Fourth National Conference on New Urbanism

February 1, 2001

ANN ARBOR—The University of Michigan’s A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning will host the Fourth National Symposium on New Urbanism on Feb. 8-10. Subtitled “Regional, Environmental, Social, and Architectural Justice,” the symposium continues the provocative series of conferences at Harvard University and the University of California at Berkeley.

More than 30 leading advocates and critics of New Urbanism from throughout the country will speak and serve on panels. They include:

Peter Calthorpe, author of best-selling “The Next American Metropolis” and principal in Calthorpe Associates, Berkeley, Calif.

•Andres Duany, principal in Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company (Charlotte, Miami, and Washington offices) that designed the proposed Newmarket development in Pittsfield Township near Ann Arbor. Duany and Calthorpe are founders of the Congress for the New Urbanism.

Alex Krieger, chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design at Harvard University.

Anne Spirn, author of “The Language of Landscape,” former chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning, University of Pennsylvania, and currently on the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Michael Sorkin, head of the Urban Design Program at City College of New York, noted author, and frequent contributor to architecture periodicals.

The event opens with a reception and panel Feb. 8 evening at the Rackham Building followed by sessions at the Art and Architecture Building on North Campus on Feb. 9 and the Rackham Building on Feb. 10.

Panels will focus on the topics of environmentalism, regionalism, social equity, and architectural design. These issues have generated controversy both inside and outside the New Urbanism movement and throughout contemporary architectural and planning practice.

“This is a critical moment in the history of the American city, as it is challenged by depopulation, deindustrialization, and suburban sprawl,” said Douglas S. Kelbaugh, dean of the U-M Taubman College and professor of architecture and urban planning. “We’re bringing together some of the deepest thinker, brightest minds, and top practitioners in the field to speak on these issues. They will examine the New Urbanism as it intersects with modernist urbanism.”

The New Urbanism seeks to revitalize urban centers, establish a sense of community and coherence to existing neighborhoods and in new developments, as well as conserve natural environments. “It’s about the contemporary lifestyle and how to design and make community,” said Kelbaugh, one of the movement’s pioneers.

Participants will discuss problems, such as racial/economic segregation, and proposed solutions that divide Detroit and other metropolitan areas, particularly in the Midwest and on the East Coast. Each session includes time for questions and comments from the audience.

U-M faculty participating in the symposium include: Dean Kelbaugh, Scott Campbell, assistant professor of urban planning, Robert Fishman, professor of architecture, David Scobey, associate professor of architecture and director of the U-M Arts of Citizenship Program, Robert Levit, assistant professor of architecture, and Joan Nassauer, professor of landscape architecture.

The event is free and open to all faculty, students, and the general public. Check for agenda details, local accommodations, and directions on the Web at: or call (734) 764-1300.

The symposium is sponsored by the U-M Office of the Vice President for Research, U-M Office of the President, Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU), and U-M Erb Environmental Management Institute.

A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban PlanningPeter CalthorpeprincipalAlex KriegerAnne SpirnMichael SorkinDouglas S. Kelbaugh