School of Architecture studios receive top honors at CNU Charter Awards

Author: Kara Kelly

Skaneateles, N.Y.

The University of Notre Dame School of Architecture has received top honors from the 11th annual Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) Charter Awards.

In the academic competition, Professor Philip Bess’ urban-design studio “Strategies for Sustainable Skaneateles” in central New York State received the grand prize. The team of six graduate students will receive $1,000 from The Oram Foundation Inc./Fund for the Environment and Urban Life.

Cindy Michel, a 2010 School of Architecture graduate, received the Academic Award for her graduate thesis project “From Settlement to City: A Masterplan for Cap-Haitien, Haiti,” a case study examining urban-design problems in dense, newly built settlements in developing countries.

The awards will be presented at a ceremony June 2 at the 19th annual Congress for the New Urbanism in Madison, Wis. The CNU is the leading organization promoting walkable, mixed-use neighborhood development, sustainable communities and healthier living conditions. For nearly 20 years, CNU members have used the principles in its charter to promote the hallmarks of New Urbanism, including: livable streets arranged in compact, walkable blocks; a range of housing choices to serve people of diverse ages and income levels; Schools, stores and other nearby destinations reachable by walking, bicycling or transit service; an affirming, human-scaled public realm where appropriately designed buildings define and enliven streets and other public spaces.

For more information about the 2011 Charter Awards and to view images of the award-winning projects, visit