top of page
  • Michael Mehaffy

61st IMCL Conference Call for Abstracts, Registration are OPEN!

Updated: May 10

Join us for a very special International Making Cities Livable (IMCL) gathering in beautiful and instructive Cortona, Italy, October 29-November 1, exploring "The Ecology of Place: Learning from Nature, Culture, and History."

ABOVE: Looking off from the Piazza Garibaldi at Cortona's urban edge to the Tuscan landscape beyond.

CORTONA ITALY (May 7): The 61st International Making Cities Livable conference will gather here in this historic hill town to assess current challenges and effective solutions for cities, towns and regions in Italy, Europe, and across the globe. The focus will be on public spaces, markets, food, ecology, walkability, active living, regional economies, and the patterns of livable cities throughout history -- as reflected in the conference theme, "The Ecology of Place: Learning from Nature, Culture, and History".

This will be a landmark gathering in the venerable IMCL series, begun in 1985 by a Viennese medical sociologist and a British architectural scholar. Henry L. and Suzanne C. Lennard were both passionate about the role of cities and towns in promoting health and well-being (both personal and planetary), and the need to share effective knowledge of making cities and towns more livable. Since its founding, the IMCL series has become a premier peer-to-peer gathering of researchers, city leaders, practitioners, NGO heads and others, coming together across borders and disciplines, to share the latest knowledge, tools and strategies, for "research into ACTION." It does this by gathering leaders in inspiring and instructive locales, featuring many case study lessons for more livable cities, towns and suburbs.

ABOVE: Cortona's main piazza, the Piazza della Repubblica, from the Piazza Pescheria above.

The Call for Abstracts has been opened, and proposers are invited to submit abstracts of up to 300 words at no obligation. If accepted, proposers will be invited to register and present papers, or alternatively, give oral presentations. Papers will be published in the conference e-journal, and shared with all attendees as well as on (with an assigned DOI number). In addition, we are partnering with several journals to provide later peer-reviewed publication options. Please visit for more information.

Partners in the conference will include The King's Foundation (UK), UN-Habitat, the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU), the International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture and Urbanism (INTBAU), several universities, and other partners to be announced shortly.

Our just-concluded conference in Newport, Rhode Island, USA, was titled "Making Cities Livable: Research into Communication, and ACTION," and it brought together over 50 leading speakers from the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. The conference received an overall attendee evaluation score of 4.81 out of 5, and comments including:

  • "This is the best conference I've ever attended. There was much to take in; so many people with exceptional experience."

  • "Great multidisciplinary conversations. Folks were also willing to suspend their own disciplinary bias, to some extent, and be open to ideas and overlaps."

  • "It was brilliantly organized! A 5 star!"

  • "The quality of the professionals brought together is unparalleled."

  • "This was an inspiring conference."

  • "Thank you for a truly fantastic experience!"

Late October is an excellent time to travel in Italy, with lower-cost travel, fewer crowds, and generally excellent weather. Cortona is centrally located between Milan and Rome, and approximately 60 kilometers southeast of Florence. There is excellent rail service from Florence, Rome, Milan, Pisa or Bologna, with a short bus or Uber ride up to the hill town from the station.

The venue is the City of Cortona’s Conference and Event Centre, located in the historic convent of Sant'Agostino in the city center. Cortona offers a wide assortment of historic hotels, inns and home rentals, all within easy walking distance of the conference center. (Consult our website for more information.)

There will be excellent opportunities for side trips to Florence, Tuscan hill towns, Bologna, the Cinqueterra, Rome, Venice, and many other parts of Italy. Rome also makes an excellent gateway, offering the chance to explore that great city and its many treasures. We will have more information soon about potential study trips before and/or after the conference.

Please join us for an inspiring and important gathering!

More photos of beautiful and instructive Cortona, taken by our executive director, Michael Mehaffy, in February 2024.



bottom of page