The Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU)

The Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) is a leading organization promoting walkable, mixed-use neighborhood development, sustainable communities and healthier living conditions.

For over twenty years, CNU members have used the principles in CNU's Charter to promote the hallmarks of New Urbanism, including:

- Livable streets arranged in compact, walkable blocks.
- A range of housing choices to serve people of diverse ages and income levels.
- Schools, stores and other nearby destinations reachable by walking, bicycling or transit service.
- An affirming, human-scaled public realm where appropriately designed buildings define and enliven streets and other public spaces.

Established by co-founders Andres Duany, Peter Calthorpe, Elizabeth Moule, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Stefanos Polyzoides and Dan Solomon and supported today by distinguished board members and other thought-leaders from the worlds of urban design, development, academia, citizen activism, and government policy, CNU works to deliver these hallmarks to communities across North America and overseas on multiple scales. Whether it be in brownfields, emerging growth areas, established cities, or small town suburbs, New Urbanism reinforces the character of existing areas in making them walkable, sustainable, and vibrant, revitalizing and energizing communities to their true potential. The principles of New Urbanism are also central to making whole regions more livable, coherent and sustainable.

With a history of forming productive alliances, CNU has been at the forefront of efforts to reform how we design and build communities and their infrastructure.

CNU takes a proactive, multi-disciplinary approach to restoring our communities. Members are the life of the organization – they are the planners, developers, architects, engineers, public officials, investors and community activists who create and influence our built environment, transforming growth patterns from the inside out, and making it easier for people to live healthy lives. Whether it's bringing restorative plans to hurricane-battered communities, turning dying malls into active mixed-use neighborhoods, or reconnecting isolated public housing projects to the surrounding fabric, new urbanists are providing leadership in community building.

CNU relationship with members allows them to do more than just talk about the problems of the built environment. Together, through their Initiatives and the annual Congress gathering, CNU is creating tools that make it easier to put New Urbanism into practice around the world.

Charter of the New Urbanism

CNU's Charter

The Congress for the New Urbanism views disinvestment in central cities, the spread of placeless sprawl, increasing separation by race and income, environmental deterioration, loss of agricultural lands and wilderness, and the erosion of society’s built heritage as one interrelated community-building challenge.

CNU stands for the restoration of existing urban centers and towns within coherent metropolitan regions, the reconfiguration of sprawling suburbs into communities of real neighborhoods and diverse districts, the conservation of natural environments, and the preservation of our built legacy.

CNU advocates the restructuring of public policy and development practices to support the following principles: neighborhoods should be diverse in use and population; communities should be designed for the pedestrian and transit as well as the car; cities and towns should be shaped by physically defined and universally accessible public spaces and community institutions; urban places should be framed by architecture and landscape design that celebrate local history, climate, ecology, and building practice.

CNU recognizes that physical solutions by themselves will not solve social and economic problems, but neither can economic vitality, community stability, and environmental health be sustained without a coherent and supportive physical framework.

CNU represents a broad-based citizenry, composed of public and private sector leaders, community activists, and multidisciplinary professionals. We are committed to reestablishing the relationship between the art of building and the making of community, through citizen-based participatory planning and design.

CNU dedicates itselve to reclaiming our homes, blocks, streets, parks, neighborhoods, districts, towns, cities, regions, and environment.



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