Welcome

CNU members have been the strength of the organization throughout the history of the movement. For over a quarter of a century, the excitement of discovery that comes from our blend of advocacy and professional practice has inspired New Urbanists around the world.

With over 2,500 members, the Congress for the New Urbanism represents an international network of practitioners across sectors, design disciplines, and geography. Your support enables CNU to work towards the key goals laid out in our Strategic Plan:

  • Promote the 15-Minute City
  • Legalize Walkable Urbanism
  • Design for Climate Change


There is more exciting work to be done in the year ahead. We hope you enjoy access to the CNU member network which includes the monthly member newsletter,
Real Places, and the member discount for our annual Congress. We truly appreciate everything you do to connect with our mission and support our work.

- Scott Shields, Director of Membership & Outreach


Your Member Benefits

Real Places is our monthly newsletter connecting New Urbanists around the world. Check it out for our member spotlights, upcoming events and opportunities, a roundup of all the great work being done by CNU staff, and a snapshot of New Urbanism in the news including Public Square highlights.

As a CNU member, you unlock a substantial discount to The Congress. Our annual Congress is CNU’s flagship event: the premiere national event on building better places. Each year, we convene thousands of New Urbanists to hear from speakers, participate in workshops, collaborate on projects, and learn new strategies from leaders in dozens of fields. Click here to learn more about The Congress.

The Congress

Each Congress offers attendees the chance to experience and connect with an inspiring host region. Since its earliest days, the event has evolved towards greater immersion in local places, cultures, and issues—helping residents to understand the fascinating story of a unique metro region. Through scholarships, public events, and our Legacy Charrette program, the Congress also seeks to leave a legacy of understanding and a positive placemaking impact on its host city.

The next annual Congress is CNU 31.Charlotte from May 31 to June 3, 2022. Charlotte is a city that is on the move, aggressively working to address economic mobility and affordable housing with public-private partnerships and new regulatory tools. With the recent adoption of the Charlotte Future 2040 Comprehensive Plan, CNU 31's host city is ready for implementation and action – one of the great skills of New Urbanists. As an Urbanist or Discount Urbanist member, you're entitled to a discount on your Congress registration of up to $250, depending on your membership type and sector. 

Check out some of our Legacy Projects: 

Vision for livability along an Interstate
I-494 forms the border between two Minnesota suburbs. A CNU Legacy team created a plan to improve life for economically disadvantaged residents of the area.

Creating a mixed-use college town in an ‘edge city’
In Charlotte, NC's University City, a CNU legacy team is exploring a unique opportunity to employ tactical urbanism and suburban retrofit to reimagine a 16-acre shopping center as a mixed-use center with culture and connections to the local university.

 

Our Programs

In addition to the Congress, CNU does great work year round that continues our mission to renew the architecture of communities. 

Highways to Boulevards: CNU has released the 2023 edition of the Freeways Without Futures report featuring 10 different local campaigns across the US. The program also helped with legislation in the Senate that has been folded into the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework as the Reconnecting Communities program and in the reconciliation process as new House legislation with $4b for Neighborhood Access and Equity Grants. The proposed funding for the Reconnecting Communities program was slashed by 95% and it is clear our letter writing campaign demanding a restoration of funding is having an impact though there is more work that needs to be done. 

The Project for Code Reform: PCR launched five years ago and has grown from a demonstration of how powerful incremental code reform can be into a mainstay of our programmatic work. Alongside members, we have developed pathways to code changes in Michigan, Vermont, Wisconsin in addition to a report with AARP Livable Communities.

Stay Involved

Interested in getting more involved with CNU now that you’re a member? There are great opportunities to connect with fellow New Urbanists. both online and in-person. 

Chapters: CNU Chapters provide a local framework to collaborate on building more great places for everyone. Chapters gather local leaders, like-minded organizations, and practitioners looking for peer networking, professional development, and strategies and tools for their communities. Chapters engage in a wide range of activities, from hosting talks and monthly happy hours to sponsoring film festivals, symposiums, and design charrettes, as well as critiquing new or proposed development.

Public Square: Rob Steuteville’s Public Square brings you analysis on trends, insights on innovative projects, and a deep connection to the movement through his writing. His voice has been a critical part of CNU’s success and all of his work is supported by membership dues. Rob also accepts submissions from members so this is a great opportunity to connect with our large and knowledgeable New Urbanists audience, 

On the Park Bench: This webinar series launched last year and presents interactive conversations with thought leaders in New Urbanism and allied industries, providing an opportunity for the audience to engage in real time. If you have a topic or speaker in mind, this webinar series is a great way to further connect with fellow New Urbanists.

CNU-Accreditation: As a member, you are already part way to becoming a CNU-A member. The program is based on the principles of the Charter of the New Urbanism and aims to spread and elevate our best practices; recognize the talent and commitment on display within the movement to create walkable, sustainable places; and establish New Urbanism as the standard for leaders working to build better places.

CNU-Accreditation is achieved through the successful completion of the CNU-A online exam, administered by the University of Miami School of Architecture and maintenance of an urbanist membership.

Further Reading

The guiding principles for the work done by CNU are laid out in The Charter of the New Urbanism. “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.” The Charter is also available here and is available in 14 languages!

And don’t miss the Canons of Sustainable Architecture and Urbanism, designed to serve as a set of operating principles for human settlement that reestablish the relationship between the art of building, the making of community, and the conservation of our natural world. 

Looking for more reading materials? 25 Great Ideas of New Urbanism offers a panoramic view of New Urbanism as a design movement toward complete, compact, connected communities.