CNU’s 2020 National Congress
(Sessions start June 8)

The Congress is the premier international placemaking event, convening diverse, interdisciplinary urbanists and placemakers from all 50 states and dozens of countries to exchange ideas and discover the cutting edge of what is going on across the fields of planning, urban design, architecture, transportation, housing, and the public realm.

CNU 28.Twin Cities will move online– to host the 28th annual Congress June 10-13, 2020 virtually due to the current public health crisis caused by COVID-19. 

The COVID-19 crisis has created a pivotal moment for New Urbanists, who must marshal our principles and expertise to benefit people and communities in a time of great distress. Now, more than ever, New Urbanists need an opportunity to come together for discussion and debate, to share and to learn, and to support one another in this uncertain time. 

While much of the program will remain as planned, CNU will be adding new sessions that directly address the current public health crisis and how it is impacting the work of New Urbanists across the world. In addition, multiple sessions are addressing equity, affordable housing, the legacy of redlining, and “The Mapping of Prejudice Project: Confronting a Legacy of Racial Covenants in Minneapolis Neighborhoods.” CNU staff, members, and speakers are working quickly to transform sessions and Congress components into a virtual format.

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View Program Schedule

CNU Florida Happy Hour at Virtual Seaside: On June 11, join your CNU Florida friends at Bud & Alley’s, the Seaside Pavilion, the Lyceum and other iconic places, as we celebrate CNU’s first virtual congress. Special guest presentation by Dhiru Thadani, author of Visions of Seaside.


CNU 28.A Virtual Gathering will have many of the elements you were looking forward to in the Twin Cities:

  • Downloadable Core Sessions: Core sessions are in-depth primers on the history, principles, tools, and concepts of New Urbanism, geared toward first-time Congress attendees or attendees who’d like to know the basics of a specific subject area. 
  • Inspiring Plenary Sessions: Plenary sessions bring the entire Congress together for a shared experience. They feature innovative and expert practitioners detailing the latest advances in urbanism.
  • Live Breakout Sessions: Breakout sessions are the concurrent sessions that generally take place throughout the Congress, organized around several tracks or themes. At the Virtual Gathering, breakout sessions will continue to make up the heart of Congress programming, but will be formatted to include more intimate conversations and live, moderated Q&A. 
  • Engaging Art Room Sessions: Traditionally, the CNU Art Room features up-close or hands-on workshops to help you hone your skills. For the Virtual Gathering, CNU will offer sessions for attendees interested in learning design, sketching, illustration, photography, and other techniques from New Urbanism’s leading practitioners. Sessions will feature interactive drawing. Participants of all skill levels are welcome—no prior illustration or design experience is needed.
  • Member-led Meet-ups and Social Events: A core component of the Congress experience, CNU will reserve two hours each day for formal and informal member gatherings, conversations, and networking opportunities. Additionally, CNU will host a formal networking event – Urban Roulette Conversations – on Wednesday evening for participants. More details to come.​
  • New Urban Research: Since 2008, CNU has showcased innovative academic work at our annual Congress, offering select academics and researchers an opportunity to present their work. 
  • Charter Awards: The CNU Charter Awards ceremony will be held Friday, June 12 and will recognize exemplary work in architectural, landscape, urban, and regional design, as defined by the Charter of the New Urbanism

While much of the program will remain as planned, CNU will also be adding new sessions that directly address the current public health crisis and how it is impacting the work of New Urbanists around the world. Given the uncertainty of what we are all facing, the Congress content, and CNU’s emphasis on community, is more relevant than ever.

As always, continuing education credits from CNU-A, AIA, APA, and ASLA will be available for most sessions. Additionally, all the sessions will be archived for viewing after the Congress week – creating more value for members and attendees.


Registration Prices starting as low as $20 for a single session. 

Frequently Asked Questions including sponsorship and scholarship answers.

A Letter from Laurie Volk and Lynn Richards.