The 50th International Making Cities Livable Conference in Portland was full of engaging speakers and lively discussion. The photos from the conference are now online for you to peruse. We thank you again for contributing to the conversation! You can see the photos here.


Ralph Becker, Mayor of Salt Lake City was presented with the 2013 IMCL Joseph P. Riley Jr. Award at the 50th IMCL Conference in Portland, OR, June 25, 2013. The Award was made in recognition of his “exemplary Livability Initiative, a program to make Salt Lake City one of the greenest, most inclusive and economically viable municipalities in the country.” The initiative improves conditions for walking, cycling and public transit, in conjunction with a focus on creating “vibrant, walkable neighborhoods, community hubs, and housing for a full range of incomes.”   

At the 50th International Making Cities Livable Conference (IMCL) in Portland, OR, June 23-27, 2013 Mayor James Brainard received the 2013 International Making Cities Livable Joseph P. Riley Jr. Award “for his inspirational leadership in creating a vibrant, multi-functional heart for Carmel, IN. The beauty, harmony and diversity of the compact urban fabric of City Center and the Arts District, squares, parks, theater and Palladium demonstrate a clear understanding of true urbanity and a vision of Carmel as a great city.”

Before mass tourism transforms Venice into a dead museum, we would do well to study the genius of the Venetian campo. Not only the Venetians, but the whole world needs the Venetian campo, and the social life it supports, to survive and flourish.

The term "sustainability" has become ubiquitous, and yet, the focus is almost always on the environment. The other dimensions of sustainability - social and economic - are glossed over or even ignored. IMCL holds that a socially sustainable neighborhood needs to promote equitably each individual's social, mental and physical well-being, and the community's cultural, and social well-being. To achieve a socially sustainable city requires equity across neighborhoods and ethnic groups, and improved social health for future generations. Thus, social sustainability has powerful implications for city planning and urban design.

By Jessica Engelmann

When I moved to Portland five years ago, I moved because I was looking to put down roots.  At the time, I lived in Washington DC, but I was contemplating a move to Chicago.  I had spent a decade hopping from city to city, and it was time to sit still, at least for a little while. 

Gentrification continues to be a hot topic in our quest to create livable cities. While much of the discussion focuses on homogenization, racial tensions, and property values, commonly overlooked are the health effects of dramatic neighborhood change, such as gentrification. What is happening to those who are being pushed out or marginalized within their original community? How does all of this change affect their health?

In his thoughtful and perceptive article, We’re All Connected: Too bad more is not necessarily the same as better, Scott Doyon questions whether our ubiquitous “social media” strengthen our connections to one another.

While social media offer innumerable pleasures and benefits, there are side effects that we prefer to deny. We do so at our peril.

By Richard J. Jackson, MD, MPH

In medicine, when a patient is getting sicker despite increasing medicine and treatment, the doctor must find why the therapy seems useless.  What else is going on? What can work better?  One of the first things a medical student learns is: “Make the (Right) Diagnosis”.  If you are not correctly treating the underlying disease, you make the patient worse.

How satisfying to find a research report that verifies what we have all believed, and supported congressional funding for:  roadway design improvements (sidewalks, bike lanes, stop signs, traffic-calming, crosswalks, signage, lighting, etc) do indeed reduce school-age pedestrian injuries. Data are important in these times of limited funds and fiscal skeptics. The report by Charles DiMaggio and Guohua Li that went online in Pediatrics on January 14, 2013 provides sound evidence that implementation of the Safe Routes to School program in New York City has contributed to a 44% decrease in pedestrian injury in school-age children during school-travel hours[i].

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