The New Urban Guild will be presenting a number of ideas at CNU 18 in Atlanta May 20-22 in conjunction with the Open Source Congress. Follow #NUGatCNU on Twitter for times and subjects of the sessions. One issue certain to be dealt with is the imbalance of urbanism and architecture in CNU discussions. Architecture is the primary building-block of urbanism, yet some insist that the specifics of the architecture are inconsequential to urbanism. This goes all the way back to those four words in the Charter that “...this issue transcends style,” which has been taken ever since by some to advocate that the specifics of the architecture don’t matter.
But is this really true? The emergence of sustainability over the past several years as a front-burner issue to many Americans opens a train of thought that casts this assumption into question. New Urbanists have long advocated for sustainable places, and that’s clearly an important part of the equation. But sustainable places with unsustainable buildings aren’t any better than sustainable buildings in unsustainable places. The Original Green, an initiative of the Guild Foundation, has from the beginning advocated that sustainable places and sustainable buildings are equally important. And truly sustainable buildings participate heavily in their own conditioning instead of counting on the machines to do all the work... so the specific character of the building actually does matter.
In the interest of this, the New Urban Guild will continue to explore ways that architecture can do its part in the interest of sustainability... including working to open a few eyes within the ranks of our friends and colleagues within the Congress for the New Urbanism. #NUGatCNU.