What is CNU?
The Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) is the leading organization promoting walkable, mixed-use neighborhood development, sustainable communities, and healthier living conditions.
Founded in 1993, 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 safely reachable by walking, riding bicycles, 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 Fellows 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 in brownfields, emerging growth areas, established cities, or small town suburbs, New Urbanism enhances and improves the character of existing areas in making them walkable, sustainable, and vibrant. The New Urbanism revitalizes and energizes communities to reach their true potential. New Urbanism’s principles are central to making entire regions more livable, coherent, and sustainable.
With a history of forming effective alliances, CNU has stood at the forefront of efforts to reform how we plan, design, and build communities and their infrastructure.
Our partners have included:
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Hope VI;
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Smart Growth;
- Institute of Transportation Engineers and the Federal Highway Administration on the Manual for Context-Sensitive Urban Thoroughfares;
- The U.S. Green Building Council and Natural Resources Defense Council in creating the nation’s first rating system for green neighborhoods, LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND);
- CNU’s founding Charter is a source for the Sustainable Communities partnership of the HUD, EPA and the U.S. Department of Transportation. At CNU’s 18th annual Congress, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan announced that his agency would evaluate all grant applications using LEED-ND and the concept of location efficiency.
CNU takes a proactive, multi-disciplinary approach to restoring our cities, neighborhoods, and blocks. Members are the life of the organization. We 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 healthier lives. Whether bringing restorative plans to hurricane-battered communities in the Gulf Coast, turning dying malls into active mixed-use neighborhoods, or reconnecting isolated public housing projects to the surrounding urban fabric, new urbanists are among the nation’s leading community builders.
Our members do more than just talk about improving the built environment. Together, through our Initiatives and our annual Congress gathering, we are creating tools that make it easier to implement New Urbanism around the world.
About CNU Chapters
Chapters bring CNU’s message home at the regional, state, and multi-state levels. They will provide new ways to take part in the movement. And they will enhance public and professional education and networking. CNU Florida can:
- Help you meet colleagues;
- Share information about policies, resources, and best practices in the region;
- Teach the public in your region about New Urbanism, broadening the movement’s support base;
- provide in-depth education — close to home; and
- Help you and other people in your region influence the movement’s priorities.
All CNU members residing in Florida are members of CNU Florida. An independent board of directors, governs CNU Florida.
For more information about CNU chapters, download the ChaptersHandbookDraft (pdf, 128 kb).
CNU is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
CNU Board members have developed a strategic plan for the organization, laying out how to enable and promote reform of the regulatory structures governing development and practices of the building industry and related professionals.