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  • Michael Mehaffy

58th IMCL Update: Tours announced, speakers set!

Over 40 breakout speakers will join 18 plenary speakers as well as two workshops; in-depth case study tours of our amazing host city, Le Plessis-Robinson, will be held on May 17th and May 21st

Our host city, the extraordinary exemplar and case study of suburban retrofit: Le Plessis-Robinson, in the Paris region.

We are delighted to announce that the final roster of speakers has been set for the 2022 International Making Cities Livable conference. Over 40 breakout speakers will join our eminent group of 18 plenary speakers. The speakers include mayors, senior city staff, NGO leaders, practitioners, developers, and top researchers from the fields of planning, architecture, psychology, sociology, law, economics, health, complexity science, and of course, urbanism.

Speakers come from Asia, Australia, Africa, Europe and the Americas, and from all sectors. Topics span the range of current issues, including public space, health, walkability, post-COVID cities, climate mitigation, adaptation and resilience, equity and affordability, economic opportunity for all, suburban retrofit, and much more. The focus will be in actionable knowledge for implementation and "how to do it." We are clearly poised for an important peer-to-peer gathering at a critical time for cities, towns and suburbs.

Leading the roster will be our keynote presenter, Professor Carlos Moreno - developer of the "15-minute city" concept for Paris that has become a widely-discussed model around the world. He will be joined by other experts in transforming cities and suburbs into more livable, diverse, resilient places, that are better prepared for the challenges of the future.

Joining Moreno will be Christopher Leinberger, Research Professor Emeritus at George Washington University, and an urban development specialist and practitioner. He will focus on successful tools and strategies for suburban retrofits.

Also presenting will be Laura Petrella of UN-Habitat, speaking on the New Urban Agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals, and the Paris Climate Agreement, as well as progress made and still to come in achieving these crucial goals for cities and towns.

Mayors will present their case studies and compare notes, including Jacques Perrin, mayor of our host city, Le Plessis-Robinson; Rui Moreira, mayor of Porto, Portugal; Jim Brainard, mayor of Carmel, Indiana, USA; and George Ferguson, the first elected mayor of Bristol, UK, and Past President of the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Top researchers will also speak at the plenaries, including Setha Low, Professor of Anthropology and Sociology at the Graduate School of the City University of New York, and leader of the Public Space Research Group; Rachelle Alterman, Professor of Law and Planning at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology; and Vikas Mehta, Fruth Gemini Chair and Professor of Planning at the University of Cincinnati, USA.

Workshops will be conducted on "Placemaking for Livable Cities" by the European Placemaking Network and PlacemakingX, and on "Cities and Public Spaces for All: US and European Lessons" by representatives of the City of Portland, USA, and leading researchers in public space and equity.

Our host city and partner, Le Plessis-Robinson, will also present detailed case study information as well as conducting two in-depth tours of the city. Le Plessis-Robinson is an impressive exemplar of a former dormitory "banlieue" of Paris, with characteristic "tower blocks," that was converted into a mixed-use, walkable, diverse town, with impressive statistics to document its successes -- as well as lessons learned, of course. The current mayor, the former mayor, designers, planners and other hands-on participants will discuss their experiences, the tools and strategies they used, and their insights into how similarly successful transformations can be made elsewhere.

Peter Elmlund, left, looks on as Yves

Bovero, economist and chair of INTBAU-

France, shows a plan of the new phase

of development in Le Plessis-Robinson.



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