55th Conference in Ottawa

55th IMCL Conference

Healthy, 10-Minute Neighborhoods

Design Awards Competition on

Designing Healthy, 10-Minute Neighborhoods

May 14-18, 2018
Ottawa, Canada

30+ AICP CM Credits Available

Photo by: Denis Tangney Jr.

Dear International Making Cities Livable,

Ottawa is thrilled to be the first Canadian city to host your prestigious conference. We look forward to this opportunity to learn from the experiences of the world-renowned professionals that will be speaking at the conference, and share with you our own journey toward our goal of being the most livable major city in North America.

Canada’s capital is at the heart of a thriving metropolitan area of 1.4 million people, one of the five most populous in Canada. Ottawa has a unique story and urbanism model based on choices we made throughout our rich planning history. We have the highest level of transit usage (23%) of all North American cities without a subway thanks to our invention of the Transitway, a dedicated Bus Rapid Transit network that is now almost 40 years old and has allowed the city to grow more compactly than typical North American cities, and thanks to which we have retained a strong and vibrant walking and transit culture.

The 55th IMCL Conference will feature a series of presentations on the Ottawa model of urbanism. Ottawa is working hard towards the 2018 opening of the city’s new Light Rail transit system, which represents the graduation of our 40-year Bus Rapid Transit culture to the next level of rapid transit. You will hear how Ottawa achieves high transit ridership, exceeds its intensification targets, addresses contemporary issues of urban form and design, and uses regulatory land use tools to support its goals of 50% non-car mode share by 2031.

Ottawa in the spring is also one of Canada’s most charming cities, with its laid-back yet bustling street life, well-used buses, myriad of festivals and cultural events, pedestrian- and bike-friendly neighbourhoods, intimate bars and inventive restaurants, amidst the spectacular monuments of the nation and a breathtaking natural setting.

Welcome to our city.

Jim Watson, Mayor

IMCL is delighted to announce that the 55th IMCL Conference will take place in Ottawa, with the very active partnership of the City, and will focus on the immensely important theme of Healthy, 10-Minute Neighborhoods.

Efforts are under way around the world to create healthy neighborhoods where walking, biking and public transit are more attractive, reducing dependence on the car. We all know this is the most important way to assure an active, sustainable future for our grandchildren, and to fight climate change.

New transit-oriented development encourages the creation of walkable mixed-use neighborhoods around transit stations. Light rail, streetcar lines and buffered bike routes in existing residential neighborhood spur higher density infill mixed-use. Suburban shopping malls are finally being replaced with mixed-use residential, office, commercial and service facilities. In the developing world, dense new cities are rising, promoted as “green” and “smart”.

But do these developments promote social health, community, contact with nature, equity, and well-being? Are they good environments for children and elders? Are they human scale? Do they include neighborhood squares and parks, a mix of all income and age groups, workplaces, schools, civic facilities, and services, farmers markets, festivals - and beauty for all? Are they creating healthy, 10-minute neighborhoods?

Ottawa is an ideal setting for us to discuss these issues. In 2018 the City is opening the light metro Confederation Line, its new rapid transit system, and unveiling plans for several new neighborhoods around transit stations. The City is welcoming IMCL and providing a most hospitable context for discussion of these important issues.

Join us in Canada’s handsome capital city, Ottawa for an exciting conference where we will share and examine the best models as we pursue the goal of promoting healthy, sustainable, equitable 10-minute neighborhoods.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Suzanne H. Crowhurst Lennard, Ph.D.(Arch.)
Co-founder & Director, IMCL Conference

Conference venue

The City of Ottawa is hosting the conference at the Shaw Centre, Ottawa’s primary convention centre on the banks of the Rideau Canal, just a few steps from The Lord Elgin Hotel. The building features a dramatic curved glass facade on the Colonel By Drive front that offers magnificent views of the Rideau Canal, Parliament, and downtown area.

The Shaw Centre was built to be as environmentally friendly as possible, and in January 2013, was awarded LEED Gold certification by the U.S Green Building Council.

The Lord Elgin Hotel

IMCL has reserved a block of rooms at the 4-star luxury The Lord Elgin Hotel, a handsome historic landmark immediately across the Rideau Canal from the Shaw Centre. Built in the Chateau-style to complement the houses of Parliament nearby, and named after the 8th Earl of Elgin, it was constructed in limestone with the help of Scottish stonemasons.

In celebration of its 75th anniversary this elegant, comfortable hotel was just renovated in a classic and Art Deco style.

Special rates are available to IMCL participants after registration.

Getting to Ottawa

Ottawa is easy to get to by car or by train from Montreal (2 hour drive), Quebec, or Toronto (4.5 hour drive).

If you are flying, the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport is located close to downtown Ottawa, with more than 130 non-stop flights daily to more than 50 destinations in Canada, the United States and European cities.

From the Airport, Bus #97 runs every 20 minutes to downtown. You get off at the corner of Albert/Metcalfe, 2 blocks from the Lord Elgin Hotel. The bus takes 30 minutes, and costs $3. Taxi will take 10-15 minutes and cost $22-$27. Uber may cost about half the taxi fare.