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"From Sprawl to Neighborhoods: Livable Cities (and Suburbs) for ALL"
IMCL Logo - Graphic Only 2021.jpeg
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June 8-12, 2021

Carmel Center for the Performing Arts

1 Carter Green

Carmel, Indiana 46032

"The best conference on cities."


- Joseph P. Riley

  Former Mayor, Charleston, SC (USA)

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THE MISSION OF THE IMCL is to improve social and physical health, enhance well-being, strengthen community resilience, and increase equity and civic participation, by sharing effective tools and practices for reshaping the built environments of our cities, suburbs and towns. We do this by bringing together many of the world’s most innovative and successful mayors, planners, NGO officials, designers, developers, economic development specialists, and researchers and scholars, to share the latest evidence-based best practices, through conferences, publications and distance learning resources.


Suzanne C and Henry L Lennard Institute for Livable Cities Inc.

A Public Benefit Corporation Under US 501(c)(3) Code

WELCOME!  You've reached the site for our successful 2021 conference in Carmel, Indiana USA. This site includes papers, speaker profiles, blog posts, and many other archive conference materials. To learn about our upcoming conferences and other offerings, please visit  Thank you! 

RECAP OF THE 2021 CONFERENCE. We gathered IN PERSON in Carmel, Indiana, an impressive and instructive USA case study of transformation from a sprawling bedroom suburb to a walkable, diverse, thriving and livable town. Over 200 people participated in the conference, with twenty-four plenary presentations and over fifty breakout presentations. 


Our post-conference survey of attendees gave an overall conference rating of 3.71 out of 4, or 93%. Thank you! And thanks to all the speakers, staff and volunteers who contributed to this success. Among the feedback comments: 

  • "The organizers were terrific and it was a beautiful venue"

  • "The strength and quality of the talks was in general excellent"

  • "The plenary discussions that identified problems and solutions was very engaging" 

  • "I love the case studies and the City of Carmel presentations"

  • "The IMCL team is to be congratulated for running an outstanding conference"

Using Carmel as one in-depth case study, we examined and exchanged effective new tools and strategies to bring positive change to cities, towns and suburban areas.  With a stellar lineup of speakers (see below), we examined barriers that Carmel and other successful examples faced, and how they overcame them. 

We also assessed the coronavirus crisis as a "teachable moment" allowing us to examine the many lessons of this period, including how to handle infectious diseases within the crucial public spaces of our livable cities and towns.  And we examined other related challenges for cities and towns today, including the crisis of affordable housing, the need for climate resilience and adaptation, promoting neighborhood health, achieving urban equity, promoting active mobility, age-friendly cities, neighborhoods for children, and much more. 

Lastly, we celebrated the life and legacy of our founders, Suzanne and Henry Lennard. After they founded the IMCL in 1985, it became a premier international leadership conference on urban quality of life. These special gatherings have brought together some of the world’s most innovative and successful mayors, planners, economic development specialists, designers, developers, NGO officials, and researchers and scholars. This unique peer-to-peer event, limited to several hundred people, allows participants to share the latest strategies and tools to promote health, well-being, prosperity and livability in cities, suburbs and towns.


Please join us in Paris, May 18-21, 2022, as we build on Suzanne's and Henry's legacy, and learn from the great examples of European cities, suburbs and towns! Meanwhile, some additional reporting and photos from our 2021 conference can be seen here:

- Dr. Michael Mehaffy, Executive Director, IMCL

Get updates on the upcoming Paris conference, and other offerings


Looking for information about our 2022 conference in Paris, or other upcoming events? Click HERE to go to the NEW website,, and learn about the Paris conference - the topics, speakers, venue and logistics, and to submit an abstract for a presentation! This event is shaping up to be another terrific gathering of city leaders, researchers, designers, planners, builders and others dedicated to creating a new generation of livable cities.  We hope to see you there! 


An outstanding national and international lineup of mayors, planners, economic development experts, designers, developers, researchers, and other professionals and activists. Twenty-four plenary talks, over fifty breakout talks, tours, receptions and more. Share lessons about what's working and not working, including the latest tools and strategies for great livable cities and towns.  Some of our featured speakers:




LOGOS Updated Jun 4.jpg
Carmel 4th of July festival
Bike Share Station
Arts & Design District Street
Palladium Interior
Arts & Design District
Palladium Painter
Rails to Trails

© 2021 by Suzanne C. and Henry L. Lennard Institute for Livable Cities Inc.

DBA International Making Cities Livable. Created with 

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