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Well known to lovers of livable cities worldwide, Jan has spent his life studying people in the spaces between buildings – streets and squares. His goal - to understand how the architecture and design of a place facilitates positive social life, walkability and bikeability. He has consulted for cities around the world and taught the next generation to design and rebuild public places. And he has written many books. His most famous, Cities for People has been translated into 25 languages and now help to guide urban design around the world.

A thousand thanks for a fantastic inspiring conference.
Torgeir Esig Soerensen, Stavanger, Norway

First and foremost thank you very much for inviting me, for bestowing great honours on me and for organizing such an interesting conference with many very nice and interesting folks. I enjoyed it very much and was sorry to miss the final day.
Jan Gehl, Copenhagen, Denmark

A most amazing conference - glad I have finally made it to an IMCL event after hearing of them from afar for many years.  I was very impressed with the consistent richness.
Rod Duncan, Melbourne, Australia.

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.  

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…"

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.

Imagine a major intersection with no traffic lights, no traffic signals, no painted lines on the road, and no curbs. Now imagine that scenario with over 26,000 vehicles passing through a traditional village center with heavy pedestrian traffic bustling through. Believe it or not, this already exists and it’s called a “shared space” and it is located in the village of Poynton. Ben Hamilton-Baillie is the urban designer responsible for this phenomenon, and he will be a keynote speaker at this year’s 52nd International Making Cities Livable Conference on Achieving Green, Healthy Cities.

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