Urban Design Updates

The ENU Place Summit: Breaking Down Barriers to Advance and Connect Emerging Professionals within CNU

The Emerging New Urbanists Task Force held their first annual ENU Place Summit in San Francisco/Berkeley (hosted by Opticos), Chicago, New Haven/NYC, and via virtual platforms concurrently in October 2021. This inaugural event celebrated the creation of the Emerging New Urbanist (ENU) Task Force – a team of rising leaders dedicated to their mission of advancing the goals of the Charter of the New Urbanism with a focus on empowering emerging professionals to shape the future of the CNU.

The mission of the ENU Task Force

Emerging professionals who are introduced to New Urbanism frequently feel ill-suited to actively participate in CNU and its associated activities. For professionals new to the movement, joining CNU can feel intimidating and difficult, especially when faced with the expertise of the established, long-time colleagues who currently make up CNU today. This knowledge and network gap is a barrier that actively prevents more professionals from joining the organization. The Emerging New Urbanists (ENU) strive to remove this barrier and connect students and rising professionals with established professionals. ENU works to amplify the voices of the new generations of New Urbanists now, and in the years to come.

The Role of Place Summit

Place Summit is a meeting of like-minded people of various ages, backgrounds, and experiences who seek interaction with – and motivation from – others who share their passion for place, people, and purpose. Using Place Summit as the platform, the ENU Task Force enabled all participants to present on their topic of choice, allowing for a variety of topics concerning New Urbanism to be opened up for discussion and debate.  

Included amongst these topics of presentation in the San Francisco/Berkeley hub were Confluence: hydroelectric production, wealth generation, and community building on Squamish IR Cheakamus 11 by Chris D’Amico, Place Initiative: The Power of Connecting by Camille Cortes, 4 Things I’m Interested In by Matt Lambert, Housing & Urbanism in Seattle’s University District by Max Erickson, An Introduction to Missing Middle Housing by Opticos Senior Designer Singeh Saliki, and The Future of the Students for the New Urbanism by Opticos Designer Cal Kurtz. The participants used these presentations as spring-boards to open discussions on common themes and goals, including the importance of culturally and environmentally sensitive housing, the power of connecting with like-minded individuals to work towards common goals, and the opportunities to reach more emerging New Urbanists through SNU in conjunction with ENU. 

Interspersed between the presentations and Open Space discussions, the SF/Berkeley participants explored San Francisco’s Mission District, Market Street, & Fisherman’s Wharf, took a Missing Middle Housing Walking Tour through North Berkeley, and enjoyed several meals and happy hours. This Place Summit kick-started the mission of the ENU, creating lasting connections between passionate, like-minded people across the country and inspired the ENU Task Force with new goals and initiatives for the future. 

To learn more about the Emerging New Urbanists or become a part of the group, visit their website at www.emergingnewurbanists.org