The Altar of New Urbanism

New Urbanites invade Austin next year

Regardless of your views on New Urbanism – whether you subscribe to its Great Streets-goosing gospel or resent the attempt to shoehorn urban spaces like Downtown into a Disneyfied "Main Street" caricature of itself – there's no denying our city has drunk the recycled-rainwater Kool-Aid. Our new City Hall anchors Second Street, the proto-New Urbanist Austin of tomorrow. It even provides free parking, so people can drive into Downtown in order to walk around and sit on street benches. Funny what counts as hip nowadays.

Anywho, it's little surprise that the 16th annual Congress for the New Urbanism is coming here next year. (Congress? What, was High Holy Triumvirate taken? Get outta here with that bullshit!) CNU XVI: New Urbanism and the Booming Metropolis invades the Convention Center for three days, starting April 3, 2008. "Austin has already begun to implement the principles of New Urbanism in local projects and we are thrilled to have been chosen as the location for next year's CNU," Austan Librach, president of the Central Texas CNU Organizing Committee, says in the press release. "With the rapid development occurring as more and more people are moving to our community, it's imperative that growth happens in a responsible way. We hope this conference will help promote smart growth in Austin and throughout Central Texas."

To whet everyone's pedestrian-friendly appetite, New Urbanism planners John Norquist and Andrés Duany will deliver a free public lecture from 5-7pm, Thursday, March 29, at the SmartCode Workshop in the Lone Star Room at the Frank Erwin Center.

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