CNU New York and the Rochester Regional Community Design Center co-hosted a conference in Rochester, CNU 24 Preview- Transforming Places. The conference, held six weeks before CNU 24 in Detroit, was designed to acquaint Rochester’s design and planning community with an overview of the program and topics of what looks to be the largest national Congress in years.
The event began on Friday April 22 with an early evening reception, and a compelling presentation by Norman Garrick, former CNU Board member. He focused on the need to humanize transportation priorities using examples from Rochester and Kingston, Jamaica, and using dramatic before and after images.
The morning session of the CNU 24 Preview - Photo by Marc Wouters.
The conference continued on Saturday, April 23. In a morning plenary, Jason Segedy, Planning Director of Akron focused on Akron’s revitalization strategies while Ellen Dunham Jones, former CNU Board Chair, and co-author of Retrofitting Suburbia, offered a variety of examples on suburban retrofit. During the lunch plenary, David Dixon, Urban Design Group Leader at Stantec, talked about the benefits of density and how to address what he called the Jane Jacobs’ paradox—as her vision of walkable urban places becomes a reality, the economic diversity she sought diminishes.
The final session of the CNU 24 Preview - Transforming Places took place in the Atrium at the Miller Center in Rochester. Photo by Lou Marquet.
The conference included breakout tours of Rochester’s neighborhoods and infill projects, as well as New Urbanism 101 and 202 sessions. The conference ended with a panel to link lessons about Rochester to national and regional best practices. Attendance was over 110 people, and the event is now a model for future events in New York State.