One of the thing that makes CNU the greatest gathering in the world is all of the debating that goes on. I can't tell you how many times there is a gathering in the hallway -- akin to those fights back in middle school -- where two or more brilliant minds are, inpromtu, going toe-to-toe over some detail or another. The long breaks between sessions, as well as many of the sessions themselves, facilitate this type of interaction. New Urbanists are nothing if not willing to verbally get it on.

This year at CNU I wanted to pull together something unique and fun that would be both entertaining and informative. What better way to do that than a debate involving some of the more thoughtful minds I know. But I didn't want just any debate...I want to do something a little different. Think, Oxford debating meets American Idol.

First, let me introduce our panel of expert judges. I wanted three people who are professionals of the highest degree yet had a little bit of edge to their thinking -- something that makes their insights and reactions particularly poingent. I had three names in mind for this All Star team and they all agreed to take part. From left to right: Howard Blackson, Hazel Borys and John Anderson.

We have two different propositions we are going to be debating.

#1. The name "New Urbanism" does more harm than good to the movement.

Scott Doyon and Russ Preston will be arguing in support of the proposition while Eliza Harris and Will Dowdy will be arguing against.

#2. To be successful, a city must have transit.

Mike Lydon and Ian Rasmussen will be arguing in support of the proposition. Andrew Burleson and Edward Erfurt will be arguing against.

The winner of each debate will be decided by the change in audience voting before and after each debate. Make plans to be there.

The NextGen Debate Night

When: Thursday, May 30 at 8:30 PM

Where: The Peery Hotel in Salt Lake City

Admission: Free