We're excited to invite you back to this year’s Urbanism Summit, CNU NE’s premier event dedicated to building a better New England. This year features a full slate of featured regional and national speakers who will share their expertise on this year's theme -  CITY LEARNING: How Our Cities and Towns Learn From Each Other.

From professionals in architecture, design, urban planning, and law to leaders in government, academics, and engineering, this year’s Urbanism Summit draws hundreds of urbanism advocates like you to start a dialogue that will engage and challenge all of us to find unique solutions to build a better New England.

This year’s Urbanism Summit will be held at District Hall Boston on Friday, March 30th. With learning and collaboration across cities as the central theme, the Summit will focus on a wide array of important issues within transportation, manufacturing, and development. CNU NE is thrilled to have a notable lineup of panelists who will provide the necessary context to these issues and guide us to find the unique solutions New England deserves.

CNU NE is excited to bring urbanists from across New England together to learn from each other.  The 2018 Urbanism Summit aims to start a dialogue that can change our cities for the better. Every voice matters and we hope to hear your voice too.

We can't wait to see you there!




New England cities and towns have a lot in common - and a lot to learn from one another.  For the 2018 Urbanism Summit, CNU-NE will bring together hundreds of urbanists to examine the common challenges and unique solutions to building better places across New England.


We are currently looking for volunteers for audio-visual and day-of tasks either on a half-day or full-day basis. Volunteers are offered a guest pass available on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you are interested, please email us at




9:00- 9:50

Welcome & Opening Plenary

Lessons from Hartford: Bold Zoning + Sustainability Planning in a Post-Industrial City

Once the richest city in the country, Hartford has faced challenges that require new strategies for catalyzing economic development. This presentation will describe recent zoning reforms that aimed to modernize an outdated code, dramatically reduce administrative burdens, and place Hartford at the forefront of local environmental stewardship, featuring:

Sara C. Bronin I  Professor / Chair, UCONN School of Law

9:50 - 10:20


10:20 - 11:40



The Future of Transportation

Sponsored by Baywater Properties

Forecasting how New England will travel tomorrow, featuring:

Allentza Michel |  Founder, Powerful Pathways and Fairmount Indigo Network Coordinator

Jeff Rosenblum |  PhD Candidate, MIT Department of Urban Studies & Planning and Co-Founder LivableStreets Alliance

Noah S. Berger |  Deputy Administrator for Policy, Planning & Innovation, Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority





Possibilities for Public Private Partnership

Sponsored by Trinity Property Management

Imagining better structures for public / private partnerships in New England cities and towns, featuring:

Andrea Comer  |  Vice President of Workforce Strategies, Connecticut Business and Industry Association

David Genovese |  Founder, Baywater Properties

Tim Cummings |  Director of Economic Development, City of Nashua, NH

11:50 - 1:10



How Post-Industrial Cities Bounce Back

Sponsored by Principle Group

Considering walkable brownfields and the missing middle for industrial districts, featuring:

James A. Diossa  |  Mayor, City of Central Falls, RI 

Marcos Marrero |  Director of Planning, City of Holyoke, MA

Sharon Conard-Wells | Executive Director, West Elmwood Housing Development Corporation



Data Cities

Sponsored by Union Studio Architecture

Showing how data can inform planning, featuring:

Karin Brandt  |  CEO & Founder, coUrbanize

Bevan WeissmanDan Sternof Beyer |  Co - Founders , New American Public Art

Holly St. Clair |  Chief Data Officer and Chief Digital Officer,  Massachusetts Executive Office of Technology Services and Security

1:10 - 2:10

Lunch in the Neighborhood

2:10 - 3:30



Social Justice Small Developer

Sponsored by Stevens & Associates, P.C.

Developing for a cause, featuring:

Bert Crenca  |  Founder, AS220

Elizabeth Christoforetti |  Co-Founder and Principal, Supernormal

Margaret DeVos  |  Executive Director, Southside Community Land Trust



Manufacturing Cities

Sponsored by Horsley Witten Group

Building good urbanism through modern manufacturing environments, tech-education, and workforce development, featuring:

Frank Gulluni  |  Manufacturing Technology Center Director, Asnuntuck Community College

Jay Williams  |  President, Hartford Foundation and Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development

Amy Grzybowski  |  Director,  Westerly Education Center



4:00 - 5:30 

Closing Plenary

Visionary Urbanism

Dan Wood I  Co-Founder, WORKac

Nigel Jacob I  Co-Founder, Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics




District Hall is located at 75 Northern Avenue, Boston, MA 02210

Public Transportation

take the SL1/SL2 from South Station to Courthouse Station

Driving & Parking

Pilgrim Parking – One Marina Park Drive Garage, One Marina Park Drive, Boston, MA 02210

LAZ Parking – Watermark Seaport, 85 Seaport Boulevard, Boston, MA 02210

One Seaport Parking Garage – Entrance located on Sleeper Street across from the Envoy Hotel, 1 Seaport Blvd, Boston, MA 02210


District Hall has a number of bike racks available for guest use by the Seaport Boulevard entrance. In addition, the building is located right next to the Seaport Square station on the Hubway bikeshare network.

Handicap Accessibility

District Hall is an ADA compliant, single-story building. It has two building entrances. The Northern Avenue entrance has 3 stairs leading to the front door, as well as a ramp, and the Seaport Boulevard entrance has wide, street-level double doors.




We are happy to provide a complimentary light breakfast with coffee and tea for all Urbanism Summit attendees and midday refreshments. For lunch, we encourage you to visit one of the many local restaurants that are no more than a 6 minute walk from District Hall. Here's a short list of restaurants for your convenience:

The Barking Crab - 88 Sleeper St, Boston, MA 02210

The Flour Bakery - 12 Farnsworth St, Boston, MA 02110

The Daily Catch - 2 Northern Ave, Boston, MA 02210

Gather - 75 Northern Ave, Boston, MA 02210





Our focus for the 2016 Urbanism Summit was on getting stuff done — especially small projects. In the time it takes a big project to attract the right investors and earn the needed approvals, a small project can get built and can start to work its magic, bringing new life to its neighborhood and accelerating the pace of reinvestment and revitalization.



The 2014 Urbanism Summit worked to build more resilient, livable neighborhoods throughout New England. The Summit aimed to prepare attendees to take the next steps in creating better neighborhoods in their communities by building a tool kit for: engaging participants through civic engagement, shaping the physical neighborhood, and changing processes for how projects are planned and built.



The 2011 Urbanism Summit aimed to inspire and connect professionals, public servants, academics and citizens, to create a larger Urbanism campaign. New England has the physical framework to become a model for sustainable urbanism at every scale. Healthy and complete town centers are one of the most comprehensive solutions to climate change. Building on this assumption, Summit speakers addressed the critical challenges facing our towns.