Congress for the New Urbanism celebrates exemplary urbanism.
Whether it’s a new block of Berlin, Germany, a regional plan for the San Francisco Bay Area, or a freeway demolition in Milwaukee, this year’s Charter Award winners have something in common: They are the year’s best examples of New Urbanism.
Over the weekend of April 5 and 6, the jurors deliberated for two full days on the 169 entries from over 100 firms.
Watch out. A national attack on smart growth and New Urbanism is under way — organized by libertarian and free-market ideologues and led by economist Randal O’Toole.
O’Toole, director of the Thoreau Institute in Bandon, Oregon, called together 125 opponents of smart growth for a Feb.
It’s useful to have opponents. They point out your errors, and save you from re-
peating them again and again.
Unfortunately, some of New Urbanism’s and smart growth’s opponents — who gathered in late February for Randal O’Toole’s “Preserving the American Dream” conference in the nation’s capital — indulged in so many gross exaggerations and disingenuous arguments that usable criticisms were hard to come by.
After six years of outstanding service, Poticha moves on.
The Board of Directors of the Congress for the New Ur-
banism announced March 5 that Shelley Poticha, the organization’s Executive Director since 1997, will be resigning as of July 1, 2003. Ms. Poticha is leaving the organization to head the new Center for Transit Oriented Development, a national effort to encourage walkable mixed- use development in transit corridors.
“We are very sorry to see Shelley leave us,” said John Norquist, chair of the CNU’s Board of Directors and mayor of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
With registration open for the eleventh Congress, The Evolving City: From Ideals to Reality, CNU staff are working overtime to pack this year’s event with new perspectives and to make use of member expertise. The Congress promises to keep the movement at the forefront of the growing effort to reform development and planning.
The keynote speaker on opening night, June 19, will be Dr. Richard Jackson, Director of the National Center for Environmental Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
Since CNU was founded, the movement has in large part developed in conferences, seminars, summits, and newsletters. But every week, hundreds of urbanists are learning from intense on-line discussions. Electronic resources, both from CNU and from other urbanist allies, are absolutely crucial for ongoing education. Here are some of the best.
The CNU website is one of those places where the more you dig, the more you find.
For years, CNU members have sought ways to customize the organization so that it can serve specific geographical areas. Up to now, CNU has not had a method for supporting chapters. Consequently, members’ mutual education and networking remained informal. Today, chapters are on the way.
At its September meeting, CNU’s board took several steps to open the organization to increased member involvement. It created three voting ex-officio board positions, approved the creation of student chapters, and carefully moved forward with professional chapters.
New Urban News’s annual survey of neighborhood-scale projects finds more new developments than ever.
Neither a slack economy nor talk of war slowed the progress of New Urbanism in 2002, as the number of neighborhood-scale new urban projects in the US jumped 26 percent. Projects that have left the planning stage and are under construction grew by 28 percent.
Since the Charter of the New Urbanism was written, people have argued
about how well development projects fulfill its principles. Homebuyers, investors, and public officials all want to know if a project is real New Urbanism. Various individuals and groups offer checklists, scorecards, and other ways of grading New Urbanism. A number of efforts by CNU members are grappling with creating systems for judging projects.
Each type of emerging certification system embodies a unique perspective and goal.
The Seaside Debates: A Critique of the New Urbanism Edited by Todd W. Bressi Rizzoli, 2002, 160 pp., $45. When someone publishes the contents of a conference nearly four full years after the panelists have shut down their PowerPoint programs and gone home, it’s usually a sign that what was said wasn’t very thrilling. Sure enough, this volume — a lightly illustrated transcript of a predominantly academic symposium conducted at Seaside in 1998 — gets off to a lethargic start. But about a quarter of the way through, the comments begin to turn provocatively sharp.