Authors of "Landscape Urbanism and its Discontents" Speak at CNU21

by: EJ on 05/31/2013
Posted in: New Books

Emily Talen and Andres Duany, authors of Landscape Urbanism and its Discontents: Dissimulating the Sustainable City, launched their book at this week's 21st Congress for the New Urbanism.

New Urbanism is the movement dedicated to the restoration of existing urban centers, the reconfiguration of formless sprawl into real neighborhoods and diverse districts, the conservation of natural lands, and the preservation of our built legacy. New Urbanist communities are walkable, offer a diverse range of housing options, encourage a rich mix of uses, and provide welcoming public spaces as detailed in the Charter of the New Urbanism.

The annual Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) is the leading venue for New Urbanist education, collaboration, and networking. CNU members come from around the world to discuss development practices and public policies, learn from recent innovative work, and advance new initiatives to transform our communities.  CNU 21 is where the top designers, developers, planners, architects and advocates of walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods meet to discuss methods for growth that will enhance regions and communities, and, in turn, the lives of all people in an age of constricting economic and natural resources and in an environment of continual change.

This short introductory video explains how Salt Lake City, the host city for CNU21, captures the spirit of its Mormon predecessors and builds on the values of New Urbanism to shape a vision for the future of a vibrant, livable, sustainable city.



Andres Duany took to the Plenary podium Thursday morning to set the record straight on the origins of the New Urbanism movement and its original founders.  In his blog posted this morning, Mike Lewyn from CNU said Andres' keynote speech has one of the highlights at CNU21.  Lewyn says:


Duany focused on the relationship between environmentalism and New Urbanism.  He suggested that the fear of climate change was actually more important in shaping public policy than climate change itself, because this fear may create long-term demoralization (especially, I suspect, among environmentalists - though I'm not sure if Duany was saying this).

In response, Duany said that New Urbanism could stop such demoralization by making environmentally responsible conduct pleasant and desirable.   Good urbanism turns the apparent limitation of life without a two-car (or three- or four-car) garage into a virtue. Duany also emphasized that our job as new urbanists is to focus on adapting to climate change rather than prevention.  Why? Because in the absence of international action, there's not all that much that can be done to prevent climate change.


Tomorrow is the last day of the congress.  Follow @NewUrbanism on Twitter or search #CNU21 for the latest updates.


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