Canons for Sustainable Architecture and Urbanism on line at

Elizabeth Moule, Stefanos Polyzoides and I
presented a document at the Green Council that was intended to serve
as a lesser companion to the Charter in the area of green urbanism and
architecture. It was intended to build upon the base that the Charter
provides for more sustainable cities, towns and neighbourhoods,
through location, mixed income and mixed use. form and urban design,
but provide a further set of operating principles related to the
environmental challenge. The authors of the Canons saw them as a
supplement to the Charter, rather than an amendment, and viewed them
as a start at a long lived but continuously improving set of general
rules for operationalizing green design in our practices as urbanists.
We view the Charter as a vital funding document which has already
defined the new urbanism as committed to sustainability and green
design, and personally saw the need only for more detailed

The Green Council adopted them for refinement along with other actions
including the convening of a group to draft amendments to the Charter.

At its winter meeting the CNU Board reviewed the Canons, as amended
after the Green Council, suggested further refinements, and adopted
them for purposes of operational testing, use by members and
refinement, to be updated in a year. The action was taken as part of a
package of sustainability actions which will all be announced at the
Congress, intended both to demonstrate that new urbanism is inherently
a sustainability solution but also to set ambitious targets for the
future. These initiatives join LEED-ND, already out for such a pilot

In the spirit of the Charter, which allowed people to individually
sign on, the Canons for Sustainable Architecture and Urbanism have
been posted at, and new urbanists wishing to
sign on can join Liz, Stefanos and myself by sending a note to

People wishing to comment further can do so at any time, but we are
entering a period of refinement and testing, and will collect comments
along with case studies, research and actual war stories from the
field for a refinement this time next year.


Adding Detail to the Charter's Commitment to Sustainability

The Charter of the New Urbanism is a concise and holistic presentation of the principles of sustainable community making, but this new document reminds urbanists in a new way that there are a number of specific steps to take in carrying out the Charter's commitment to sustainability. These are operational principles for designing places as if the future of the planet depends on them -- and it does.

Clarity in the Framework

As professionals, we are busily designing and we forget to document the ideas that are holistic in our practices. These Canons are needed to solidify a position and define the term “Sustainable Urbanism.” These are important principles that need to be elaborated and expanded in regions and communities across the country. These are the details that we all need to explore and discuss. This is an excellent opportunity for the CNU to be the leaders in the Sustainable Urbanism.

Edward W. Erfurt IV

Glatting Jackson Kercher Anglin, Inc.
120 N. Orange Ave
Orlando, Florida 32801
407.843.6552ph 407-839-1789fx

Green Council Report now available

CNU members can purchase copies of the Green Council Report for a mere $4.95 at the CNU Store.


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