Congress for New Urbanism Hits New York

CNU New York, the newest chapter of the Congress for the New Urbanism, will hold its first public event on Wednesday April 25th at the Municipal Art Society. The President of the CNU, John Norquist, will speak with Hilary Ballon, the Curator of the much talked-about museum exhibition Robert Moses and the Modern City: the Road to Recreation.

While Mayor of Milwaukee, Norquist tore down an inner-city highway that divided the city and replaced it with a boulevard and mixed-use buildings that knit the city’s fabric back together again. As President of the CNU, he has worked with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development to tear down housing projects built in the 1950s and 1960s and to replace them with mixed-use, mixed income neighborhoods.

Robert Moses and the Modern City reevaluates the career of the great planner and administrator who built many of New York’s highways, housing projects, parks and infrastructure, particularly examining the large-scale projects for which he was both praised and vilified. Near the end of his career, Jane Jacobs famously defeated Moses, but now one hears in New York architectural circles that “Jane Jacobs was wrong, and Robert Moses was right.” Once again there is a call for urban mega-projects.

Moses’s multiple projects to house the middle class in the city are promoted as models. Even his highways like the Cross Bronx Expressway are praised, because they are part of an automobile infrastructure that’s considered important. But Norquist is a consultant for a group in the Bronx that wants to tear down Moses’s Sheridan Expressway and replace it with traditional streets and buildings. The New York debate on the city’s master builder will be enriched by this perspective from the President of this national urban design movement, “the most important phenomenon to emerge in American architecture in the post-Cold War era,” according to the architecture critic of the New York Times.

Wednesday April 25th, 2007 at the Municipal Art Society, 457 Madison Avenue (at 50th Street), New York, NY 10022

Reception at 6 pm; Talks and Q & A from 6:30 – 8:30 pm.

Space is limited. For reservations, please send an e-mail with your name and the number of places desired to [email protected].

Co-Sponsored by the Municipal Art Society and the Institute for Classical Architecture & Classical America

More information at

Posted Under: Event, Talking Heads

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