Emergency Response

In recent years, new urbanists and firefighters have discovered common interests and shared challenges in neighborhood street design.

The Emergency Response & Street Design Initiative—a collaboration between the Congress for the New Urbanism, fire marshals from across the US, and the US Environmental Protection Agency's Smart Growth program—is working to reconcile narrower streets and good emergency access. Street connectivity—specifically well-connected networks of traditional street grids—is essential to good urbanism, shortens emergency response times, and improves overall community life safety.

With the release of the Emergency Response and Street Design Initiative report, written by Carl D. Wren, CNU is promoting dialogue between planners, city officials, and emergency responders on urban design while addressing the role of street design and connectivity in reducing emergency response time and creating safer, more livable communities. Wren initially presented the report at the 10th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina. In addition, CNU has released a summary report on the Emergency Response and Street Design initiative.