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Aaaand that's a wrap!

Updated: Jun 24

A very successful (and very memorable) IMCL 2021 concludes, leaving many eager to continue on to Paris next year.

A breakout session in the spectacular plenary hall at the Palladium Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel.


The 57th IMCL conference just concluded in Carmel, Indiana, with a jam-packed week of plenaries, breakout sessions, study tours, receptions, dinners, and much more. Most attendees we spoke to agreed that the event was a smashing success -- Carmel was a splendid host, and a fascinating and impressive case study -- and they are eager to participate in the conference next year, scheduled for May 18-21 in Paris.


The IMCL leadership has also committed to adding more offerings, including publications and study tours. The next study tour is tentatively scheduled for late September, 2021, on "The Genius of the European Square: The Hill Towns of Provence," in southern France. A limited group (15-20) of attendees will gather in Uzès, France (accessible from Marseilles, Lyon, or Barcelona, or train from Paris or Milan). We will spend a week of study touring and lectures from leading scholars in the fabulous hill towns of Provence, learning the lessons of their squares and other public spaces. Contact us at info@livablecities.org to get more information, or to get on a waiting list for the tour.


Videos of the plenary and some sessions will be available later this summer - stay tuned for a rich selection of detailed how-to sessions on improving walkability, mixed use, transportation choice, equity, affordability, sustainability and resilience, and much more.


Our post-conference survey of attendees gave an overall conference rating of 3.71 out of 4, or 93%. Among the comments gathered:

  • "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"

  • "Plenary speakers were very good"

  • "I like the interdisciplinary nature of the conference"

  • "Overall, the IMCL team is to be congratulated for running an outstanding conference"

We also got many positive email comments as well. Here is a sampling:


“I just wanted to thank you for a wonderful conference... You put a lot of work in on that conference, and it was very well run.”

- Richard Erganian, Erganian Family Trust

“Thank you for bringing us together for a fabulous conference in Carmel!... It was inspiring to learn so much about creating more livable communities from the many committed speakers at the conference.”

- David and Nancy Woltering


“As a first-time IMCL attendee, I wanted to say how much I enjoyed the conference experience: the variety of professions, backgrounds and perspectives represented... I greatly look forward to attending again next year!”

- Steve Knight, Principal, David M. Schwarz Architects


“Congratulations on an amazing conference... I am really impressed by the generally high quality of the presentations, your ability to frame and facilitate productive discussions, and the careful organization and smooth operation of the conference itself. The level of the discussion was higher than other conferences I regularly attend...”

- David Brain, Professor, New College of Florida


Meanwhile, here are some photos from the conference...

Plenary session on suburban retrofit tools and strategies led by Mayor Jim Brainard of Carmel, with speakers (L-R) Doug Kelbaugh of University of Michigan, Michael Lykoudis of University of Notre Dame, Ellen Dunham-Jones of Georgia Tech, June Williamson of City College of New York, and Christopher Leinberger of George Washington University.

A breakout panel on "Community Revitalization Case Studies, Tools and Lessons," moderated by Professor Hiro Hata of the University of Buffalo.

A group of delegates walks down the beautiful Monon Parkway to the MidTown area of Carmel for dinner.

Children and their parents enjoying the splash fountain in MidTown Carmel. When spaces are designed to work for children, they usually work for everyone.

A group of speakers and attendees participates in "Late Night on Main Street," a festival that draws residents from many nearby cities and towns. L-R David Brain of New College of Florida, Doug Williams of University of Illinois, Michael Mehaffy, IMCL Executive Director, Nancy Woltering and David Woltering of Woltering Community Planning, Ellen Dunham-Jones of Georgia Tech, and Rick Phillips of rp[PLACE].

The Farmers' Market gets under way in Carmel City Center, adjacent to the Palladium Center for the Performing Arts, our main venue.

Music, healthy food, and much more are available at the Carmel Farmers' Market.

A study tour visits the Village of WestClay, an infill town center that increased the density of a low-density bedroom community, and added mixed-use shops offices and restaurants in a walkable locale. The surrounding residents were not opposed, and in fact were supportive of the opportunity to have nearby amenities. Maybe this is a "QUIMBY" model? ("Quality iIn My Back Yard?")

Another shot of the Village of West Clay.

A news article from a local radio station covered the conference and the topics discovered, with remarkable insight.


Join us in Paris, May 18-21, 2022!





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