About the Congress
The Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) is the nation’s oldest international nonprofit working to build great
places and walkable, vibrant neighborhoods. CNU will host its 27th annual Congress in Louisville, Kentucky June
The annual Congress for the New Urbanism is the premiere national placemaking event, convening 1500+
diverse, interdisciplinary urbanists and placemakers to exchange ideas, explore urban places, work alongside
residents, and learn in the field. Attendees come from all fifty states and dozens of countries, and the Congress
reaches hundreds of thousands more through our member base and digital reach. Congress programming is varied
and accessible to urbanists and members of the public at any level of knowledge and understanding of New
The Congress is a transformative experience for its attendees and host region. With a special focus on Louisville
in 2019, Congress participants will debate and discuss emerging trends in city and town building, as well as
technical solutions to the new and persistent challenges to building places people love. Themes of special interest
include the relationship between urban and suburban places, best practices for greenways and open space, and the
relationship of urbanism to the compassionate city. Our sessions and workshops empower participants to practice
cutting-edge placemaking strategies, while the relationships built at the Congress can strengthen participants’
work and grow into major initiatives.
To engage local residents and community members, CNU incorporates collaborative, in-the-field learning and
free public programming into each Congress, with events tailored to local issues and interests. Additionally, CNU
organizes activities throughout the host city that are open to the public, such as New Urbanism-inspired art
exhibits, film festivals, pub crawls, and debates.
Engaging the Region
CNU is committed to amplifying the messages of the thriving national and local network of new urbanists, Smart
Growth advocates, sustainable urbanists, historic preservationists, and the resources they create. Through the
Congress, CNU leaves a lasting positive impact on the host city and region, beyond the event’s considerable
economic impact of approximately $2.5 million. CNU will engage Louisville’s community leaders, local
advocates, and thought leaders through a series of place-based discussions, workshops, public events, tours, and
programs that showcase and leverage local experience and expertise.
Congress Legacy Projects
In the months leading up to the Congress, CNU will partner with Louisville-area communities and governments, local placemaking advocates and organizations, and leading design firms to execute a series of Congress Legacy Projects. With a special focus on communities with limited resources and staff capacity, each Congress Legacy Project donates an estimated $100,000-$150,000 in design services and conducts a three-day design workshop that incorporates extensive public engagement, to generate community-driven visions and urban design plans.
The Legacy Projects offer a level of design and planning expertise that would otherwise be beyond the reach of the underserved host communities.
All CNU Legacy cities have continued to leverage their Legacy Project outcomes to build political will and obtain funding to create great places. Thus far, implementation is 91 percent.
Each year, CNU offers an ever-growing number of scholarships to local students, local government officials, and community groups. At CNU 26.Savannah, CNU offered a total of 83 four-day registration scholarships. These scholarships afford a broad range of emerging leaders and practitioners the opportunity to attend and
participate in all four days of the Congress.
Through our scholarship programs, CNU also offers mentoring opportunities designed to raise the next
generation of placemakers and new urbanists. These opportunities provide new talent and municipal
officials unparalleled access to our movement’s top thought leaders
Free Public Events
At the Congress CNU opens a number of plenaries and events to the public. Through these events CNU
seeks to engage and introduce the broader Louisville community to innovative placemaking and New
Urbanist techniques and strategies. Through discussion with local, regional, and national thought leaders,
CNU demonstrates how these techniques and strategies can be implemented to help improve the built
environment and build community cohesion throughout the region. Since CNU 22 in Buffalo, over 1,200
community members have attended our free public events at the Congress.
In addition to our regularly offered hands-on workshops at the Congress, CNU partners with like-minded
organizations to offer training boot camps designed to deepen the knowledge and sharpen the technical
skills of local government officials, practitioners, and local community members.
The Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) is an international nonprofit with a mission to build vibrant and
walkable cities, towns, and neighborhoods where people have diverse choices for how they live, work, shop, and
CNU was founded in 1993 with the belief that well-designed cities, towns, neighborhoods, and public places help
create community: healthy places for people and businesses to thrive and prosper.
We advocate for design practices and policy standards that support healthy and thriving blocks, neighborhoods,
cities, and regions; empower placemaking leaders with the tools and information to create places where people
and business can thrive and prosper; and accelerate the work of our members, partners, and collaborators.