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Press About NCI

NCI Training Review (PDF) by Susan Cipperly in the APA Pennsylvania Chapter Newsletter (Oct-Nov 2008, #44)

Book Review on The Charrette Handbook
by Rob Steuteville in the New Urban News (New Urban News, September 2006)

Book Review on
The Charrette Handbook by Jon Lebkowsky at

"The ‘New Urbanist’ Company" (PDF)
NCI featured in Worthwhile Magazine
Includes an interview with NCI’s Bill Lennertz. (Worthwhile,
July/August 2005)

"NCI steps up training for sponsors of charrettes"
by Philip Langdon from the September 2004 (New Urban News, September 2004)

Annual Certificate Trainings

NCI Charrette System™ Certificate NCI Charrette Management and Facilitation™ Certificate

Project Consulting and In-house Training

Project Consulting, Training, Technical Assistance and Coaching

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Charrette RFP Template

About the National Charrette institute

The National Charrette Institute (NCI) is a nonprofit educational institution. We help people build community capacity for collaboration to create healthy community plans. We teach professionals and community leaders the art and science of the NCI Charrette System™, a holistic, collaborative planning process that harnesses the talents and energies of all interested parties to create and support a feasible plan. And we advance the fields of community planning and public involvement through research and publications.

Bill Lennertz, Steve Coyle and Aarin Lutzenhiser co-founded NCI in order to create the first professional education venue for the NCI Charrette System™ and other transformative public involvement processes. Bill Lennertz, NCI’s Executive Director, is leading the organization in new research efforts, program development, and teaching methodologies. His experience as manager of more than 150 New Urbanist Charrettes is the foundation of NCI's certificate program curriculum. Aarin Lutzenhiser manages NCI's daily operations and oversees new product creation and NCI certificate program trainings.


Bill Lennertz, AIA, CNU, Executive Director  -NCI Lead Trainer-

Bill Lennertz, NCI Executive DirectorBill Lennertz, AIA, is Executive Director of the National Charrette Institute. Bill is a principal author and lead trainer of the NCI Charrette System™, the first structured approach to design-based collaborative community planning. Since he co-founded NCI in 2001, Bill has trained top staff from various organizations including the US Environmental Protection Agency, US General Services Administration, US Department of Housing and Urban Development, Fannie Mae Foundation, and Departments of Transportation in Oregon, New York, and Arizona, as well as many private planning firms across the country.

First as Director of the Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company (DPZ) Boston office, and then as partner in Lennertz Coyle & Associates, Bill has directed over 150 charrettes. The charrette projects for both public and private clients range from main street revitalizations, town centers and affordable housing, to complete, new neighborhoods and communities. By incorporating the charrette process in a broad range of challenging projects, Bill has encountered virtually every type of political, economic, and design problem that challenges smart growth and he brings this experience to NCI trainings and publications.

Bill co-authored The Charrette Handbook, published by the American Planning Association, is the co-editor and essayist of Towns and Town-Making Principles, a monograph on DPZ, and a contributor to the Charter of the New Urbanism. Bill has taught at various universities including Harvard, where he received his Masters of Architecture in Urban Design and now annually teaches the NCI Charrette System™ certificate course. e-mail Bill

Aarin Lutzenhiser, Program/Operations Director

Aarin Lutzenhiser, NCI Program/Operations DirectorAarin Lutzenhiser, NCI’s Director of Programs and Operations, is responsible for oversight of strategic planning, financial planning, and planning and management of NCI programs and projects. She is a co-author of the NCI Charrette System™ and charrette training curriculum and is closely involved with course preparation and training delivery. Aarin and Bill co-authored The NCI Charrette Handbook, published by the American Planning Association. Aarin also oversees NCI’s operations and research and development efforts for new projects and programs. She is a meeting facilitator and has training in group consensus building and decision-making processes, and works with clients on meeting planning, preparation and set-up.

Prior to co-founding NCI, Aarin worked as the Business Manager for Lennertz Coyle & Associates (LCA), Architects and Town Planners where she managed the firm’s finances, human resources and project management process. She participated in LCA Charrettes, coordinating and advising on technical and production issues and assisting with design production and presentations. Aarin has been involved in New Urbanist planning projects throughout Oregon and public involvement teaching and training programs throughout the country. Aarin received a Bachelor of Arts from Reed College in Portland, Oregon.  e-mail Aarin

Beth Madsen Bradford, Administrative Coordinator

Beth Madsen Bradford, manages NCI training registrations and logistics. She assists in the development and editing of NCI materials and is responsible for the sale and distribution of NCI’s products and publications. Beth is also responsible for membership coordination and database maintenance. Prior to joining NCI, Beth worked extensively as a classical musician, singing with opera companies, symphonies and chamber orchestras throughout the west coast, including Portland Opera and the Oregon Symphony, among others. Beth received a Bachelor of Arts from Linfield College in Oregon, and apprenticed in Des Moines, Iowa and Aspen, Colorado. She lives in Portland with her husband, Tyler, their son, Nate, and an aging Red Heeler, Bear. e-mail Beth

Board of Directors

David Brain, PhD  -NCI Training Faculty-

David Brain studied architecture at the University of Cincinnati before an interest in urban issues led him to a BA in sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in sociology at Harvard University.   He taught at Harvard and Indiana University before joining the faculty at New College of Florida.  As a part of his research on the connections between place-making, community-building, and civic engagement, he has observed over two dozen charrettes.  His experience has included consulting on master planning and public process, directing neighborhood-oriented action research projects that engage students in collaboration with local community groups, contributing to educational programs for citizens and practitioners, and lecturing internationally on urban design and planning.  He is on the board of directors of the Seaside Institute and the Florida House Institute for Sustainable Development.  He is also a partner in High Cove, a village in the mountains of western North Carolina designed as an experiment in ecologically responsible development practices.   

Steve Coyle, AIA  -NCI Training Faculty-

Steve Coyle, AIA, CNU, founding partner of LCA Town Planning & Architecture, currently with Town-Green, has over 30 years of experience as an architect, town planner, urban designer, and public facilitator in a wide range of public and private projects around the nation.  His specialty is planning new communities and neighborhoods, and redeveloping older public and private cities, districts, corridors, and blocks. As former partners at Lennertz, Coyle and Associates, Steve Coyle and Bill Lennertz, along with their associates and consultants, created the plans for Fairview Village, the Pleasant Hill BART Station, Astoria’s Mill Pond, Oregon’s first “brownfield” neighborhood redevelopment, and many other innovative projects.

Donna Gerber

Donna Gerber is recently retired as the Director of Government
Relations for the California Nurses Association, representing 100,000
Registered Nurses and their advocacy for quality patient care. She
has a diverse background which includes being an advocate for nurses
as well as being an elected County Supervisor and State Assembly
Democratic candidate.

First elected to the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors in 1996
and re-elected in 2000, Donna Gerber has distinguished herself as one of the most effective leaders in the Bay Area on diverse issues ranging from smart growth to quality health care. She is also a Board Member of Greenbelt Alliance, an organization that promotes mixed use, urban development within urban limit lines in the greater San Francisco Bay Area through community organizing and political advocacy. Sh now lives in San Francisco and travels annually to London and other European cities.

Marcy McInelly, AIA  -NCI Training Faculty-

Marcy McInelly, AIA; Founder, Urbsworks; SERA Architecture and Urban Design. Marcy McInelly has practiced architecture and urban design for almost 25 years in New York City and Portland, Oregon. In 1995, she founded Urbsworks, a Portland-based firm, and redirected her expertise to the often-neglected space between buildings. Urbsworks' portfolio consists of town plans, infill and redevelopment strategies, zoning and form-base codes, public involvement, and the integration of transit and transportation facilities into communities.

Marcy served as an appointed member of the Portland Planning Commission from 1997 until May of 2002 and she is a founding member of the Portland metropolitan region Coalition for a Livable Future, a network of 60 non-profit and community-based organizations working together for regional growth management. She is a graduate of the University of Oregon's School of Architecture and Allied Arts. Marcy serves as co-chair of CNU's Transportation Task Force.

Joseph R. Molinaro, AICP

Joseph R. Molinaro is the Manager of Smart Growth Programs for the National Association of REALTORS® in Washington, DC.  In this capacity, he manages NAR’s Smart Growth and Housing Opportunity programs, which include REALTOR® training, technical assistance on land use regulation to state and local REALTOR® associations, voter surveys, research, and publication of the On Common Ground magazine. He also provides support to NAR’s Smart Growth and Livable Communities federal legislative agenda.

Prior to joining NAR in 2000, Mr. Molinaro was Director of Land Development Services for the National Association of Home Builders. In this position, he introduced New Urbanism to the educational programs for builders, and organized conferences and tours of New Urbanism projects in several cities. He also was editor of Land Development magazine. Mr. Molinaro holds a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from Virginia Tech and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners.

Ken Snyder

Ken Snyder is Executive Director of PlaceMatters, a non-profit organization working to promote high performance approaches to citizen collaboration, community design and development. He is a nationally recognized expert on a broad range of technical and non-technical tools for community design and decision-making.

Prior to working for PlaceMatters, Mr. Snyder worked for the Orton Family Foundation, heading up their Planning Tools Program. Ken also worked for the US Department of Energy as a Community Development Program Specialist. In 2000, he served as co-chair of a committee on information and tools for the White House's Livability Council, developing policy recommendations for the Clinton-Gore report on Building Livable Communities.

Currently, Mr. Snyder is Chair of the American Planning Association's Technology Division, and sits on the City of Denver's Bicycle Board. He served on the Steering Committee for the national Rail~volution conference for three years and organized and taught full-day training sessions on tools for better land use planning and community development. In 2001, he was selected as a German Marshall Fund Environmental Fellow where he traveled to Europe to study professional peer approaches to land use and transportation planning. He has a double degree from Oberlin College in Biology and Environmental Studies and a Master's Degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

Jeff Speck, AICP, CNU-A, LEED-AP, Honorary ASLA

Jeff Speck is a city planner and urban designer who, through writing, lectures, public service, and built work, advocates internationally for smart growth and sustainable design. He currently leads Speck & Associates, a private consultancy offering design and advisory services to public officials and the real estate industry. As Director of Design at the National Endowment for the Arts from 2003 through 2007, Mr. Speck created the Governors' Institute on Community Design, which is bringing smart growth principles and techniques to state leadership. Prior to his federal appointment, Mr. Speck spent ten years as Director of Town Planning at Duany Plater- Zyberk & Co., a leader in the international movement called the New Urbanism, which promotes alternatives to suburban sprawl and urban disinvestment.

Mr. Speck is a contributing editor to Metropolis magazine, and serves on the Sustainability Task Force of the US. Dept. of Homeland Security. With Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, he is the co-author of Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream, which the Wall Street Journal calls "the urbanist's bible.” With Andres Duany, he has written The Smart Growth Manual, published 2010 by McGraw Hill.

Marilee Utter

Marilee Utter is President of Citiventure Associates LLC. The
Denver, Colorado-based real estate advisory firm was established in
1991 to focus on public-private transactions, and specializes in
mixed-use projects that transform communities and build economic
vitality. Marilee brings particular expertise in transit-oriented
developments (TOD), mixed-use, failed mall sites, and large-scale

In addition to experience as a banker with (now) Wells Fargo Bank and private developer (with Trillium Corporation managing the revitalization of Denver’s Central Platte Valley railyards), she previously established the Office of Asset Management for the City and County of Denver, and the Department of Transit-Oriented Development for the (Denver) Regional Transit District.

Marilee holds a MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School, a certificate in State and Local Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School, and a designation from the Counselors of Real Estate (CRE). She is a national Trustee for the Urban Land Institute and Past Chair of the Colorado District Council.

Emeritus Board

Victor Dover, AICP

Victor Dover, principal-in-charge at town planning firm Dover, Kohl and Partners, is one of NCI’s founding board members.  Victor lectures widely around the nation on the topics of livable communities and sustainable development, and has led more than 100 charrettes.  Following Hurricane Katrina, he spearheaded planning in Ocean Springs, MS.

Mr. Dover is a charter member of the Congress for the New Urbanism, and was recently appointed to the CNU Board.  He has served as a visiting professor at the University of Miami School of Architecture, his alma mater, and is one of the five CNU representatives on the LEED-ND core committee.  Dover has won multiple CNU Charter Awards, including one for the widely praised town of I’On in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, and has been instrumental in establishing the Form-Based Codes Institute.

Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, F.A.I.A.

Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk is a partner in the firm Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company and the dean of the University of Miami School of Architecture. Plater-Zyberk received her undergraduate degree in architecture and urban planning from Princeton University and her Master of Architecture from the Yale School of Architecture. She is a founder of the Congress for the New Urbanism.

DPZ is a leader in the New Urbanism, a movement that seeks to make livable communities. The firm’s award winning method of integrating master planning with design codes and regulations is being applied in over 200 regions, towns and cities throughout North America as well as in Europe and Asia. Plater-Zyberk is a member of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts and chairs the Built Environment Committee of the Miami-Dade County Climate Change Advisory Task Force. She has co-authored the books Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream, and The New Civic Art.

Laurie Volk

Laurie Volk is principal in charge of Zimmerman/Volk Associates’ market studies and is the firm’s primary analyst of demographic, market, and lifestyle trends. Volk’s development of analytical tools to determine the market potential for downtown housing; for mixed-income, mixed-tenure repopulation and stabilization of fragile inner-city neighborhoods, and for new mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented traditional neighborhoods has been instrumental in bringing Zimmerman/Volk Associates into national prominence. Volk currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Remaking Cities Institute and the Technical Advisory Group for Location and Planning of the U.S. Green Building Council. She was a founding board member, now emeritus, of the National Charrette Institute, and served for more than a dozen years on the Board of Governors of the Seaside Institute. Volk was a recipient of a 2002-2003 Knight Fellowship in Community Building, and has been an instructor on market analysis for the Center for Urban Redevelopment Excellence at the University of Pennsylvania.

Advisory Board

G.B. Arrington

G. B. Arrington is Parson Brinckerhoff’s most senior practitioner in the field of linking transit and land use. For the last 20+ years Mr. Arrington has played a key role in the Portland region’s innovative experiment to reinvent the American dream of a livable community by marrying transportation and land use. He was asked by the White House to organize and moderate Vice President Gore’s first Livable Communities roundtable and has served as an advisor to the Federal Transit Administration and communities from San Juan, Puerto Rico to Perth, Western Australia interested in growing smart. He is one of the founders of the RailVolution Conference and frequently writes and speaks on smart growth and transportation and has been interviewed on PBS television, National Public Radio and quoted extensively in books and articles on light rail, transit-oriented development and regional planning. Mr. Arrington has managed numerous complex interdisciplinary planning projects. The strategic planning work he directed charted an award-winning new direction for Portland’s transit agency. His innovative transit planning and community involvement strategies changed the face of transit in Portland’s suburbs and received a Way to Go Award! from ReNew America and the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Andres Duany, F.A.I.A.

Andres Duany is a founding principal of Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company, Town Planners and Architects. DPZ is a leader in the New Urbanism, which seeks to end suburban sprawl and urban disinvestment. DPZ first received international recognition as the designers of Seaside, Florida, and has since completed designs for over two hundred new towns, regional plans, and community revitalization projects. These designs are having significant influence in the practice and direction of planning and development in the United States.

Largely responsible for inspiring a new sense of excitement and relevance about the power of urban design, Mr. Duany has employed his persuasive speaking and teaching abilities in hundreds of lectures and courses. Addressing architects, professional planning groups, university students, and the general public, he has enlightened many on the threat of suburban sprawl to the future of our human and natural habitats. Andres is a founding member and on the Board of Directors of the Congress for the New Urbanism, established in 1995 with the mission of reforming urban growth patterns. The New York Times has characterized the Congress as “the most important phenomenon to emerge in American architecture in the post-Cold War era.”

Jennifer L. Hurley, AICP

Jennifer Hurley is President and CEO of Hurley Franks Associates. Ms. Hurley holds a Master of Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Bryn Mawr College. Drawing on her background in conflict resolution, Ms. Hurley has over fifteen years of professional experience facilitating public involvement in planning and development issues. She has been active in the new urban movement for ten years, working on numerous charrettes for regional planning, downtown revitalization, traditional neighborhood development, and form-based zoning. She wrote one of the first articles chronicling the implementation of New Urbanist zoning codes, is a regular speaker with the SmartCode Workshop, and has taught in the Bryn Mawr College Growth and Structure of Cities Program. She is a past fellow of the Knight Program in Community Building at the University of Miami School of Architecture, and holds a National Charrette Institute Charrette Planner™ Certificate. She currently serves on the board of the Congress for the New Urbanism and the Transect Codes Council.

Peter Katz

Author and consultant Peter Katz is regarded as a key spokesperson for the New Urbanism. Mr. Katz played a significant role in shaping the movement as founding executive director of the Congress for New Urbanism. He also wrote The New Urbanism: Toward an Architecture of Community (McGraw-Hill, 1994). In 1991 Mr. Katz initiated and co-edited The Ahwahnee Principles, a comprehensive statement of sustainable community-building practices that has since been adopted by over 120 municipalities in the United States.

Mr. Katz is director of Smart Growth / Urban Planning for Sarasota County, Florida. He also provides consulting services to a range of public and private sector clients in the areas of strategic marketing and community development. He is an associate member of The Citistates Group, a national network of speakers under the leadership of syndicated columnist Neal Peirce. Peter Katz has advised various government agencies, associations, and organizations including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Province of Ontario (Canada), The Community Builders (Cincinnati and Louisville) and Contra Costa County (California). He has addressed a range of university audiences, professional societies, and citizen groups, both nationally and internationally.