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Sharing lessons from Paris, its suburbs - and each other

May 18-20 (with side tours on May 17 and 21)



THEME: "Architecture and the Edges of Public Space: Tools and Strategies for a New Urban Agenda"

TOPIC: What is the role of architecture in supporting more active, more connective, more beautiful public spaces, promoting human and planetary health, well-being, and livability? How can we move from objects to places? What are the tools and strategies that we will need?


The IMCL and its partners are honored to host the next conference in the venerable series begun in 1985. The IMCL is a unique peer-to-peer gathering of civic leaders, professionals and scholars dedicated to transitioning to a more livable, humane and ecological generation of cities, towns and suburbs. Once again, we will focus upon successful case studies and evidence-based research, sharing effective tools and strategies to drive real change. Our focus this year will be on the tools and strategies to build, protect and enhance thriving public spaces, and the adjacent private spaces and uses that afford well-being, social interaction, quality of life, exercise, health, and economic opportunity, for ALL the residents of cities, towns and suburbs. 

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Click here for a tour of our venue, led by IMCL Executive Director Michael Mehaffy

We are fortunate to have the Paris region as a case study this year. Our main venue is Le Plessis-Robinson - a remarkable exemplar of suburban retrofit and transformation from a monocultural bedroom suburb to a mixed, walkable community built on universal principles of urbanism and public space. We will also examine other examples from Europe, the USA and other parts of the world. The conference will feature in-depth case studies of the Paris area, including new efforts toward a “15-minute City,” challenges of affordability and displacement, post-COVID urban interventions, and many other emerging topics. Registration is now open! (See below.) 

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Suburban retrofit tools, strategies and case studies                            The 15-minute city (and town and suburb)

Urban interventions, tactical urbanism, and life after COVID              Affordability, homelessness and displacement: new solutions


An outstanding national and international lineup of mayors, planners, designers, researchers, economic development experts, developers, nonprofit leaders, and other professionals and activists. Eighteen plenary talks, over forty breakout talks, tours, reception and dinner events, and more. Share lessons about what's working and not working, including the latest tools and strategies for great livable cities, towns and suburbs. Our keynote and plenary speakers: 

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ABOVE, Rachelle Alterman, Professor of Urban Planning and Law, The Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, and Research Fellow of the Neaman Institute for National Policy Research, Haifa, IL; Xavier Bohl, architect, Atelier Xavier Bohl; Ben Bolgar, Senior Director, The Prince's Foundation; David Brain, Professor of Sociology, New College of Florida USA; Jim Brainard, Mayor, City of Carmel, Indiana USA; Marc Breitman, architect, Breitman and Breitman, Paris FR; Nada Breitman, architect, Breitman and Breitman, Paris FR; Rick Cole, Executive Director, Congress for the New Urbanism, Washington D.C. USA; George Ferguson, architect, Past President, Royal Institute of British Architects, and first elected Mayor of Bristol, UK; Ricardo Fernández Gómez, Director General of Planning and Development, State of Jalisco, Mexico; Jing Jing, Researcher, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm;  Christopher Leinberger, Professor Emeritus, George Washington University, Washington D.C., USA; Setha Low, Professor of Anthropology and Psychology, The Graduate Center, City University of New York; Michael Mehaffy, Executive Director, Lennard Institute for Livable Cities, Oregon USA; Rui Moreira, Mayor, Porto, Portugal; Paul Murrain, Urbanist and Author, London, UK; Philippe Pemezec, Senator and former Mayor, Le Plessis-Robinson, FR; Jaacques Perrin, Mayor, Le Plessis-Robinson, FR; Laura Petrella, Chief of Planning, Finance and Economy, UN-Habitat, Nairobi KE;  Sergio Porta, Professor of Urban Design, Head of Department and Director of the Urban Design Studies Unit at the Department of Architecture, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK.

May 18, 2022, 8:00 AM UTC – May 20, 2022, 10:00 PM UTC
Le Plessis-Robinson,
92350 Le Plessis-Robinson, France

May 17    1:00 PM       Registration Opens (Maison des Arts)

                2:00 PM     Walking Tour (must be registered)

May 18    8:00 AM       Registration, Coffee and Refreshments

                                      (All daytime activities in Maison des Arts)

                9:00 AM      OPENING PLENARY

                                     "Achieving the 15-minute City - and Suburb"

                                     Welcome, Keynote (Carlos Moreno)

                10:30 AM     Networking Coffee 

                11:00 AM      PLENARY TWO

                                     "Lessons from COVID: Cities and Public Spaces"

                12:30 PM      In Memoriam (Christopher Alexander, Mary Campbell Gallagher)

                12:45 PM       Lunch (on your own)

                 2:30 PM       BREAKOUT SESSION ONE

                 3:45 PM       Networking Coffee

                 4:15 PM        BREAKOUT SESSION TWO

                 5:30 PM       End

                 7:00 PM       Conference Reception (with dignitaries)

                                      Moulin Fidel (6-minute walk from Maison des Arts)

                 8:00 PM       Dinner, evening activities (on your own)

May 19     8:00 AM       Registration, Coffee and Refreshments

                                      (All daytime activities in Maison des Arts)

                9:00 AM        PLENARY THREE

                                      "Architecture and the Edges of Public Space"

                10:10 AM       Networking Coffee

                10:40 AM      PLENARY FOUR

                                      "Implementing the New Urban Agenda"

                11:40 AM       Networking Coffee

                12:00 PM       Speed Presentations

                 1:00 PM        Lunch (on your own)

                 2:30 PM       BREAKOUT SESSION THREE

                 3:45 PM       Networking Coffee 

                 4:15 PM        BREAKOUT SESSION FOUR

                 5:30 PM       End

                 8:00 PM       Conference Dinner (Ticket Required)

                                      (Moulin Fidel, 6-minute walk from Maison des Arts)

                                      Evening activities (on your own

May 20    8:00 AM       Registration, Coffee and Refreshments

                 9:00 AM       PLENARY FIVE

                                      "Learning from Le Plessis-Robinson"

                 10:10 AM      Networking Coffee 

                 10:40 AM     PLENARY SIX

                                     "Lessons from Paris - and Each Other"

                 11:40 PM      Networking Coffee

                 12:00 PM     Speed Presentations

                 1:00 PM       Lunch (on your own)

                 2:30 PM       BREAKOUT SESSION FIVE

                 3:45 PM       Networking Coffee 9

                 4:15 PM        BREAKOUT SESSION SIX

                 5:30 PM       End

                 7:00 PM       CLOSING PARTY

                                       (Salon Palladio - top floor of Maison des Arts)

May 21     9:00 AM       Walking tour (must be registered)

Travel Info
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A Big Thank You to Our Sponsors and Partners!


(Partial list, more to be announced soon!)


Our host and partner city is the beautiful Le Plessis-Robinson, six miles from the center of Paris and also from Orly Airport. (20 miles from Charles de Gaulle airport.) The nearest rail station is Robinson. RER, Metro/tram and bus service are available, as well as taxi and shuttle.  

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The venue is the beautiful and comfortable Maison des Arts, in the main part of town and close by to two main hotels: Le Parc Hôtel, and Grand Hôtel Le Plessis-Robinson.

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Le Parc Hôtel is a 2-minute walk to the venue:

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Grand Hôtel du Plesis-Robinson is an 8-minute walk to the venue:

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Not that you really need our advice - after all, it's Paris! And the center of the city is just 25 minutes away by taxi, or about an hour by public transit. But the immediate area also offers a wealth of things to see and do. Versailles is just 12 KM to the east (8 miles). Just south of Le Plessis-Robinson is Arboretum de la Vallée-aux-Loups, a beautiful historic park complex created in 1777, with 2500 plants representing more than 500 woody species, including 165 species of trees. It is organized into a dozen gardens, including an English garden, fruit garden, chestnut garden, and Convolvulaceae (Morning Glory) collection. Also in the same area is the Maison de Chateaubriand, the historic home of the famous writer from 1807 to 1817.   Not far from there (6KM) is the spectacular Terrasse de l'Observatoire de Meudon, acquired by Louis XIV for his son in 1695. It offers a splendid view of the entire city of Paris. The central alley, lined with plane trees, leads to a monumental staircase which provides access to the pool, and below, to the beautiful Orangery.





(L-R) Versailles; Arboretum de la Vallée-aux-Loups; Maison de Chateaubriand; and Terrasse de l'Observatoire de Meudon.

There are many guidebooks and websites that provide a wealth of information on walks, hikes, bike tours, museums, historic buildings and gardens, and much more. Here are a few of our favorites:

Here's to a wonderful time in the Paris region! 

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