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  • Michael Mehaffy

IMCL 2023 receives 94 abstract submissions

Leading universities, practitioners and institutions are represented from around the world, submitting proposals on a wide range of topics related to "The Ecology of Place: From Understanding to ACTION."

POUNDBURY (UK) - After the April 30th deadline for abstract submissions for the 59th International Making Cities Livable conference, the organizers reported receiving 94 submissions on a diverse range of topics related to the conference theme of "The Ecology of Place." The abstracts have now been sent on to the IMCL Board of Stewards for blinded peer review. Many of the proposals were made by leading researchers, practitioners and institutional representatives in a range of urban sustainability fields. "There are quite a few terrific submissions," reports Executive Director Michael Mehaffy. "We're really excited that this is going to be a great conference."

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 submitters of the abstracts will join a stellar lineup of plenary presenters, including major universities and leading global agencies and institutions, as well as representatives of case study projects who will give in-depth post-occupancy analysis.

Confirmed plenary 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.

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

Topics in the submissions include walkability, multi-modal transport, public space quality and management, health and well-being, urban ecology, urban resilience, climate change mitigation and adaptation, new digital planning tools, governance, lessons from COVID, and of course, post-occupancy lessons from case studies, including our host venue of Poundbury.

"I'm particularly pleased to see a focus on research INTO practice," Mehaffy says. "This is a great group of not only academics, but practitioners and policymakers, who can come together and exchange lessons with each other about how to actually drive the changes we need."

The conference will be particularly focused on developing ongoing collaborations between participants and serving as a "springboard," into further research, practice and policy reforms. "Like all IMCL conferences, this is not a one-off event, but a chance to move further forward with ongoing work in the direction we so urgently need when it comes to urban reforms. This is not just about research and study, but actually doling it," Mehaffy says. "As our conference theme puts it, we're moving 'from understanding to ACTION.'"

The abstracts will be reviewed over the next two weeks, with decisions expected shortly.



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