundtable Discussions

A multi-disciplinary roundtable discussion on a specific topic to provide varying points of view and address the interrelated nature of new urbanist problem solving across professional silos. Roundtables are intended to be paired with a workshop (below) where the audience participates in ideation and problem solving. Roundtables may be paired with other means of audience engagement, provided they represent multi-disciplinary collaboration in dialog form. They will be based on the workshops, curated outside of the call for ideas. 


A highly curated workshop addressing the Congress agenda. Workshops are paired with a preceding roundtable discussion on the nuance of an agenda item. The workshop continues a multi-disciplinary approach to problem solving through strong leadership, facilitation, and attendee participation. Workshops arrive at a set of conclusions that will help advance new urbanist practice. They will be curated outside of the call for ideas. 

Social Programming

It wouldn't be a Congress without social programming! These will include the morning run, yoga in the park, walking tours, happy hours, and other meet ups. These are developed by the Local Host Committee and passionate CNU-ers who want to self organize. 

Submit Your Session Ideas

Submit your ideas for Short Format Presentations, Meetings, and Classes. We want you to demonstrate how your idea will engage or challenge your cohort of attendees and tie back to the Congress focus on Corridors.


Overview and Highlights

Subject to change, the following is an overview of each Congress day:

Wednesday, May 31

  • Tours 
  • Strongtowns National Event, ticketed separately
  • Opening Party

Thursday, June 1

  • Tours (concurrent)
  • Running / Yoga / Breakfast
  • Main Stage Talks
  • Marketplace of Ideas
  • Lunch
  • Concurrent Classes and Meetings
  • Keynote
  • Reception / Walking Tour
  • Charter Awards
  • Pub Crawl

Friday, June 2

  • Tours (concurrent)
  • Running / Yoga / Breakfast
  • Main Stage Talks
  • Marketplace of Ideas
  • Lunch
  • Concurrent Roundtables / Classes
  • Concurrent Workshops / Classes
  • Short Format Presentation Reception
  • Dance Party

Saturday, June 3

  • Tours (concurrent)
  • Running / Yoga / Breakfast
  • Main Stage Talks
  • Marketplace of Ideas
  • Lunch
  • Concurrent Classes and Meetings
  • Keynote
  • Closing Reception