I wrote earlier about Sarah Susanka's presentation to the CNU this morning - and also mentioned author Jeff Speck's marvelous 'triangle' house in Washington, DC.

In a failure of technology - as I blog my way around the traps with urban design and town planning client RobertsDay, I elected to go ultralight in my technology kit, leaving behind laptop and big cameras and bringing instead my iPhone and ipad - I can't get back into a published post on my SquareSpace iPad app to add pics of Speck's house to the post... 

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AuthorAmanda Falconer

Sarah Susanka, architect and author of the Not So Big series of books that began with The Not So Big House, had two key messages for this audience of planners, urbanists, architects - and me (as none of the above) - at the CNU 21 this morning:

1. How do we make these ideas simple enough for people who aren't trained in this - that is architecture, planning or urban design - to understand and recognise that this is what they want; that this is the way to connect to their values.

2. What do I know (as a practitioner) and how do I bring that out into the mainstream?

Susanka, argues that everyone is searching for a sense of home. Emerging from architecture school, she tapped into that need - and

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AuthorAmanda Falconer

I've never really thought about who owns the streets before, I have to admit. Have you? But when you do think about it, we do. In fact, our streets aren't only owned by us, in many places they're also the bulk of our public space. (Chicago's streets represent 23% of land area and 70% of public space.)  And, in places that are becoming more and more dense - something I love - that public space is key; after all, we've traded off the private space to get it. 

So this is the context in which I'm listening to Victor Dover and John Massengale present at CNU 21, who are about to launch a book later in the year, called STREET DESIGN - the secret of great cities and towns. In the book - and here - they're challenging the notion of the complete street, arguing that complete doesn't mean it's

For many people in Australia, the term 'the new urbanism' is something of a dirty phrase. I'm not sure if it's because it conjures images of traditional architecture or something far deeper. However, perhaps the term proposed by keynote speaker Andres Duany, himself one of the founders of the new urbanism, may appeal more.

I'm sitting at the Congress of New Urbanism at the end of the 2013 Great Places tour with client RobertsDay. In a long presentation containing several complex arguments that I'll make no attempt to summarise, Duany pitched the ingredients of

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AuthorAmanda Falconer

I'm listening to journalist and author Richard Louv open the Congress for New Urbanism conference in Salt Lake City, and I've had a mini-aha moment. To understand this, you need to know that I'm in the communications business: a marketer, working with the owners and general managers of medium sized businesses to tell their true brand stories. (Yes, we practice true story marketing because marketing that's bullshit is broken.)

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AuthorAmanda Falconer

I'm listening to Jeff Speck (@jeffspeckAICP) at the Congress for New Urbanism today, which is a lot of Jeff really, having just had lunch at his house earlier in the week with the 2103 Great Places Tour hosted by client RobertsDay, and having just read - and blogged about - his book.

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AuthorAmanda Falconer

Firstly, if you come to a session called "The architecture of affordability", you might be forgiven for thinking that it will be about that: the architecture. But what I walked away with - reaffirmed from a previous tour of affordable housing projects here in the US in 2006 - is that the architecture they're really referring to is a financial one. It's about the maths.

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AuthorAmanda Falconer