This morning I embarked with three dozen volunteers to plant 10 trees in Pigeon Town, a neighborhood in western New Orleans. The group was completing an eight-hour training on urban greening initiatives, learning everything from pruning methods to how to work with municipalities to find funding for beautification projects—which have been proven to improve everything from real estate values to crime statistics.
The training did not, however, cover what we were supposed to do when we heard gunshots ring out. That we had to improvise.
Since 2004, the Next Generation of New Urbanists (NextGen) has welcomed new ideas and new faces into the Congress for the New Urbanism. Comprised of a core group of leaders, generally between ages 25 and 40, the NextGen focuses on pushing the principles of new urbanism, as defined in the Charter, forward.