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2023 Annual Meeting
2023 Annual Meeting
May 9, 2023   6:00 pm EDT
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The keynote speaker for CNU-DC's 2023 Annual Meeting was Stewart Schwartz from the Coalition for Smarter Growth.


The Coalition for Smarter Growth (CSG) received the ULI Washington Changemaker Award last year for their success in advocating for transit-oriented communities. Stewart Schwartz updated the CNU-DC on CSG's advocacy for walkable, mixed-use, transit-oriented development (TOD) at the region's Metro stations and high capacity bus corridors. He highlighted examples of our region's TOD, noting where transit-oriented density has been done well and not done well, with particular focus on the quality of the public realm, walkability, and form.


Participants shared their own reactions to our region's progress with TOD and we had a discussion of ideas for how we can better legislate and regulate quality urban environments.

For the full recording of the discussion, please use this link:


2022 Annual Meeting
2022 Annual Meeting
March 1, 2022   6:30 pm EDT

Mr. Aulestia is a Partner at Torti Gallas and Partners with over 27 years of experience and leads the Region and Town Planning Studio.  He has led numerous planning and urban design efforts throughout the United States and abroad. As a design leader, Mr. Aulestia crafts compelling plans that create a unique sense of place, while balancing the realities of development economics and construction economics, to create visionary, yet realizable, designs. He also has significant experience in community facilitation and the charrette process.


Mr. Aulestia’s work focuses on both Urban Planning (Corridor Plans, Neighborhood Plans, Downtown Plans, and Form-Based Codes), as well as private sector development.  His Urban Design expertise includes Transit Oriented Development, Mixed-Use, Innovation Districts, Healthy Communities, Revitalization, Form-Based Codes, and Place-Making.  National Awards include the Driehaus Form Based Code Award (Wyandanch, NY), CNU Charter Awards (Wyandanch, NY, Historic Walter Reed Urban Design and Design Guidelines, DC), CNU Merit Award (South Bend North-East Corridors, IN), and AIA PIA Award (Belmont Heights, Tampa). 


Mr. Aulestia led the development of the Community Health Report Card, which is a comparative case study tool that projects the health benefits and reductions in chronic disease based on a community’s physical design. He also developed the H.O.D. Model (Hospital Oriented Development) that seeks to leverage one of the largest sectors of our economy into an economic development engine, a dynamic and resilient real estate model, an ecologically sound community, and a health promoting environment. 

Join CNU-DC and Erik J. Aulestia at our 2022 annual meeting.

Previous Conversations
David M. Schwarz Architects and the Waycroft Building
June 3, 2021   12pm EDT

Michael C. Swartz is a Principal with David M. Schwarz Architects (DMSAS). He has been with the firm for over 35 years and focuses on much of the firm’s planning and mixed-use work along with civic and institutional projects. Some of his notable planning projects include master planning for downtown Fort Worth, Southlake Town Square, Duke Central Campus masterplan, West Village in Dallas and Alpharetta, Georgia’s City Center masterplan. Mr. Swartz’s completed building projects include: Yale University Class of 1954 Environmental Science Center, the Tarrant County Family Law Center in Fort Worth, TX, Ed Smith Stadium and Spring Training Complex in Sarasota, FL (for the Baltimore Orioles), Alpharetta City Hall, The Waycroft in Arlington, VA, and The Woodley and 13|U apartment buildings in Washington, DC. His professional memberships include The Congress for New Urbanism, the Urban Land Institute, and American Institute of Architects. Mr. Swartz is also a LEED accredited professional. On numerous occasions he has been a presenter and panel participant for the Urban Land Institute’s Mixed-Use conferences. Mr. Swartz volunteers as a mentor for ULI’s Young Leaders Group and has served as a visiting critic at the University of Maryland and the University of Miami and a design studio instructor at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. He received his Bachelor of Architecture from Carnegie Mellon University.

Join CNU-DC and the design team at David M. Schwarz Architects to discuss the design of the mixed-use Waycroft Building in Arlington, VA.

Register in advance for this webinar:

Three Planning Directors and the DC/Baltimore Region
March 16, 2021   7pm EDT

Chris Ryer began working in community development over 30 years ago as an intern at the Baltimore Planning Department.  After ten years as a community planner with the Department, he moved to the non-profit sector where he worked for the Trust for Public Lands and a community based organization in southwest Baltimore.  In 2002 he returned to the Baltimore Planning Department where he served as Chief of Comprehensive Planning and Deputy Director.  After a short period at the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, he served as the Director of the Southeast Community Development Corporation for over ten years before returning to the Planning Department as Director in 2019. 


Since July 2013, Gwen Wright has been the Director of the Montgomery County Planning Department of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. In this role, Ms. Wright oversees a wide range of projects that aim to improve the quality of life in Montgomery County by conserving and enhancing the natural and built environment. Montgomery County is one of the largest jurisdictions in Maryland with over 1 million residents and has a key role in the dynamic Washington D.C. metropolitan growth area. Ms. Wright also worked for the Montgomery County Planning Department from 1987 to 2008. During this period, she served as the Chief of Countywide Planning, including supervising the Environmental Planning, Transportation Planning and Historic Preservation Sections, as well as serving as Acting Planning Director.

How can the planning and design of towns, cities, and communities of every shape and size meet the emerging imperatives of our times, such as climate change, pandemics and social justice?  How can public planning agencies adapt to these and other challenges in the short and long term?

Join CNU-DC in a panel discussion between public planning leaders Gwen Wright of Montgomery County, Chris Ryer of Baltimore, and Andrew Trueblood of DC. Our discussion will probe these challenges and hear what each of these leaders and their respective agencies are doing to make our communities safer, fairer and more resilient.


Andrew has served as the Director of the DC Office of Planning (OP) since November 2018. During this tenure, Andrew has prioritized agency efforts around housing and equity. He shepherded the update of the Comprehensive Plan with a focus on updates around housing, equity, resilience, public facilities and COVID-19 recovery. Prior to joining OP, Andrew was the Chief of Staff at DC’s Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED). Throughout his time at DMPED, he worked to support real estate and business development, improve the agency’s data and analysis capacity and to create open and accessible data and analysis, especially through the creation of the Economic Intelligence program.

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