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Enjoy any of six plenary sessions, six breakout sessions, an evening plenary session, a "speed presentations" session, and a highlights reel.

The 57th International Making Cities Livable conference was held in the beautiful Palladium Theater at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, Indiana, in June 2021. The theme was "From Sprawl to Neighborhoods: Livable Cities (and Suburbs) for ALL." Attendees were able to participate in in-depth case studies, and learn specific tools and strategies for creating a new generation of more livable, resilient, equitable, ecological cities, towns and suburbs.

Now, all of the videos are available for free to anyone! Just click on this link to view the list, select a YouTube Playlist, or download a full program and click on individual links:

Join Mayor Jim Brainard of the City of Carmel; Christopher Leinberger of George Washington University; Ellen Dunham-Jones and June Williamson, authors of Retrofitting Suburbia; Doug Kelbaugh of the University of Michigan; Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk of the University of Miami; Michael Lykoudis of the University of Notre Dame; and many other scholars, city officials, and experts in their field.

The 2021 conference earned kudos and an overall attendee evaluation score of 93%. Among the comments:

“Thank you for bringing us together for a fabulous conference in Carmel!... It was inspiring to learn so much about creating more livable communities from the many committed speakers at the conference.”

- David and Nancy Woltering, Woltering Community Planning LLC

“What a great conference!”

- Chitra Subbarayan, Principal, CBD, LLC

“I just wanted to thank you for a wonderful conference... You put a lot of work in on that conference, and it was very well run.”

- Richard Erganian, Erganian Family Trust

“As a first-time IMCL attendee, I wanted to say how much I enjoyed the conference experience: the variety of professions, backgrounds and perspectives represented... I greatly look forward to attending again next year!”

- Steve Knight, Principal, David M. Schwarz Architects

“Congratulations on an amazing conference... I am really impressed by the generally high quality of the presentations, your ability to frame and facilitate productive discussions, and the careful organization and smooth operation of the conference itself. The level of the discussion was higher than other conferences I regularly attend, and this was really your doing... Your back is probably getting sore at this point from all the well deserved pats on the back!”

- David Brain, Professor, New College of Florida

"I heard nothing but positive comments... I learned so much and so enjoyed myself.”

- Christopher Leinberger, Professor Emeritus, George Washington University

“Thanks for a great conference, see you in Paris!”

- Doug Kelbaugh, Professor and former Dean, University of Michigan

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Omicron variant creates new issues -- especially the need for cities to adapt their public spaces to this and other threats to resilience

JOIN US FOR A VITAL EXCHANGE OF FRONTIER KNOWLEDGE IN A CRITICAL TIME FOR CITIES, at the 58th IMCL Conference, May 18-20, Paris (Le Plessis-Robinson), France.

DUE TO THE UNCERTAINTY OVER THE OMICRON VARIANT, and the evident need for cities to learn to adapt to and live with this and other pandemics, we are re-opening our Call for Abstracts for our 2022 conference for the month of January. We expect that the current surge will subside in the next few months and we will proceed with the conference. Moreover, we have many lessons to examine about living with this and other pandemics, and other lessons for more resilient, sustainable and livable cities.

SPECIAL GUEST Professor Carlos Moreno will join us to discuss the 15-minute City, and his work for the City of Paris on that plan.


- Living with COVID: Adapting City Public Spaces for Resilient Futures

- The 15-minute City: Improving Access, Reducing Emissions, Enhancing Livability

- Urban Mitigation and Adaptation to Meet the Climate Crisis

- Affordability, Equity, Displacement, and Homelessness

BACKGROUND: Following our successful 2021 conference, “From Sprawl to Neighborhoods: Livable Cities (and Suburbs) for ALL,” the IMCL and its partners are pleased to announce the next conference in the acclaimed series begun in 1985. The IMCL is a unique peer-to-peer gathering of civic leaders 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.

AT OUR NEXT CONFERENCE, we will assess the role of cities, towns and suburbs in meeting the daunting challenges ahead, and in responding to a “new urban agenda” as called for by an international agreement of all 193 member states of the United Nations. We will critically examine the current state of urban policy and practice, its theories and assumptions. We will focus in particular on the central role of public space and its edges, and the need for new insights, new tools and strategies, as a key to improving the capacity of settlements to promote human flourishing and sustainable human development.

CONTEXT: The conference will take place in Le Plessis-Robinson, a remarkable case study of suburban retrofit and transformation from a monocultural bedroom community to a mixed, walkable, diverse community built on universal principles of urbanism and public space. We will compare and contrast this European context with the USA context of Carmel, Indiana, our equally impressive 2021 conference venue. The conference will feature study tours and case studies of the Paris area, including new efforts toward a “15-minute City” and other local issues and developments.

YOU ARE INVITED to submit an abstract up to 300 words, without cost or obligation, on the main theme and/or the sub-themes listed below. Accepted presenters will be invited to register and present at a 15-minute breakout session (or plenary session, if invited). Full papers of up to 8,000 words plus figures will be invited and encouraged but not required, and due by April 30 to share with conference attendees.

ABSTRACT LENGTH: Maximum 300 words. Describe the paper/presentation topic, theme(s) addressed, relevance to the conference themes, and qualifications of the proposer(s). In addition, provide the name(s), affiliation and address of all proposed presenters.



DEADLINE FOR FULL PAPERS (if desired): April 30, 2022.


More information:

Join a distinguished international lineup of mayors, researchers, planners and NGO leaders.

Our beautiful venue, the Maison des Arts, and its exceptionally attentive staff.

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All eyes are on Omicron, but conditions still appear favorable for a LIVE conference, 18-20 May, 2022


We are pleased to announce that Sorbonne Professor Carlos Moreno, originator of Paris' "15-minute city" plan, will keynote the 58th International Making Cities Livable conference, May 18-20 in the Paris suburb of Le Plessis-Robinson, France. Professor Moreno's 15-minute city proposal would provide residents access to all the services they need to live, learn and thrive within their immediate vicinity -- a way of making urban areas adapt to humans, not the other way around.

Professor Moreno is the Paris Mayor's Special Envoy for Smart Cities, a Knight of the French Legion of Honour, and scientific director of the ETI Chair "Entrepreneurship - Territory - Innovation" at the IAE Paris - Panthéon Sorbonne University, France. He is a researcher of international renown, having begun his research in the fields of artificial intelligence, robotics and complex systems, and later focusing on the complexity of city systems and urbanism.

Professor Moreno will be joined by other leading innovators in city research and development, including George Ferguson, Past President of the Royal Institute of British Architects and the first elected mayor of Bristol, UK; Laura Petrella, Chief of Planning, Finance and Economy for UN-Habitat; Rui Moreira, Mayor of Porto, Portugal; James Brainard, Mayor of Carmel, Indiana; Richard J. Jackson, UCLA Emeritus Professor of Public Health and former Director of the CDC National Center for Environmental Health, and other leading researchers, practitioners and officials.

More on the 15-minute City:



The IMCL is watching the Omicron situation closely. We know that many departments and individuals are deferring decisions on travel until the situation becomes clearer. Therefore, we have extended the Early Bird registration rate for the Paris conference through January 31. The evidence seems to point toward a more manageable situation, with vaccinations and treatments increasingly available, and early indicators that the Omicron variant may be less dangerous.

One thing is certainly true: the Omicron variant emphasizes our need to adapt to this and other disruptive events with a new generation of more resilient cities, towns and suburbs, and especially, with safe access to public spaces and the public life they support. We increasingly recognize the unacceptable toll of social isolation and inequality of access to safe public spaces. This will certainly be a major topic of the Paris conference, as we assess how to deal with the pandemic, the crisis of physical and mental health, the affordability crisis, and other urban challenges in this critical time. We hope you can join us.

- Dr. Michael Mehaffy, IMCL Executive Director

More information about the conference:

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