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Image: The CNU Legacy Project in Brunswick, Georgia. Photo by Jay Shepley
"The connections made possible by CNU helped me know I’m not alone. CNU provided me with technical and informational resources to persist in the effort to bring I-10 down and create the community we’re longing for." Amy Stelly, architect, urban designer, and community activist in New Orleans
This has been a year of action, as CNU and its members worked in scores of cities and towns to unleash New Urbanism’s power to build places people love. CNU created opportunities for collective change through convening, connecting, and helping people realize visions for better communities. We created critical tools and pathways to community transformation, including a practical new approach to code reform, a summit to link local campaigns to remove highways and restore neighborhoods, and on-the-ground examples for inclusive development that increases opportunity while minimizing displacement.
The most important ingredient to our success in doing this work are CNU’s members and supporters, who make it possible for CNU to develop programs like this year’s Project For Code Reform, the Transportation Summit, and inclusive development work such as the Legacy Projects and Historic Westside Atlanta Symposium.
Highlighted accomplishments from 2018 include:
- Organized and executed three Legacy Projects in Savannah and Brunswick, Georgia, working with CNU members, including David M. Schwartz Architects, Thadani Architects + Urbanists, Kronberg Wall Architects, Brown Design Studio, and dozens more who gave their time pro bono to create community-engaged plans for revitalization of Savannah neighborhoods and a commercial corridor on Georgia’s coast.
- Continued to provide free, 100% member-supported news and articles through our journal, Public Square.
- Put tools in the hands of local governments to confront the persistent problem of single-use zoning that makes urbanism essentially illegal, by creating Enabling Better Places: Users Guide to Zoning Reform, in partnership with the Michigan Municipal League, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, AARP Livable Communities, DPZ CoDESIGN, PlaceMakers LLC, Michigan State Housing Development Authority, and the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation. The guide provides practical, step-by-step advice to local governments on how to modify existing codes to enable more walkable, livable places.
- Raised the profile of New Urbanism through countless media articles, social engagement that is in the millions, and publications such as The 25 Great Ideas of New Urbanism.
- Hosted our annual Congress in Savannah with record-breaking attendance. More than 1,600 people from 48 states and 24 countries attended hundreds of sessions and workshops, including a Form-Based Code Bootcamp for local governments, a day-long symposium on housing affordability, and the New Urban Research presentations highlighting innovative new research from the past year.
- Held a Transportation Summit in New Orleans, bringing together more than a dozen local campaigns to remove urban highway segments and restore local street grids. The meeting included a tour highlighting the Claiborne Avenue Alliance’s fight to bring down I-10, which disrupted and nearly destroyed the historic African American neighborhood of Tremé in New Orleans; the Alliance is working to see the return of Claiborne to a walkable avenue and busy corridor of locally owned Black businesses, which once thrived there.
- Collaborated with the Westside Future Fund and other local partners in Atlanta to host the Historic Westside Atlanta Symposium. Bringing together residents, nationally recognized leaders, and local business representatives, CNU shared tools and insight into how incremental development and other new urbanist approaches can revitalize communities that have seen decades of disinvestment.
CNU’s work to create opportunities for change in Atlanta, Savannah, New Orleans, Michigan’s smaller cities and towns, the dozen highway-removal campaign cities, and so many more places is only possible with your support. Please include CNU in your year-end giving, so we can continue to help build places people love.
Watch this video on the effort to restore Claiborne Avenue, one of the campaigns CNU is highlighting in its Highways to Boulevards work: