The principles of the New Urbanism are defined by a Charter, which was developed between 1993 and 1996 by a broad range of architects, planners, interested citizens, scholars, elected officials, and developers. It was ratified at the fourth annual Congress, the annual meeting sponsored by CNU.
Its principles are divided into three categories:
- The Region: Metropolis, City and Town
For new urbanists, the region is the overall context for all planning. That means planning must often cross traditional jurisdictional lines in order to create a healthy region.
- The Neighborhood, the District, and the Corridor
Diverse, walkable neighborhoods are what distinguish New Urbanism from other modern development styles.
- The Block, the Street, and the Building
If there is one thing that reduces the livability of most postwar suburbs, it is the fact that streets do not feel like pleasant, shared spaces.
The Congress for the New Urbanism
The Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) is the leading organization promoting walkable, neighborhood-based development as an alternative to sprawl. CNU takes a proactive, multi-disciplinary approach to restoring our communities. Members are the life of the organization – they 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. Whether it’s bringing restorative plans to hurricane-battered communities in the Gulf Coast, turning dying malls into vibrant mixed-use neighborhoods, or reconnecting isolated public housing projects to the surrounding fabric, new urbanists are providing leadership in community building.
Our relationship with our members allows us to do more than just talk about the problems of the built environment. Together, we are creating tools that make it easier to put New Urbanism into practice around the world.
CNU is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.