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  • Michael Mehaffy

Last month of Call for Abstracts ahead of IMCL 2023

Topics listed in the Call for the International Making Cities Livable (IMCL) UK conference, "The Ecology of Place: From Understanding to ACTION," include public spaces, the ecology of cities, affordability, gentrification and displacement, retrofitting suburbia, great street design, environmental psychology and neuroscience, financial barriers and tools, climate resilience, rapid urbanization, urban governance, and a wealth of other subjects

Emeritus Professor Christopher Leinberger presents on implementation economics at the 2022 IMCL conference.

LONDON - The 59th International Making Cities Livable conference is entering its final month of the Call for Abstracts, due by April 30th. The conference, titled "The Ecology of Place: From Understanding to ACTION," will emphasize research into practice to meet current urban challenges. Scholars and practitioners are expected to gather from around the world, and contribute research papers and presentations on a wide range of front-line urban topics and challenges.

Confirmed speakers include Semir Zeki, FMedSci, FRS, Professor of Neuroaesthetics at University College London; Setha Low, Ph.D., Professor of Anthropology and Environmental Psychology at The Graduate School, City University of New York; Jose Chong, Leader, Global Public Space Programme for UN-Habitat; Ben Bolgar, MVO, M.Arch, Senior Director, The Prince's Foundation; Richard J. Jackson, M.D., M.P.H., Professor Emeritus, UCLA, and former Director, CDC National Center for Environmental Health; Professor Ettore Mazzola, Professor of Practice, University of Notre Dame Rome Campus; Cleo Valentine, Vice-Chancellor's Doctoral Scholar, Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge; Desiree Daniel, Lecturer in Sustainable Urbanism, The University of Oxford; David Brain, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology, New College of Florida; Patrick Condon, Professor of Urban Design, University of British Columbia; and Vikas Mehta, Ph.D., Professor of Urbanism and Fruth/Gemini Chair, University of Cincinnati.

Conference partners include UN-Habitat, The Prince's Foundation, the Duchy of Cornwall, the International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture and Urbanism (INTBAU), and the Congress for the New Urbanism. Major universities will also be represented, including the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford, and University College London.

The conference will examine case studies of pathfinding projects, including our 2023 venue host site, Poundbury, UK. Other case studies will include our venue host site of 2022, Le Plessis-Robinson, France, and our 2021 venue host site, Carmel, Indiana. The conference will focus on particular issues of implementation as well as post-occupancy evaluations and "lessons learned."

All accepted presenters will have the option of preparing a paper for publication in the conference's online journal, Proceedings of the International Making Cities Livable Conference. The papers will be double-blind peer-reviewed, and made available to all attendees on the conference website as well as through an online link available after the conference.

In addition, all paper presenters will be invited to submit their paper to the journal Sustainability, and the special issue we are guest-editing on "Sustainable Urbanism: Definition, Assessment, and Agenda for Future Research." This is an open access journal with an article processing fee, although applicants are eligible to have this fee waived. The journal has an h-index of 109 and is ranked first-quartile in Geography, Planning and Development, and second-quartile in Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment. For more information, please visit

In addition, papers covering transport issues are invited to submit to World Transport Policy and Practice (WTPP), a peer-reviewed journal published by Transportation Choices for Sustainable Communities, based in Oakland, California. There is no article processing fee, and all articles are peer-reviewed. For more information, please see

For more information on the conference theme, specific topics and submission requirements, please visit the Call for Abstracts page on our website:



The International Making Cities Livable (IMCL) conference series was begun in 1985 by Suzanne Lennard, a British architectural and urban scholar, and Henry Lennard, a Viennese medical sociologist. The Lennards were passionate about sharing the best evidence-based lessons of great cities and towns to improve the quality of life for all. To do it, they brought together many of the world’s most innovative and successful mayors, planners, economic development specialists, designers, developers, NGO officials, and researchers and scholars. In the years since its founding, the IMCL has become a unique peer-to-peer gathering of city leaders and researchers, typically hosted in beautiful, intimate and instructive case-study locales. While we recognize that online education is an increasingly important professional development component, the IMCL believes there is no substitute for a component of face-to-face and on-the-ground immersive learning, personally sharing effective tools and strategies to drive positive change. In accordance with Suzanne's wishes following her death in 2019, a group of friends and IMCL stakeholders committed to continuing its important mission and legacy, founding the Suzanne C. and Henry L. Lennard Institute for Livable Cities in that year. The Lennard Institute is a 501(c)(3) Public Benefit Corporation registered in the USA. We will continue to organize the IMCL conferences, and we will develop other projects as appropriate to fulfill the mission of the IMCL.


We share effective tools and strategies for making more livable, humane, ecological cities, towns and suburbs.

Each IMCL gathering has focused on a host city offering important and timely lessons in livable and sustainable urban development. Past hosts have included Freiburg, Germany; Charleston, USA; Bristol, UK; Venice, Italy; Portland (OR) USA; and Carmel, Indiana, USA. Importantly, the IMCL conferences cover not just big cities but also small towns and suburbs, since such a large percentage of the world’s inhabitants live in these areas, and many of the world’s social, economic and environmental challenges occur there too. In 1985, when these conferences began, there was no discussion at other planning or architectural conferences about making our cities more “livable”. The IMCL Conferences brought new attention to the importance of making cities livable for all including children and the elderly, the need for public transit, bicycle lanes, and traffic calmed streets, for human scale architecture and mixed use urban fabric, for reviving city centers and creating public places where people could gather for farmers markets, festivals, outdoor cafes and community social life. By bringing together people of vision from all disciplines at the past IMCL Conferences, by presenting the best examples from Europe and North America, and by honoring cities and civic leaders for their achievements, we work to build more livable cities across North America, Europe, and the world.



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