The idea of hosting the Congress for the New Urbanism began as a discussion between David Tomes and Patrick Piuma during CNU 19 in Madison, Wisconsin in 2011. At that time the daunting amount of work and organization required to host a CNU seemed out of reach. Fast-forward to 2017, all the pieces began to fall into place for a host proposal and the Urban Design Studio worked with Louisville Metro, and fellow local urbanists, lead by David Tomes and Barry Alberts to pitch Louisville as a future host city at CNU headquarters in Washington DC in 2017.
Following our successful bid to host, we worked with CNU to develop a week of great dialog, information exchange and action around how we create a better city. This began with the local host committee attending CNU25 in Seattle in 2017 to get familiar with the many different types of events and sessions we would need to prepare for.
One of the interesting things we learned since winning the bid to host CNU was that many of the thousands of members were very unfamiliar with Louisville, not knowing what to expect. As the next Congress approached, we needed to develop a strategy to tell the story of Louisville and really sell the city to the New Urbanists during our invitation session during the main event at CNU26 in Savannah, Georgia, where we would meeting with the local host team and really dive deep into the nuts and bolts of hosting a congress, learning from Savannah's host team efforts. The host team worked with 180 Degrees Production Company to put together a short video to share on stage with the CNU attendees in Savannah.