Thanks for your interest! Below are the detailed descriptions of all Urban3 events at CNU27. We look forward to meeting you!

You can further familiarize yourself with our team members here.



CORE: Economic Development, Markets, and Growing a Tax Base

Henry Clay, Grand Ballroom
10:45AM - 12:00PM

New housing can be a powerful economic development tool, but it must be the right housing, in the right form, in the right place. Understanding the preferences and financial capabilities of the potential market is the key to getting housing right. Integral to growing a tax base is making sure development, including housing, is aligned with infrastructure investments and obligations. “Doing the math,” or Geoaccounting, of development patterns is a powerful tool to illuminate the economic impacts of sprawl. Visualizations of economic data can change behavior, reroute thought processes, and provoke better community decision making.

Speakers: Joe Minicozzi & Laurie Volk




Seelbach, Grand Ballroom

Kick off the Local Government Track at CNU 27 by learning how CNU is fostering stronger relationships with local governments. Municipal employees and elected officials will have the opportunity to meet and connect at this special breakfast just for them, led by the CNU Local Government Task Force and sponsored by Urban3. Updates will focus on work being done to engage and support local governments, followed by open discussion on further opportunities for growth and outreach. Led by CNU Local Government Task Force.


SESSION: Elected Women and Community Design

Seelbach, Grand Ballroom
9:00AM - 10:15AM

Speakers: Erica Brown, Jill Dabbs ,Michele Martinez & Cate Ryba

Women must have a seat at the table when policy decisions that shape how our communities are made. Our communities are designed by public policy, which is directly influenced by elected officials. Yet among U.S. cities with populations of over 30,000, only 20 percent of mayors are women, and often city and county councils lack adequate representation by women. The ranks of women in public office must grow if we are to effectively represent over half the population when crafting community, design-focused public policies. In this moderated conversation, four women will give their individual perspectives on how they approached community design as elected officials. Each will share her unique view on running for office and the process of championing and passing policies to influence the design of her community.


SESSION: Suburban Retrofit: Leander's Northline Project

Embassy Suites, Edison I
2:15PM - 3:30PM

Speakers: Joe Minicozzi, Michal Swartz, Alex Tynberg

Leander, Texas started as a small railroad town of a few hundred people. In the last 20 years, small Texas towns like Leander have been encroached on by fast suburban growth. Many of these towns have been able to maintain their small-town feel because of downtown centers, but Leander--a former railroad town--never had such a visible public realm. Now the City Council has cleared the path for major investment in transit-oriented development and a signature urban civic space near The Leander Station, the city’s connection to Austin via the MetroRail. This session explores the possibilities for Northline, a recently proposed mixed-use project in the heart of the City of Leander’s new Transit-Oriented Development District that will help the City and its citizens realize their vision for a new downtown center. Part of the secret to unlocking this investment was a revenue projection of $700 million over a 20-year period from the development. Come learn how revenue projections and similar tools can clear the way for suburban retrofit.



MEMBER-LED: Labels, Bias, and Human Psychology: The Urbanist Call to Unlearn and Reset

Embassy Suites, Edison III
12:30PM - 1:45PM

Speakers: Veronica Eastell & Joshua McCarty

New urbanists advocate for humanism, yet we too often forget the human dynamics in our planning and design processes. As professionals, we fall into echo chambers and blame those for whom we are designing for not understanding: framing residents as NIMBYs, seeing demographic data instead of communities, or stereotyping our fellow urban practitioners. Mental shortcuts like these undermine our best intentions. Without continually checking our biases and seeking to understand each other, can we truly build places for authentic human connection, wellbeing, and community? In this member-led conversation, two urbanists with differing backgrounds highlight the role of vulnerability in community engagement and the need to unlearn habits that hinder our ability to fully serve the society for which we design. Let’s lift the rose colored glasses together; share and learn the simple basis of storytelling techniques and narrative psychology to connect our same designs in a different way, to achieve truly human design.


We are excited and honored to be a recipient of a CNU Merit Award in the Emerging Projects category for our Geoaccounting work.

Our goal has always been to show how cities perform better financially when they invest their dollars in walkable, mixed-use development patterns. We embody the principles of the Charter of the New Urbanism, and use Geoaccounting and data-driven storytelling to show communities how embracing these principles is both a fiscally and socially sustainable choice. 


Muhammad Ali Center,
View Pointe Hall

Reception 5:00PM - 6:30PM

Ceremony 6:30 - 8:00PM