Joe Urban | Sam Newberg, Urbanist

CNU 16 – Day One

Dateline: 8:05 am April 4, 2008 Filed under:

LEED-ND was the topic of the morning session. A panel of core committee members including Jennifer Henry, Victor Dover, Doug Farr, Tom Richman and Susan Mudd discussed lessons learned so far with the certification process, and allowed CNU members to vent a bit about criteria and priorities.

As one might expect, there was much hand-wringing about the transect and how each zone gets ranked in LEED-ND. The idea behind LEED-ND, of course, is location efficiency of projects, and the thing that gets new urbanists up in arms is their beautiful greenfield projects don’t get certified in LEED-ND because they aren’t near transit. That is the whole point! Studies show that well planned suburban development doesn’t necessarily reduce vehicle miles traveled. Thus, inner city development near transit should get rewarded.

LEED-ND is in the pilot phase, and no doubt things will change before it is officially rolled out, but its core principles will remain a balance between resource efficiency, good design, and location, location, location.

The evening program featured Henry Cisneros, the former director of HUD in the (Bill) Clinton years. He gave an invigorating presentation about the successes of the HOPE VI in transforming areas of cities that were once off limits in to livable areas ready for investment. His speech even referenced the resurgent, often overlooked American hero, the “Quiet Beatle” among our founding fathers, John Adams, and challenged us to channel him and build good cities so as to leave a legacy that far outlasts us.

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