Woodland - 2017

Oxnard - 2016

Newport Beach - 2014

Livingston - 2013

The Concept

Beginning in 2013, the CNU-CA started a program to host a CNU-By-Design Annual Charrette (“the Charrette”) as a Board led program that provides educational and membership outreach opportunities statewide. The other CNU-CA’s annual programs include our Annual Membership Meeting, Board Retreat, and the Paul Crawford Award.


The Charrette’s are designed to advise a city assistance in visualizing and then realizing the opportunities that CNU’s principles and processes, such as public Charrettes to envision mixed-use, walkable places will provide a city. These annual Charrettes are led by Board Members and supported by CNU-CA members statewide. Our board’s selection of an Annual Charrette project is based upon the request’s relevance to CNU initiatives and expertise, such as Transit-Oriented Developments, Form-Based Codes, Sprawl Retrofits, and Tactical Urbanism.

The Charrette’s selection is based upon the following criteria:

  • Sponsor City’s Request for Assistance
    (Board Members bring these forward);

  • Potential Impact to Implementing CNU Charter + Initiatives;
    Catalysts for follow up/future CNU projects;

  • Likelihood of Adoption or Built Result;
    Political / Financial Support for the Charrette;

  • Fit with CNU-CA Strengths and Capabilities.

The Scope of Work is defined by the sponsor city. An objective team of CNU-CA Board members forms the core Charrette team and coordinates the statewide memberships participation, public outreach, project management and delivery of the final report of recommendations. Our recommendations are built upon the local sponsor’s existing accomplishments and the expected outcomes are of the high quality for which CNU is known.


CNU-By-Design is a for-fee service in which the sponsor enters into a contract with the Chapter. Fees are expected to cover administration and expenses costs. Board members meet with a potential sponsor to discuss Charrette contract requirements, timing, travel logistics, expenses, discipline requirements, and recruitment from membership and the preparation of Charrette materials. Logistical arrangements are completed by CNU-CA Board members and provide for core Charrette team travel, lodging, and a workshop at a full-service hotel in the sponsor city. Board members work closely with the sponsor in the creation of a Scope of Work. The sponsor prepares briefing materials, arranges interviews with local stakeholders, and plans a tour of the study area for the core Charrette team.

A typical charrette week is organized as follows:


Day 1: Arrival, Orientation, Sponsor Briefing, Opening Public Event (Educational)
Day 2: Stakeholder Interviews, Design Interventions/Alternatives Produced
Day 3: Alternatives Vetting, Stakeholder Interviews, Public Workshop (Dialog)
Day 4: Preferred Design Interventions; Report Design/Illustration Production
Day 5: Draft Report Production, Final Public Presentation (Dialog/Education)


Reporting Process

The core charrette team drafts the report on-site and the sponsor submits comments on the draft within 2 weeks. The final day presentation of the Charrette’s findings will be finalized within 3 weeks after the sponsors comments are submitted as a detailed report summarizing the findings, issues, and preferred design interventions and tools to solve for the Project’s primary issues. The sponsor will receive a digital version of the final report.