This week I am headed to West Palm Beach for CNU 20, the 20th gathering of the Congress for the New Urbanism. There has been so much for me to do to get ready this year, I'm going to depart from my normal Monday post and instead share with you the NextGen schedule.
NextGen -- the Next Generation of New Urbanists -- runs a one day congress on Wednesday that is an incredible time. Not only are there some provocative speakers, but there is ample time for breaking things down in open source sessions. If you've ever wanted to meet me or some of the great thinkers in NextGen like Mike Lydon, Jennifer Krouse, Eliza Harris, Will Dowdy, Russ Preston and many more, NextGen is not only the place to do that, but we go far beyond just meeting.
My presentation is going to be on the process we are using to put together our next major Strong Towns report, Misunderstanding Mobility. But know, my presentation is short. What is not short is the time set aside to discuss the project, get feedback, develop task lists and get volunteers to help us with this effort and many others. You see, NextGen is not another conference where you sit and listen to so-called "experts" tell you what you already know. NextGen is about making things happen.
The next generation of planning, the next generation of collaboration, the next generation of doing business, the next generation of getting things done is all what NextGen is about. You don't have to be young, new, unaffiliated or have any special expertise to be part of NextGen. All you need is a passion to want to make change and the courage to step up and let others know your vision.
Our project will be one of many presented, but if you have your own initiative, please bring it forward at NextGen. I can almost guarantee there will be others there with a similar passion that will want to work with you to see it through.
NextGen is this Wednesday. I'll be live blogging throughout for those of you that can't make it, but if you're there, be sure and introduce yourself. If you want to volunteer to assist with our project, even though you can't be there, just email me at email@example.com and I'll get back to you.
For more information and the complete schedule, head over to the NextGen website.
Charles Marohn is a Professional Engineer licensed in the State of Minnesota and a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. He is president of Strong Towns, a non-partisan, non-profit organization that advocates for changes in development patterns and a complete understanding of the full costs of methods of growth.
For more in-depth coverage on this topic:
• Subscribe to Better! Cities & Towns to read all of the articles (print+online) on implementation of greener, stronger, cities and towns.
• See the April-May 2012 issue of Better! Cities & Towns. Topics: Urban freeway teardowns, Plan El Paso, Gated developments, Value of compact, mixed-use development, Changing land-use culture, Cost of living in sprawl, Ohio form-based code, Bicycle-friendly culture, Transit-oriented development and value capture, Affordability for artists.
• See the March 2012 issue of Better! Cities & Towns. Topics: Traffic congestion, Zoning, DOT mainstreams livability, HUD's Sustainable Communities, Transit-oriented development, TOD tips, Form-based codes, Parking minimums, New classical town, Urban retail, James H. Kunstler, Placemaking and job growth, Maryland's smart growth.
• Get New Urbanism: Best Practices Guide, packed with more than 800 informative photos, plans, tables, and other illustrations, this book is the best single guide to implementing better cities and towns.