As I’m sitting to write this, we are one week away from the activities of the Congress of New Urbanism 22 in Buffalo, NY. Activities begin with tours, and an opening night networking event and end up with one more closing networking event. As you can tell, a lot of this conference is networking and learning the place that has been chosen for the Congress. If you are expecting a conference, there’s plenty of that for you here too, especially if you really need to get professional credits. In the meantime check out my list of things you can’t miss:
Next Gen’s Full Slate of Activities
NextGen is the set of events and the fellowship that brought me into the fold of CNU in 2011 and through it I’ve gained so much knowledge and so many good friends. And for the record, NextGen is not just about age, but it’s all about ideas and spirit. If you are in the area or can get a ticket or get on the road, please come out and join us at any of these events. ALL OF THEM ARE FREE. You’ll even get to hear Andres Duany, the father of CNU, speak at one of the Thursday night events. In addition, I may either debate or present at Friday night’s Pecha Kucha/Debate night at the Lafayette Hotel.
As I mentioned in the previous post, I plan on spending the times I’m not covering the presentations at the convention hall walking around Buffalo, recording stories and figuring out what makes it tick as a city. Isn’t that what this movement is about, making and enjoying the city? If you’d like some assistance with your guided tour, there are several that will depart from the convention hall starting on Monday and going through Sunday. I may actually slip onto the Buffalo Briskly tour myself.
The Random Argument in the Hallway or After the Session
At the 2012 Congress I noticed that some of the “rockstars” of the movement/congress were not at the main sessions, but instead piled up around one of the exhibit booths having a very vigorous conversation. It looked intense and I walked away, even though I would have loved to jump in. Don’t do that. As Chuck Marohn (rockstar in his own right) has mentioned in his CNU Rules, don’t walk away from something that’s probably far more open and a bit more awesome than it appears on the outside. Plus, we are all people. Nerdy people, with a love of good places.
Open Source Congress
If you have a little less courage, but still a lot of spunk, the Open Source Congress is ready and waiting for you to announce your topic and have a group of eager people to talk about it. The best way to get people to come to your talk is to do it on the day of the open source kickoff. Don’t be the lone sucker (me) that puts together a sign and then has no one to talk about it with you on Saturday afternoon. Plus, I won’t be there this year on Saturday afternoon myself.
Sharpen your skills by popping by one of these classes. I attended the photography one in 2012 and I wish I could do it again. I only remember how to avoid keystoning a building and that’s not nearly enough for good architectural photography.
The Plenaries and the Charter Awards
Because excellence is excellence. See who’s knocking it out of the park with their urban designs on Thursday at 5p.m. and throughout the conference get to know who the organizers have deemed so worthy to address the entire Congress. After pouring through two books on Celebration,FL, I’m looking forward to hearing from Robert Stern at the Friday morning plenary.
The entire schedule, including all tours, 202 courses, and breakout sessions can be found here. Be sure to register with the site and you can create your own calendar of events, which you can then download onto your phone as both an Android and iPhone app.
Finally, don’t miss me! Follow me on Twitter to find out where I’m going throughout the Congress week.