April 24, 2014 – ULI-Atlanta’s “Cents” of Community: Ten Principles for Building Healthy Places
AT&T Lindbergh Center

Join the Atlanta chapter of the Urban Land Institute and featured guest speaker, Ed McMahon, for a panel discussion about how projects and places can be shaped to improve the health of all people and communities. For many years, ULI and its members have been active players in discussions and projects that make the link between human health and development; we know that  health is a core component of thriving communities.

Register and find out more here.

May 22, 2014 – AIA-Atlanta hosts URBANfronts – Calling all artists, designers & speakers!
Multiple locations in Midtown Atlanta

Be a part of these exciting events, sponsored by the Atlanta chapter of the American Institute of Architects. URBANfronts Storefront Galleries activate empty retail space by temporarily altering the urban landscape to reflect the visions of up-and-coming artists through visual, audio and kinetic movement mediums. Discovery, exposure and evolving visions through art, design, architecture, fun, creation and connection gives rise to interesting cultural destinations, events and increased foot traffic!

Lots of information, plus links to participate or sign up for mailing lists, can be found here.



Join land use strategist Chris Leinberger for lunch and discussion in Serenbe on Friday, April 11. He will be speaking on “Metro Atlanta: Poster Child of Sprawl, or a Region Growing in a Different Direction.” Lunch begins at noon at the Farmhouse at Serenbe - space is limited!

See this PDF for more information: Chris Leinberger Invite R1

WHEN ::  Thursday, April 17th from 5:30-7:30pm
WHERE ::  Steel Restaurant & Lounge
950 West Peachtree Street, Northwest, – Atlanta, GA 30309 (map)
TOPIC :: One Day in Atlanta
One Day in Atlanta is a community based film project that includes 10 other cities.  The One Day in Atlanta project is taking place in conjunction with ONE DAY ON EARTH, the non-profit organization that was responsible for the 2010 film event in which members of every country in the world were filming on the same day.This year the effort is to engage local communities in filming anything and everything that is important to their city – what makes Atlanta great and what needs to be done to better our city in the future.  The One Day in Atlanta event, which takes place on Saturday, April 26th, is open to any and all participants.  Come to CNU Atlanta’s T3 on April 17th to hear Producer Jacob Marmer speak about this endeavor and discuss the fundamental issues in Atlanta that should be documented. Please click here to see a new live trailer about One Day in Atlanta. 
Join the Congress for the New Urbanism Atlanta at STEEL Restaurant & Lounge in Midtown. Please try to carpool or ride MARTA (but there is also parking in the Publix deck).Image courtesy of One Day in Atlanta website.
Photo Credit: Atlanta Downtown Improvement District & Gene Phillips Photography

Photo Credit: Atlanta Downtown Improvement District & Gene Phillips Photography

By Candler Vinson

Atlanta recently received the first two cars of the Atlanta Streetcar fleet, which is slated to open later this year. The 2.7 mile Streetcar route runs from the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Center to Centennial Olympic Park, connecting The Old Fourth Ward, the Sweet Auburn neighborhood, and Downtown Atlanta’s attractions, such as the Georgia Aquarium, the new College Football Hall of Fame, Philips Arena, the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, and more. When it opens around Memorial Day, rides for the first three months will be free. It is also acting as a major catalyst for the neighborhoods around it, generating significant excitement and spurring new dense, transit-oriented development.

In the past twenty years, cities across America have been bringing back a seemingly antiquated transportation method, the streetcar. The most well known of these is the Portland Streetcar, the first system to utilize modern streetcars, but according to a recent article from the Associated Press by Jason Keyser, there are over 30 American cities that are bring back their streetcars. Cities such as Houston, Raleigh, Detroit, and Kansas City are only a few of the cities that have  recently invested in modern streetcars, many of which are running on or near the routes of earlier streetcars.

Today, the results of the car-centric “American Dream” are manifest in urban decay, sprawling suburbs, increased greenhouse gas emissions, increased automobile traffic, immense public spending for highways and maintenance, increased impermeable surfaces and storm water runoff, and communities that lack social interaction. In addition to this, the social and health costs are enormous as well, with urban sprawl a major facilitator in inactivity, which correlates to obesity, hypertension, and anxiety. Again, take Atlanta for example: Charles Montgomery, citing research by Lawrence Frank and his team of researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology, states that people living in Atlanta’s suburbs are likely to weigh ten pounds more than their counterparts in the neighborhoods surrounding Atlanta’s MARTA system and that almost all Atlantans, 94% of them, commute to work in personal vehicles.

Now, streetcars are seen as the solutions to these suburban woes. Portland’s streetcar illustrated the impact that investing in urban cores with reliable, comfortable, safe public transportation can do. In 2007, The New York Times reported that the Portland Streetcar “has helped sweep in $2.4 billion in new commercial and housing development, with 7,248 new housing units,” a huge return on the original $100 million dollar investment raised through local taxes to build it. Since then, dozens of cities across American have constructed or are in the planning stages for streetcars and light-rail, hoping to reap similar benefits.

Candler Vinson is an Atlanta native passionate about urban sustainability, conservation, environmental policy, and community planning. A recent graduate of Emory University, Candler is a correspondent for The Urban Times and an employee at The Imperial in Oakhurst, among other things. He spends his days reading, writing, riding public transportation, and contemplating how to improve Atlanta and support the people who are. You can follow him on Twitter @CandlerVinson.


Join the Georgia chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects on Thursday, April 24, 2014 for their annual Olmsted luncheon. The featured guest will be Elizabeth Hope Cushing, Ph.D., speaking on Boston landscape architect Arthur Shurcliff (1870-1957).

Find out more about this event here.  Register now before prices go up on April 14!



Duany Lean Urbanism Poster

Registration is now open for our spring workshop with Andres Duany and local experts Gene Kansas, Don Bender, Eric Kronberg, Jay Tribby, PhD (Chief of Staff to Atlanta District 2 City Council member Kwanza Hall), and Ted Bradford (Chief of Staff to Atlanta District 5 City Council member Natalyn Archibong) as they offer their views on the concept and ideas behind Lean Urbanism and how it can be applied in the Atlanta area.

Join the Atlanta chapter of CNU for a conversation about Lean Urbanism and how it could energize Atlanta.

WHEN: Monday, March 24, 2014
WHERE: All Saints Episcopal Church
TIME: One day event, 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM

PLEASE consider taking MARTA or carpooling to the church – parking is LIMITED!


Click HERE to register!



March 13, 2014: A Special Conversation with Reid Ewing at the Greenprints Conference in Atlanta
Georgia Tech Research Institute and Southface


Reid Ewing’s Latest books, Measuring Urban Design, (Island Press) and Pedestrian & Transit Oriented Design (ULI), bring the message of urbanism down to the street level, pinpointing the precise design elements that make an area appealing. The books include analysis of zoning practices necessary for successful places.

Known widely for his research as presented in other books Best Development Practices (1996) and Developing Successful New Communities (1991) Professor Ewing will discuss his findings and sign his latest books available for purchase. Local planners and government agencies alike will benefit from this message.

More information about Greenprints can be found here.

April 26-30, 2014: American Planning Association’s National Planning Conference in Atlanta
Georgia World Congress Center


More than fifty-five mobile workshops will occur across the Atlanta region. Session tracks will focus on large-scale development and redevelopment, transportation planning, intelligent cities, immigration and changing American communities. Symposiums will address planning healthy communities with the Centers for Disease Control. All-day forums will center on building economic growth through transportation investments and planning neighborhoods of lasting value.

Online registration continues through March 27th. Discounted rates are available for students, new professionals, retired members, and life members. APA has also organized a special one day program and rate for local elected officials on April 28th. This one-day registration on Monday allows elected officials, planning commissioners, and Georgia leaders to attend the conference at a reduced rate. There will be no greater place and time in 2014 to learn everything about contemporary city planning and regional growth issues than the American Planning Association Conference right here in Atlanta.


Staff-AndresDuanyCongress for the New Urbanism (CNU) founder Andres Duany says the rising tide of bureaucracy and red tape prevents young builders and entrepreneurs from starting up small-scale development and business enterprises. These types of developments could, according to Duany, transform cities, towns and neighborhoods for the 21st Century and beyond.

Duany is coming to Atlanta to discuss his ideas on the next chapter in the New Urbanist movement that he calls “Lean Urbanism.”

Join the Atlanta chapter of CNU as we welcome Andres Duany on March 24 for a conversation about Lean Urbanism and how it could energize Atlanta.

WHEN: Monday, March 24, 2014
WHERE: All Saints Episcopal Church
TIME: One day event, 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM

Click HERE to register!

Local experts including East Atlanta Village and Little Five Points developer Don Bender,  local architect Eric Kronberg, and Gene Kansas of Atlanta’s Sidewalk Radio, and will offer their views in a panel discussion on the concept and ideas behind Lean Urbanism and how it can be applied in the Atlanta area.

Important  to Duany’s Lean Urbanism idea is his belief that the retail management science that was developed in the 20th Century with suburban regional malls in mind, forever changed how retail functions. Urban retail redevelopment cannot remerge at any scale without taking the new rules into account.


Don Bender
Photo: clatl.com

Atlanta’s Little Five Points area may be one of the best examples of the Lean Urbanism approach in the nation: single story, “organic” but managed retail, financed at a local level. Don Bender (right) started assembling large parts of it in the 1970’s; and he is strategizing where to go next. He will share his thoughts with Duany and the crowd to assess how Lean Urbanism can impact the next wave of Atlanta redevelopment.

gene kansas2


Gene Kansas (left), hosts radio show Sidewalk Radio, which covers life in the modern city by exploring cultural and physical development through the lens of history, and in the context of community. He is also a commercial real estate broker and developer whose projects respect their surroundings and promote good urbanism.



Eric Kronberg (right) and the firm he co-founded, Kronberg Wall, work in in-town Atlanta, as well as New Orleans, providing urban design solutions that are both community and site sensitive. Kronberg is currently working on the mixed-use redevelopment proposed for a small piece of land owned by Poncey-Highland’s historic Druid Hills Baptist Church.


More participants are expected to be added to the March 24 Lean Urbanism program.


We had a wonderful, energized crowd to hear Rebecca Burns and Charlie Harper speak last night about SnowJam and the politics of transit in Atlanta. If you were there, thanks so much for joining us! We hope to see you at some of our upcoming events. Some discussion from the T3 can be viewed on Twitter with the hashtag #CNUATLT3, and more photos taken by board member Terry Kearns can be seen here.



APTOPIX Winter Weather Georgia

THE DAY WE LOST ATLANTA . . . the title of Rebecca Burnsprescient article in Politco in reaction to the SnowJam 2014 fiasco. Now she’s coming to share her thoughts with CNU Atlanta at our February T3. Joining Ms. Burns at the T3 will be Charlie Harper, Executive Director of PolicyBEST, a public policy advocacy group building coalitions with recommendations to address Georgia’s unsolved traffic infrastructure issues.

Join the Congress for the New Urbanism Atlanta at STEEL Restaurant & Lounge in Midtown – Thursday, February 20 @ 5.30pm for socializing and an urban discussion focused on our transportation issues and  how to fix them.

Rebecca Burns wrote:

What happened in Atlanta . . . is not a matter of Southerners blindsided by unpredictable weather. More than any event I’ve witnessed in two decades of living in and writing about this city, this snowstorm underscores the horrible history of suburban sprawl in the United States and the bad political decisions that drive it. It tells us something not just about what’s wrong with one city in America today but what can happen when disaster strikes many places across the country.

PolicyBEST’s goal is to:

engage Georgians in a discussion of a pathway to improving Georgia’s transportation infrastructure through a series of common sense solutions, as well as committing to working towards a long term plan to provide for Georgia’s transportation needs.

r burns


One of Ms. Burns’ primary interests is how cities are shaped by their histories.  Her writing and reporting projects focus on Southern history, civil rights, urban planning, and social and economic justice. Burns is the author of three books on Atlanta history. The most recent,  Burial for a King (Scribner 2011), chronicles the aftermath of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination and his funeral in Atlanta. She presently is working on a fourth book, The Second Burning of Atlanta, an account of the Great Fire of 1917 to be published by University of Georgia Press.



Charlie Harper


Charlie Harper is the Executive Director of PolicyBEST.  He has a proven ability to set and/or change public policy debate as demonstrated by his seven years with Peach Pundit, Georgia’s premier political website. Harper has a reputation for fairness and for eschewing partisan talking points in favor of reasoned debate based on fact.


CNU Atlanta T3: Urban Talk Featuring Rebecca Burns & Charlie Harper

Thursday, February 20, 2014


Location: Steel Restaurant
950 West Peachtree Street, NW


Please walk or ride, but if you drive, park in the deck behind Publix

*T3 (Thirsty Third Thursdays) is a monthly gathering organized by the Atlanta Chapter of the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU Atlanta) for architects, planners, real estate professionals and all others who are interested in our built environment.

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