The Congress for New Urbanism (CNU) has recently established a professional accreditation program called the CNU-A.  Click on their link here to learn more on how to become a  CNU-A.  The University of Miami administers the Exam required to become a CNU-A.  The best part is that it is currently available online which works great for me being in South America.  The University also provides an excellent online course that provides an in-depth overview of the history, Principles, & Current Practice of the New Urbanism. The course ‘The Principles and Practice of New Urbanism’  is 6 weeks long, offered 3 times a year, & can be taken as a preparation to the exam which is administered right after the course.

I just finished up the course and took the exam last week.  Exam results will be released in 5 weeks.  The course is excellant!  I couldn’t get enough.  It was packed full of great resourses!  There are plently of recommended books, articles, links, surveys, projects, videos, etc. that are shared through out the course.  What I want to share today are the 3 required books that are needed for the course and for sure anyone wanting to be a New Urbanist.

They are the following:

SUBURBAN NATION: The rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream

Authors:

  • Andres Duany
  • Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk
  • & Jeff Speck

THE CHARTER OF THE NEW URBANISM

Author: Several

Signed by 266 attendees of the 4th CNU and adopted in 1996

Includes the 27 Principles (each with an essay) of the Charter

Click here for the 27 Principles

NEW URBANISM – BEST PRACTICES GUIDE

Authors:

  • Philip Langdon
  • Robert Steuteville
  • & Special Contributors

I love technology when it comes to finding current information and gaining knowledge. Podcast are one of those great tools. The following are 3 podcast that I have been following in some cases for the past couple years.

StrongTowns Podcast

I started listening to the Strong Towns Podcast earlier this year. They add a new podcast about every week or so. Strong Towns is a non-profit with a mission to “support a model for growth that allows America’s towns to become financially strong and resilient“. Although not New Urbanist per se themselves they are supporters of New Urbanism principles. They hold very strong arguments regarding how the majority of todays built environment, that being sprawl, is not financially sustainable in terms of maintainance, an economic growth model, as well as a social model.

I strongly recommend you visit their website: Strong Towns

KunslterCast Podcast

I have been listening to the Kunslter cast now for over 2 year. James Howard Kunstler is an author and speaker. I recently enjoyed reading his book ‘The Long Emergency’. His strong personality makes him very entertaining to listen to. His podcast title sums up his focus rather well: Suburban Sprawl: a tragic comedy. His podcast, hosted by Duncan Crary, are updated about every week. Kunslter is a strong supporter of New Urbanism and shares his thoughts, stories, and opinions on why the Suburban Sprawl model is failing us as a nation. Lots of great insights and thoughts to chew on and debate.

Check out his website as well: KunstlerCast

New Urban Architect Podcast

The New Urban Architect Podcast has a series of 11 podcast created throughout the year of 2010 by W. Brandt Hay. Each podcast is an interview with different high profile participates of the New Urbanism movement. Each are about 30 minutes or more in length and are full of very insightful conversations to listen to and learn from.

You can see more here at the website: New Urban Architect

Doug Farr, Architect, President, & CEO of Farr Associates based out of Chicago, has been involved with the New Urbanism movement from very early on. I have watched many of his presentations and am always energized and full of information to chew on by the end. New Urbanism is always evolving and one area that has been evolving is an area that Doug Farr has been heading called Sustainable Urbanism. In 2007 he published the book ‘Sustainable Urbanism’ a must have for your bookshelf. Today I wanted to share a great presentation by Doug Farr at Case Western Reserve University from November 5, 2009. Well worth the watch – Enjoy!

 

 

Great Town & City planning need to take into consideration the proper use of streets and roads.  So what are they you ask. The following 15 minute TED talk by Chuck Marohn, Executive Director of the non-profit Strong Towns,  gives a good overview of the important difference between streets and roads.

 

We can do better then this!!

As a LEED® Platinum-targeted project, Dockside Green’s principles of New Urbanism, smart growth, green building and sustainable community design are all essential elements of the development plan.  The development plan emphasizes the creation of healthy and inclusive community that supports new economic opportunities and a high quality of life with minimal impact to the environment.

Dockside Green located in Victoria, Canada is on its way to becoming a pedisterian friendly 1.3 million square foot mixed use developement containing 26 buildings, housing 2500 residents, and intergrating greenways and ponds all within a 15 acre site.  It has achieved a Platinum LEED ND rating as a Neighborhood Development.  As well the buildings included in the 1st 2 phases of this 12 phase project have both recieved the highest Platinum LEED NC rating achieved to date in the world.  See the score sheets from phase 1 & phase 2.  And in the end they are striving to be greenhouse gas neutral.

Alternative Transportation Options from Dockside Green to the Downtown:

 

Key Facts:

  • 15-acre redevelopment area, 11.6 acres developed as Dockside Green
  • Property Cost: $8.5 million
  • Three neighborhoods, intended to be built over 12 phases in 10 years.
  • Total of 1.3 million gross square feet (73 percent of which is residential) in 26 buildings
  • Two mixed-use (office and retail) buildings to date, attracting green businesses
  • Projected total of 2,500 residents (currently over 450)
  • Dockside Green received the first LEED for Neighborhood Development (ND) Platinum-certified plan
  • 50 percent of first phase (Synergy) site is dedicated to open space
  • Synergy is highest-scoring LEED-Certified project in the world (63 points)
  • Biomass energy plant achieves reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of up to 3,460 metric tons per year (see Dockside Green Energy website)
  • Residential units built 50 percent more efficient than code
  • Project is aiming to provide at least 10 percent in affordable rental units for people with incomes as low as $15,000
  • With water-efficient appliances, the project could save up to 70,000 gallons of public water annually, a reduction of 65 percent over similar conventional projects
  • Membrane bioreactor package wastewater treatment plant
  • Treated water looped back into buildings to flush toilets and irrigate site landscape

Dockside Green Videos:

Additional Dockside Green Resources:

Here’s an inspiring story

that will make you want to buy some land

and create a community tailored around your passions!

The South Main Story

 

When Jed Selby (at the age of 24 at the time) realized that the 41-acre parcel separating Buena Vista from the Arkansas River was on the market, a plan quickly started to evolve. He contacted his sister Katie and the two began brainstorming about a world-class whitewater park and environmentally friendly development. These two visionaries saw the opportunity to create a design that kept the river corridor open to the public and available to river enthusiasts everywhere. They also saw the potential to create a community designed around getting people out of their cars and talking to their neighbors during their walk to the market, coffee shop or kayak wave. Before them lay an opportunity to bring to life the type of community where people could walk to fulfill all of their daily needs.

They discovered The New Urbanism and quickly realized that its architecture and design aspects would be efficient and effective at creating the walkable, pedestrian friendly community they envisioned. Tree-lined streets, mixed-use residences, green building and a conscientious land-use design were elements of New Urbanism that truly spoke to Jed and Katie. They made a commitment to visualize, design and build South Main on these principles.

–  The Heart of the community – The Arkansas River  –

Since the project’s inception, South Main has helped to take the Arkansas River and make it an unparalleled community amenity. A century ago the river was viewed primarily as an industrial resource, and a garbage dump occupied the site of what is now South Main. Today more than a mile of new trails wind through the riparian corridor, and in-channel improvements create world class kayaking opportunities, pools and eddies for fishing, and beaches for summertime relaxation.

–  The Master Plan  –

The 41 acre community will contain 315 units on 200 lots. The project  includes single family & multi-family housing, shops & restaurant, offices, all with the river as their focal point. Among the planned amenities are a central river-front park, civic site, and a multi-use white water park.

To learn more about South Main and its story spend some time at their website: www.southmainco.com

 

Images & story taken from the South Main website

Additional Resourses:

 

This is a very exciting ‘New Urbanist’ project utilizing Traditional Neighorhood Development (TND) that has approval and is moving forward in Windsor, CT

    Image taken from http://greatpondinwindsor.com/

Here is an excerpt from a recent New York Times article on the project: 

Called Great Pond Village, the $1 billion development is intended to give employees who now drive an average 35 minutes to work at the Day Hill Road office park the opportunity to ditch the commute altogether… The idea is to “create the old New England village where we have a walkable, mixed-use village center,” and enough housing choices to accommodate a variety of age groups, said David Winstanley, a principal with the developer, Winstanley Enterprises of Concord, Mass… A study conducted by TischlerBise, a Maryland consulting firm, determined that tax revenues generated by the development will exceed town-borne costs for emergency services, schools and infrastructure by as much as $43 million over 20 years.Windsor is one of a growing number of towns using high-density development to address problems like overburdened highways, unaffordable housing, suburban sprawl and dwindling numbers of young people… The first phase, which could be under way as soon as 2012, will include 400 housing units.

There is a pent-up demand for ‘New Urbanist’ type communities and this project is proof of that.  Especially seeing it move forward during this time when the rest of the housing industry is trying to recover from the current housing crisis.

Other resources for Great Pond of Windsor: