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  • Michael Mehaffy

All systems are GO for 58th IMCL Paris, May 18-20!

Updated: Mar 17

Our team visits the venue for final preparations as COVID restrictions are rapidly ending, and European travel conditions have largely returned to normal

ABOVE: Executive Director Dr. Michael Mehaffy gives a brief video update in front the venue after having met with staff and finalized plans, on a beautiful Paris day. (Click to play video.)


Preparations are nearing completion for a very special 58th International Making Cities Livable conference in the Paris suburb of Le Plessis-Robinson -- a successful and instructive case study in suburban retrofit, into a walkable, mixed, livable town. Travel restrictions have now greatly eased in Western Europe, and the Russia-Ukraine conflict, though tragic, is not currently affecting conditions in Western Europe.

Above: The welcoming staff of the splendid Maison des Arts in Le Plessis-Robinson.

Michael Mehaffy, Peter Elmlund and other members of the IMCL management team toured the rooms this week and met with the local host team, finalizing the arrangements for what promises to be a splendid conference. We met in the beautiful cafe at the corner of our venue, Aux Trois Auteurs - sure to be a favorite gathering spot for conference attendees (photo at left). We visited the two main hotels, Le Parc Plessis and Grand Hotel Plessis-Robinson, and we checked out the transportation connections. (There is a very convenient connection from Charles De Gaulle and central Paris to the Robinson Station, and from there only five bus stops away on the 179 bus.) We also visited Le Moulin Fidel, a historic 1925 building overlooking the Parc Vallée aux Loops, and our venue for the reception and the final party.


Free tours of Le Plessis-Robinson and its in-depth lessons will also be offered on May 17th, from 2 to 5 PM, and May 21st, from 9 AM to 12 PM. The conference website will also offer a number of self-guided tours and side events. Free tickets and information will be available on the conference website in the next few days.


The conference will take up urgent topics at the forefront of urban practice and research, including post-COVID cities and towns, the 15-minute city, gentrification and affordability, climate adaptation and mitigation, the New Urban Agenda, and a particular focus on architecture's rule in supporting the edges of good-quality public space.


The IMCL conferences emphasize peer-to-peer sharing of expertise and lessons learned, in instructive case settings with beautiful, inspiring venues. The emphasis is on sharing concrete tools and strategies, not just aspirational goals. Attendees typically include leading mayors, senior planners, designers, professionals, and also university researchers sharing new and useful findings at the forefront of current urban issues.


Partners in the conference include the Congress for the New Urbanism, Council for European Urbanism, INTBAU France and Sweden Chapters, the European Placemaking Network, PlacemakingX, the Center for Conscious Cities, and the City of Le Plessis-Robinson, our host city, among others.


The conference will feature over 20 plenary speakers and over 50 breakout speakers from around the world. Speakers include Mayors Rui Moreira of Porto, Portugal; Jim Brainard of Carmel, Indiana; George Ferguson, first elected Mayor of Bristol, UK; Laura Petrella of UN-Habitat; Setha Low of the Public Space Research Group and City University of New York; Christopher Leinberger of George Washington University; and Carlos Moreno of the Sorbonne, originator of the "15-minute city" plan for Paris.


Attendees may register for a discounted rate by March 31, and find other information about the conference, accommodations, travel et al., at https://www.imcl.online/2022-paris. We hope to see you there for what promises to be a very special event!


A few more images from our preparatory trip:

ABOVE:Theatre de Allegria, our main plenary hall.

LEFT: the central atrium of our building. RIGHT: at the cafe in the corner of our building, overlooking the main square.

ABOVE: Salon Andrea Palladio, where we will have our conference dinner and other events.

LEFT: Yves Bovero of INTBAU France shows Peter Elmlund the plan of a new section of Le Plessis-Robinson under construction.

ABOVE RIGHT: The new section of Le Plessis-Robinson under construction. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about the development tools and strategies for the project.


ABOVE: The charming venue of Le Moulin Fidel, overlooking the beautiful Parc Vallée aux Loops, and our venue for the reception and the final party.


ABOVE: The two main hotels for the conference. LEFT: Grand Hotel Le Plessis-Robinson. RIGHT: Le Parc Plessis.

ABOVE: RER train line B from Charles de Gaulle and central Paris to the Robinson rail station, From there it's a short bus ride or walk to the venue.

ABOVE: The bus line to the venue.

ABOVE: The very easy-to-spot 179 bus in front of the Robinson station. The venue is six stops down.









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