E-alert 28: Pattern Book awarded CNU's 2007 Charter Award  

Louisiana Speaks Administration

Louisiana Speaks Pattern Book awarded Congress for New Urbanism's 2007 Charter Award

The Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) announced the Louisiana Speaks Pattern Book as a recipient of its 2007 Charter Award, the annual prize honoring projects around the world that promote walkable, neighborhood development as an alternative to urban sprawl.

A seven member jury chose the Pattern Book as one of 20 winning professional submissions and 5 student/faculty submissions from 125 entries last month.

Created as a resource for Louisianians rebuilding in the wake of the 2005 hurricane season, the Pattern Book contains patterns and techniques for building housing, neighborhoods, and towns while remaining true to the values and traditions of the people of Louisiana. It also provides guidance on incorporating green building, hazard-resistant design, and improved construction techniques into the built landscape.

CNU reports that "[T]he project has given many pride and hope to rebuild in ways that uphold local tradition."

Urban Design Associates (UDA) created the Pattern Book for Louisiana Speaks and the project was funded by the Louisiana Recovery Authority Support Foundation. 100,000 Pattern Books have been printed, and to date, over 65,000 books have been distributed. The Center for Planning Excellence (CPEX), which is in charge of the book's distribution, reports that requests have come from places as far as away as Japan and Australia. Pattern books were initially distributed at Lowe's, Stine Lumber Stores and other locally owned building supply stores across South Louisiana. The Pattern Book is available for download at www.louisianaspeaks.org.

This year's awards ceremony will be held on May 18, 2007, in conjunction with the fifteenth Congress for New Urbanism in Philadelphia. On hand to accept the award will be: Ray Gindroz, FAIA, Chairman of UDA; Elizabeth "Boo" Thomas, ASLA, President and CEO of Center for Planning Excellence; and Suzanne Turner, FASLA, who contributed to the Pattern Book's Landscape section. Mr. Gindroz, Ms. Thomas, and Ms. Turner will also serve on a panel during this year's Congress for New Urbanism, which will be held May 17-20, 2007. For a full schedule of this year's Congress, visit www.cnu.org.

The projects selected for this year's Charter Awards range in purpose, from helping to renew the hurricane-damaged Gulf Coast, repairing damage brought by previous generations of development or disinvestment, supplying high-quality affordable housing, and reducing the environmental impact of growth and development. "These projects exhibit excellence and often a strong sense of purpose," says jury chair Stefanos Polyzoides, a CNU co-founder and principal of Moule Polyzoides Architects and Urbanists in Pasadena, CA. "They make a difference in the world."

Winning entries extend from Camden, NJ to Antigua, Guatemala, with the southern United States winning 14 of the 25 awards.

Jury members for the 2007 Charter Award included: Stefanos Polyzoides, AIA, jury chair, (Moule & Polyzoides Architects & Urbanists); Hillary Brown, AIA, (New Civic Works); Rick Cole (City of San Buenaventura); Andres Duany, FAIA (Duany Plater-Zyberk); Vince Graham, (I'On Group); Kjell Forshed (Brunnberg & Forshed); Susan Van Atta, ASLA, (Van Atta Associates).

Louisiana Speaks is a long-term planning initiative of the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) that is supported with private funds provided through the LRA Support Foundation. The Center for Planning Excellence (CPEX), created to provide information on best practices for planning and urban design to residents, community organizations, developers and elected officials in Louisiana, provides support and management for the Louisiana Speaks initiative. CPEX also manages distribution of the Pattern Book.

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Louisiana Speaks is a long-term planning initiative of the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) that is supported with private funds provided through the LRA Support Foundation. In the wake of the destruction caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the Louisiana Speaks initiative works toward the development of a sustainable, long-term vision for South Louisiana. This work combines the efforts of local, state and federal partners along with many experts, stakeholders and citizens into a comprehensive approach that will guide recovery and growth over the next 50 years.
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