The 18th national conference of the Congress for the New Urbanism doesn’t officially start until May 19, 2010. But Atlanta, the host city, is getting a running start.
Conference organizers in Atlanta are working with Metro governments, non-profits, and the private sector to create lead-in events tied to all the big themes of the May gathering. The broadest of the themes, of course, is the “healthy communities” category, reflecting the association with the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You can read about that in one of our previous posts.
There are also opportunities to integrate CNU responses on topics having to do with transportation and transit, sustainability, affordability, “aging in place,” and retrofitting suburban sprawl.
The first of the CNU18 lead-in events were held on January 14 and 15. Central Atlanta Progress, the leading convener of a broad cross section of advocates for downtown redevelopment, joined with CNU18 organizers to stage an information forum and a one-day urban lab in one of the downtown neighborhoods. The two events attracted an impressive array of local leaders and organizations – plus CNU president John Norquist, CNU co-founder Stefanos Polyzoides, and international designer/planner Dhiru Thadani.
Here’s a video overview.
Norquist provides a strong “why Atlanta” explanation here:
And Polyzoides offers his overview on Atlanta’s challenges and opportunities here:
Next up is another lead-in lab opportunity on March 1 and 2, when Sustainable Urbanism author Doug Farr appears as one of the main speakers at the annual Greenprints conference. The conference is sponsored by Southface, the Atlanta-based non-profit that trains builders, developers, and others in state-of-the-art green building practices.
— Ben Brown