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  • Michael Mehaffy

TWO WEEKS until the 60th International Making Cities Livable conference! Driving change, celebrating success - and sharing important new tools and strategies

National and international city leaders will soon gather for the next conference of the premier urban livability series begun in 1985

NEWPORT, RI, APRIL 11, 2024 - The next conference in the venerable series of urban livability conferences begun in 1985, the International Making Cities Livable (IMCL), will take place here from April 26th to 28th (Friday evening through Sunday). Newport offers many positive examples of livability, as well as familiar challenges: declining affordability, unequal growth and opportunity, challenges to urban resilience, sea level rise, the need for zoning and transportation reform, and other urgent topics facing city leaders in the USA and internationally. We will also examine fascinating and instructive case studies from Providence and other parts of the world.

The conference, titled "Making Cities Livable: Research Into Communication, and ACTION," is focused squarely on the latest generation of challenges for cities, towns and suburbs, and the latest tools and strategies to meet them, backed by the latest research evidence and case studies.

The conference will bring together over 50 outstanding speakers, including leading researchers, government officials, practitioners, NGO heads, and others, from all corners of the globe. The venerable series, begun in 1985, has become a unique peer-to-peer gathering to share effective knowledge across disciplines, sectors and borders.

Partners and participating organizations in the conference include The King's Foundation (UK), UN-Habitat, the Congress for the New Urbanism, the International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture and Urbanism (INTBAU), the US chapter of INTBAU, HealthBridge Canada, The Seaside Institute, PlacemakingX, The Urban Guild, and local institutions including Bike Newport and Roger Williams University.

We will gather at the historic and beautiful Bois Doré estate, generously provided by our hosts, Fairfax and Sammons Architects. The venue is centrally located in Newport, within walking distance of many historic inns, restaurants and shops. Newport is easily accessible by train, bus or car from New York, Boston or Providence.

The rich lineup of frontier urban topics covered in the conference will include new research and case studies, and new tools and strategies for public space, placemaking, climate resilience, housing affordability and diversity, zoning code reform, street and transportation reform, aesthetics and livability, and livable cities and towns for ALL.

The current draft program (subject to final adjustments) is here:

Attendees can also participate in tours before and after the conference. On Friday, representatives of Bike Newport will offer a delightful and informative bike tour of the city, from 2 to 4 PM. On Monday, attendees can join civic leaders, visionary developers and architects to explore the urban renaissance that has come to downtown Providence. Buff Chace of Cornish Associates, Brent Runyon of Runyon Heritage Associates, Don Powers of Union Studio Architects, and others will lead this walking tour of downtown sites, including a lunch stop at a local eatery (purchase your own preferred meal). Registered attendees and up to one guest can sign up for tours here:

For more information about the conference and logistics, or to register, visit:

We hope you can join our nationally and internationally distinguished group of over 50 speakers, exploring front-line research and case studies on a diverse range of timely urban topics. Here are some of them:

ABOUT THE CONFERENCE SERIES: The IMCL conferences were begun in 1985 by Henry Lennard, a Viennese medical sociologist, and Suzanne Lennard, a British architectural and urban scholar. 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, sharing the latest tools and strategies to build a new generation of more livable, ecological, equitable, beautiful generation of cities, towns and suburbs. The conferences are typically hosted in beautiful, intimate and instructive case-study locales in the US or Europe, with attendees sharing lessons from all parts of the world.

The IMCL conferences are produced by the Lennard Institute for Livable Cities, a US 501(c)3 public benefit corporation. All donations and sponsorship contributions are deductible under US tax rules. See also



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