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Photos from the Bristol Conference are now available on the website. If you were at the conference, I hope you will enjoy them, and they will bring back good memories. If you were not there, you are welcome to visit, and join us next year! Please click here.  

The 52nd IMCL Conference on Achieving Green, Healthy Cities that took place in Bristol in July 2015 was phenomenal! If you were unfortunately not able to attend, you can now watch videos of all the keynote speakers, review presentations and read papers from all presenters by purchasing access to the eConference.

By Suzanne H. Crowhurst Lennard
For many years, IMCL emphasized ethics in planning, and ethics in city government and we had a difficult time getting the idea across. We were, of course, talking about how planning policies must be written and administered to ethically improve quality of life for all, especially those previously disregarded (children, elders, the poor) instead of prioritizing the wealthy, or the car drivers. The idea was so unfamiliar that at one conference, some participants (from San Jose city government) thought we were talking about being polite in council meetings and in interacting with staff. They had never realized that planning policies could benefit some while harming others, or the planet!

Sven von Ungern Sternberg was Mayor of Freiburg for 20 years in charge of urban design and transportation planning, guiding Freiburg’s great achievements in becoming Europe’s foremost example of a sustainable, green, healthy and child-friendly city.  For this, the city has won numerous awards, including the 1993 IMCL Vision Award.

George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol, talks about why Bristol was selected as 2015 European Green Capital, and about Bristol’s program to become greener and healthier in the future.

“Thanks Suzanne, and first a denial: it’s not down to me that we are European Green Capital. I’ve been involved as an activist in the city for many years, but it is down to ALL those activists. It is down to Bristol’s Green Capital Partnership, which is a partnership of 800 organizations, and I always say, this is a great city in spite of its leadership. It is a great city because its a city of people who take initiative, and its the people who take the initiative that make a good place. I think that applies to everywhere, and my job is to enable…

On June 30th, IMCL Director Suzanne Crowhurst Lennard opened the 52nd IMCL Conference in Bristol, UK, with these words: “To achieve green, healthy cities we have to have an urban environment that ensures human, economic, and ecological sustainability. These are important goals, but there are massive forces that prevent us from achieving them…"

By Suzanne H. Crowhurst Lennard

The building façade is the “face” of the building. Like the face of a person, it may be friendly or hostile, open or closed, facilitating contact through windows that open, balconies and doors, or preventing interaction with sealed windows and blank walls. Facades around a neighborhood square should create a welcoming atmosphere in the public domain, emphasizing human scale, enhancing the experience of the space, and facilitating communication.

By Suzanne H. Crowhurst Lennard

“In ancient times… public squares, or plazas, were… of prime necessity, for they were theaters for the principal scenes of public life.”  Camillo Sitte[1].

“… there must be open spaces that provide a fitting stage for the drama of daily life.” August Heckscher[2].

2015 IMCL Design Awards  presented at the 52nd IMCL Conference in Bristol include the following: IMCL Honor Award for a Built Project, to the New Town of Cayala, Guatemala, Pedro Godoy & María Sánchez, Richard Economakis and Léon Krier. IMCL Honor Awards for Proposed Projects were awarded for the Urban Regeneration ZEN, Arch. Ettore Maria Mazzola; and Baltimore Urban Farmstead, Scott Truex, Sustainable Communities Institute.  For more Awards and Honorable Mentions, please click here

Opening the 52nd IMCL Conference in Bristol, was a short film by the distinguished former Dean and Professor of Urban Planning at Venice University who had welcomed delegates to the 1st IMCL Conference in Venice in 1985 on behalf of the City of Venice. He reminded participants of Henry Lennard’s important message, to understand how good urban public spaces like the Venetian campo generate community and create a high quality of social life for old and young, and he called on delegates to save Venice from the devastating impact of mass tourism that is destroying the life of this city.

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