Staff

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

    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

  • 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

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

    Build Great Places / #thisiscnu

  • Southside
    Ten acres that transformed a city #thisiscnu

    Build Great Places / #thisiscnu

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

    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

Lynn Richards

President & CEO

Lynn Richards is President and CEO of the Congress for the New Urbanism. Previously, Richards had a long and distinguished career at the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), holding multiple leadership roles over 13 years including Acting Director and Policy Director in the Office of Sustainable Communities. She worked with dozens of state and local governments to implement placemaking approaches by developing policies, urban design strategies, and environmental solutions for vibrant, prosperous neighborhoods. Additionally, she produced groundbreaking research on water and land use strategies.

Before joining the EPA, Richards worked briefly in the private sector at a consulting firm. She lived and worked in the former Soviet Republics from 1988 to 1995, helping environmental groups increase their organizational and political effectiveness.

Richards was awarded a Loeb Fellowship in Advanced Environmental Studies at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design in the 2012-2013 school year. She has a dual Masters in Environmental Science and Public Affairs from Indiana University.

Email:lrichards@cnu.org (for scheduling concerns please cc: Moira Albanese)

Selected Publications


Abigail Sheridan

Deputy Director

Abby joined CNU in March 2008 as the new Administration and Finance Director. Prior to joining CNU, she received a degree in Biology from Bucknell University and worked as the Director of Administration and Programs for the Neighborhood Technology Resource Center, a not-for-profit located in Chicago. In her spare time, Abby enjoys running along the lakefront and traveling home to Maine.

Email:asheridan@cnu.org
Phone: 312.551.7300


Robert Steuteville

Senior Communications Advisor

Robert Steuteville is founder and executive director of Better Cities & Towns, a 501c3 nonprofit that seeks to educate and raise awareness for more sustainable and livable communities. Steuteville has been writing, editing, and publishing in the field of New Urbanism since 1996, when he founded New Urban News, a trade publication that covered the trend until 2012, when the name was changed to Better Cities & Towns. He authored or co-authored four editions of New Urbanism: Best Practices Guide, which is used for CNU accreditation. He published the Smart Code Version 9 and Manual. He is leading a team that is writing a form-based code, using the Smart Code as a basis, for the city and town of Ithaca, New York. Steuteville is a signer of the Charter of the New Urbanism, which was unveiled in Charleston, North Carolina, when New Urban News was launched. He participated in the Mississippi Renewal Forum, when new urbanists made plans for 11 communities devastated by Hurricane Katrina. He lives in Ithaca, New York, with his family.

Email: rsteuteville@cnu.org


Lisa Schamess

Communications Manager

Lisa is a longtime writer and editor in the fields of community planning and placemaking. As a freelance writer and as founder and owner of The Cooler Minds, she provided writing and communication strategies to clients such as the Urban Institute, the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech, the National Vacant Properties Campaign, and Smart Growth America, among others.

Lisa began her career as a program assistant at the National Trust for Historic Preservation and later served as communications manager for the Surface Transportation Policy Project (now the Surface Transportation Policy Partnership). She holds a BFA in Theatre from Southern Methodist University and an MFA in Creative Writing from American University. She is a passionate walker and dedicated if mediocre gardener.

Email: lschamess@cnu.org
Phone: 312.551.7300


​Alissa Akins

Program Manager

Prior to joining CNU, Alissa was a Senior Associate for Convenings at ULI, where she worked on many aspects of programming for the annual Fall and Spring meetings. She previously was a Program Coordinator at the German Marshall Fund, working on numerous single- and multi-year grant-supported initiatives. At CNU, she is the programmatic lead on transportation and on equity and inclusion activities. Alissa holds a BA Honours degree in International Development Studies from McGill University in Montreal, QC and an MURP degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, in Richmond, VA.

Email: aakins@cnu.org
Phone: 312.551.7300


​Moira Albanese

Program Assistant

Moira Albanese earned her Masters in Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago where she focused on sustainability and the built environment. Before joining CNU in 2017, Moira worked with sustainability and planning firms, city departments, and non-profits in Chicago to build their sustainability portfolios. She has spoken on community systems design at AICP, USGBC, and Biomimicry Chicago. As program assistant, Moira collaborates with members to create meaningful programming for CNU.

Email: malbanese@cnu.org
Phone: 312.551.7300