11025899_10152738077253321_5659162742018380568_oPark Pride has put out a call for presentations for their 15th annual Parks & Greenspace Conference at the Atlanta Botanical Garden on March 21, 2016 that will resolve the questions of “the intersectionality of parks and play;” essentially, how parks can enhance and activate the communities in which they exist.

With around 400 attendees, Park Pride’s conference is no small matter, with many organizations and groups in attendance, including the Georgia Recreation and Park Association, the American Planning Association, the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture, the Urban Land Institute, the American Society of Landscape Architects, city departments, federal agencies, and, of course, yours truly.

Park Pride Executive Director Michael Halicki with attendees at the beautiful Atlanta Botanical Garden.

Park Pride Executive Director Michael Halicki with attendees at the beautiful Atlanta Botanical Garden.

Between eight and 12 proposals for presentations will be accepted, and they should be focused on four distinct topics:

  1. “Play as Placemaking,” or how a community can construct an identity around its public spaces;
  2. “Multi-Generational and Intra-Generation Play,” for creating spaces for all ages;
  3. “Design for Play,” looking at the cutting edge of public play space design and construction;
  4. And “Play Policies and Research,” the latest in data-driven strategies for promoting play.
These focus areas will then be organized into different program tracks for the conference:
  1. Park Advocate/Community Member
  2. Policy Makers/Municipality
  3. Design Professionals/Planners
Presentation and pre-conference event (on March 19th and 20th) proposals must be submitted by Monday November 2, at 5:00 PM. To submit, send all proposals to conference@parkpride.org.

Click John’s Nose to Register

JA sponsors


In addition to the NTBA Roundtable occurring mid-October, our friends in Louisiana are hosting their own fabulous event that week, The CityBuilding Exchange, focusing on how public sector officials can leverage the benefits of new urbanist ideas for their communities.

Officials, planners, academics, and consultants will flock to New Orleans where the bleeding edge of technology, tools, and techniques for “reach[ing] your city’s potential,” will be on display in a compact two-day forum. Moderated by CNU co-founder and emeritus board member Andrés Duany, the forum will span October 15th & 16th, with a wide array of speakers from all backgrounds, including Georgia Tech’s own Ellen Dunham-Jones.

For more information about the event and registration, read more here.


As you’re all well aware I’m sure, CNU Atlanta, The Georgia Conservancy, and the Center for Civic Innovation are hosting the Small Scale Developer Boot Camp on October 14th. But did you know that another great New Urbanism event is taking place the next day?

The National Town Builders Association will be hosting their 2015 NTBA Fall Roundtable in Atlanta, entitled “The Politics and Process of Adaptive Reuse; The Power of Good Design,” the following weekend. The focus will be on some of Atlanta’s largest adaptive reuse projects: Ponce City Market, The Atlanta BeltLine, and The Goat Farm Arts Center. With speakers like Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.’s Paul Morris, MARTA TOD Director Amanda Rhein, Lisa Gordon, and Ryan Gravel of Atlanta BeltLine acclaim, the event is sure to be as evocative as it will be educational. The planned walking tours are a nice addition, too

Additionally, The NTBA are hosting a “road trip” to Serenbe for a look at powerful design in action just South of Atlanta. Interested attendees will meet at Serenbe on Thursday evening, October 15th and stay overnight to explore the design and success of Serenbe before convening in Atlanta for the beginning of the Roundtable.

If you’re interested in attending the Serenbe road trip as well as the Roundtable, it’ll run you around $550.00. There are caveats for new members or first time attendees, which you can read more about here (PDF), however you can register early for only $495.00 for just the Roundtable or $607.50 for both the Serenbe trip and the Roundtable. Early Bird registration ends on Sunday, September 20th, so don’t wait too long!


Join CNU Atlanta in welcoming Bob Kerr, Board Chairman of the South Fork Conservancy, to our September T3* next Thursday, September 17th.IMG_1477

Bob will speak about the mission of the Conservancy, “connecting people and places through a natural creek and trail experience.”The trails the SFC is introducing along Peachtree Creek are weaving wildlife corridors through the city in some unlikely places, such as underneath GA 400 at the North Fork Confluence Trail, as well as connecting to the BeltLine Trail in the same area.

Come hear about this great organization and engage in a conversation about how corridors such as these could be incorporated in new urbanist schemes. We’ll meet at 5:30 PM and wrap up discussions around 7:30 PM.

Location: Steel Restaurant in Midtown Atlanta.

THIS EVENT IS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. Membership is not required to attend.

Convenient to the Midtown MARTA station, and parking also available in the Publix deck.

*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.


CNU Atlanta, Georgia Tech’s School of City & Regional Planning, and the Emory Rollins School of Public Health are hosting The Built Environment & Health Scavenger Hunt in Downtown Decatur on Friday, September 18th from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. We’ll meet in front of the East entrance to the Decatur MARTA Station, facing the intersection of Church and Sycamore Streets, to discuss the interconnectedness of the built environment and public health issues. The group will reconvene at 6:30 to debrief before heading to Raging Burrito for a little post-hunt hang-out.20150820ScavengerHuntFlyer [982242]

Since the scavenger hunt will be on a Friday evening, taking MARTA to the event will be the most convenient choice as most street parking may be occupied. Free parking may be found at the City of Decatur’s library parking deck or paid parking at the lot behind the Private Bank of Decatur on the corner of E. Ponce de Leon Ave and Church Street.

We’d love to see you there to learn more about the ways public health and public design are tied together in Georgia’s “Greenest City.”

J. Candler Vinson, CNU Atlanta Program Manager

J. Candler Vinson, CNU Atlanta Program Manager

CNU Atlanta is proud to introduce J. Candler Vinson as the newest member of the CNU Atlanta Chapter team. As the chapter’s Program Manager, Candler will assist in communications, social media, event coordination, and more. Candler is an Atlanta native, a writer, an Emory alumnus, and an environmentalist (yes, one of those). He is passionate about studying urban development, climate change, technology, agriculture, gentrification, public health, and how they intersect in modern cities.

After graduating from Emory University in 2013 with a degree in Environmental Studies and Sustainability, Candler worked for multiple environmental and sustainability-oriented organizations, including Emory’s Office of Sustainability Initiatives, the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance, Environment Georgia, and the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce (Clean Tech division). Candler also reported for the Urban Times on all things urban development, transportation, environmental policy, and climate change before starting his own blog earlier this year, The Suburban City, to focus on Atlanta.

Candler has a keen eye for the details and crafting stories that don’t just examine issues, but explore the underlying contexts in which those issues exist. As an undergraduate at Emory, he studied Atlanta’s history of transit and racial inequality as a basis for deeper understanding of Atlanta’s failed T-SPLOST in 2012. He has since explored the rise of the modern American streetcar, examined sustainable agriculture in Atlanta’s West End, and, most recently, met the man behind MARTA’s Instagram marketing strategy.

With Candler on board, CNU Atlanta will now have the ability to enhance the pursuit of its mission to promote walkable, neighborhood-based development as an alternative to sprawl.

Don’t be shy if you run into Candler at our next T3 or a coffee shop around town!

The 2014 NTBA Fall Roundtable was hosted by LeylandAlliance LLC at its Storrs Center project in Storrs, CT.

The 2014 NTBA Fall Roundtable was hosted by LeylandAlliance LLC at its Storrs Center project in Storrs, CT.

The National Town Builders’ Association (NTBA) is heading to the Peach State for the 2015 Fall Roundtable, scheduled to take place from Friday afternoon, October 16 through Sunday morning, October 18 in Atlanta, Georgia.  “The Politics and Process of Adaptive Reuse” and “The Power of Good Design” are the topics for the Roundtable, hosted by NTBA Member and Eastmore developer David Roper and Jackie Benson, one of the NTBA’s founding members.

During the Fall Roundtable, David and Jackie will be joined by some of Atlanta’s most respected urban developers and placemaking authorities as they present the back story of some surprising and fascinating projects, including Ponce City MarketHistoric Fourth Ward Park, and the Atlanta Beltline, among others.

Educational presentations will take place at the host hotel, the Hyatt Atlanta Midtown Hotel, and charter bus transportation will be provided to the East and West sides of Atlanta for walking tours of the subject urban neighborhoods.

Registration will be available soon.  In the meantime, please mark your calendars and stay tuned for good things to come.

Questions?  Contact NTBA Director Monica V. Johnson at info@ntba.net or call 914-715-5576.



cdcA wide array of tools exists for measuring different features of the built environment, many of them well validated. These existing tools fall into three categories: 1) interview or self-administered questionnaires which primarily measure perceptions, 2) tools that collect archival (existing) data, often using GIS, and 3) systematic observation or audit tools. It is often difficult for local program staff and evaluators to know which features of the built environment are most important to measure on the basis of the health behaviors and outcomes they are trying to affect. It is also difficult to know which tool(s) to choose to most accurately and feasibly assess those features.

The Built Environment Assessment Tool (BE Tool) (an adaptation of MAPS) was designed to alleviate some of the challenges posed by the significant number of narrowly focused tools aimed at only one activity (walking), one subpopulation (older adults), or one public health area (inactivity). It was created as a collaborative enterprise across multiple areas of public health – health promotion, injury prevention, environmental health, etc. It is a direct systematic observation data collection instrument for measuring the core features and quality of the built environment related to behaviors that affect health, especially behaviors such as walking, biking, and other types of physical activity. There are many aspects of the built environment. The built environment includes the buildings, roads, sidewalks, utilities, homes, transit, fixtures, parks and all other man-made entities that form the physical characteristics of a community. The built environment can impact human health by affecting rates of physical activity, air pollutants such as ozone and particulate matter that can exacerbate asthma and respiratory disease, and emissions of carbon dioxide that contributes to climate change.

The BE Tool was not designed to assess every aspect of the built environment. Rather the tool assesses a core set of features agreed upon by subject matter experts to be most relevant. The core features assessed in the BE Tool include: built environment infrastructure (e.g., road type, curb cuts/ramps, intersections/crosswalks, traffic control, transportation), walkability (e.g. sidewalk/path features, walking safety, aesthetics & amenities), bikeability (e.g., bicycle lane/path features), recreational sites and structures, and the food environment (e.g., access to grocery stores, convenience stores, farmers markets, etc.). Additional questions or modules could be added by users if more detail about an aspect of the built environment, such as the nutrition environment or pedestrian environment, is desired.


CDC Release



KW picCome hear Eric Kronberg of Kronberg Wall Architects discuss how placemaking and incremental urbanism can help build strong communities at KWA’s new office in the recently renovated Bearden Temple AME Church in Reynoldstown.

Kronberg Wall Architects have been investigating placemaking and intown redevelopment in projects in Atlanta and around the country for over a decade. Their new office in historic Reynoldstown is a clear example of their mission to strengthen local communities through thoughtful design and development.

The Bearden Temple AME Church, originally constructed in 1922, was for decades a beacon of local culture, communication, and creativity; by redeveloping the building while maintaining its distinctive architectural features KWA hopes to spur a new era of creative energy in the building while celebrating its unique history.

PLEASE MAKE NOTE of the special location of this T3.


                                      August T3: A Discussion on Conscious Urban Placemaking

WHENThursday, August 20, 2015 from 5:30-7:30pm

WHERE:  Kronberg Wall Architects office in Reynoldstown, 887 Wylie Street, Atlanta, GA 30307

A 10 minute walk from the Inman Park/Reynoldstown MARTA Station

This event is FREE and open to the public. Membership in CNU Atlanta is not required to attend.

T3  (Thirsty Third Thursdays) is a monthly gathering organized by the Atlanta Chapter of the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU Atlanta) for anyone interested in our built environment.

© 2011 CNU Atlanta Contact: atlanta@cnu.org Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha