"From Sprawl to Neighborhoods: Livable Cities (and Suburbs) for ALL"
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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

Please join us for a very special 57th IMCL Conference in 2021!

We’ll gather in Carmel, Indiana, an impressive and instructive USA case study of trans- formation from a sprawling bedroom suburb to a walkable, diverse, thriving and livable town. (Some of Carmel's remarkable accomplishments are shown in the background of this website, and in the photos below.) Using Carmel as one concrete example, we’ll ask, what are the effective new tools and strategies to bring positive change to suburban areas?  What are the barriers Carmel and other similar success stories faced, and how did they overcome them? Or if they didn’t, what can we learn from those lessons too?

We'll also assess the coronavirus crisis as a "teachable moment" allowing us to examine how to handle infectious diseases in a public setting -- including the crucial public spaces of our livable cities and towns. We are honored to have two international leaders to guide this discussion. Dr. Richard Jackson is a renowned healthy cities expert, Professor Emeritus at the Fielding School of Public Health at UCLA, and former Director of the National Center for Environmental Health at the Centers for Disease Control. Dr. Mark J Nieuwenhuijsen is Research Professor and Director of the Urban Planning, Environment and Health Initiative of the IS Global Barcelona Institute for Global Health, and a world leading expert in environmental exposure assessment, epidemiology, and health risk impact assessment, with a strong focus on healthy urban living. We hope you'll join us for this important and timely discussion.

And we’ll examine 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'll celebrate the life and legacy of our founder, Suzanne Lennard. Since its founding in 1985 by Suzanne and her late husband Henry,  the IMCL has become a premier international leadership conference on urban quality of life. These special gatherings have brought together many of the world’s most innovative and successful mayors, planners, economic development specialists, designers, developers, NGO officials, and researchers and scholars. This exceptional peer-to-peer event, limited to several hundred participants, will allow you to share the latest strategies and tools to promote health, well-being, prosperity and livability in your city or town. Please join us as we celebrate and build on Suzanne's legacy!

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: At this time we are very optimistic that a vaccine will be widely distributed prior to our June 2021 conference date.  At the same time, our beautiful and spacious venue allows ample social distancing. If for any reason we have to cancel this event, you are welcome to a full refund, or we can give you full credit toward the next conference in our regular series (begun in 1985).  We hope you will make plans to join us in Carmel! 

- Dr. Michael Mehaffy, Executive Director, IMCL



Join leading national and international mayors, planners, economic development experts, designers, developers, researchers, and other professionals and activists. Share lessons about what's working and not working, including the latest tools and strategies for great livable cities and towns.  These are just some of our speakers:



Show More
Carmel 4th of July festival
Bike Share Station
Arts & Design District Street
Palladium Interior
Arts & Design District
Palladium Painter
Rails to Trails


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