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What's next for cities - and suburbs?

Find out in June, and beat "Zoom Fatigue" too - recharge with colleagues at a LIVE peer to peer leadership gathering of the International Making Cities Livable (IMCL) conference in Carmel, Indiana, June 8-12

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The timely topic is "From Sprawl to Neighborhoods: Livable Cities (And Suburbs) for ALL;" A stellar lineup of speakers will assess important lessons emerging from COVID-19, featuring many national and international leaders in planning, design, development, research, and city leadership

A planning team meeting and venue tour on April 13th in front of the Palladium concert hall. L-R: Michael Mehaffy, executive director of the IMCL; Mayor Jim Brainard of Carmel, our host; Nancy Heck, Director of Community Relations & Economic Development for the City of Carmel; Melanie Brewer, Community Relations & Economic Development Project Manager with the City of Carmel; Sondra Schwieterman, event planner working with the City of Carmel; and Chris Downs of Johnson Controls, a co-sponsor of the conference.

APRIL 14th: As the COVID-19 pandemic is approaching its apparent end, it seems that "Zoom Fatigue" is now a thing.

According to a recent New York Times article, three researchers from Stanford University have even developed the "ZEF" - the "Zoom Exhaustion and Fatigue Scale:"

Through a series of survey questions, the scale helps identify and measure five different types of fatigue associated with video calls: general (overall tiredness), social (wanting to be alone), emotional (being overwhelmed and “used up”), visual (symptoms of stress on one’s eyes) and motivational (lacking the drive to start new activities).

“We somehow tolerate it all online because it’s become the default way,” said one of the researchers. “It’s just utterly bonkers.”

David Brain, a professor of sociology and a keynote speaker at the IMCL conference in June, probably spoke for many when he said, "I'm excited about attending the conference... I’ve had about enough of meetings online!"

Dr. Brain will join others in an outstanding lineup of speakers and attendees, all able at last to meet in person, share lessons for and within public spaces, and tour actual places offering fascinating and important lessons. Our host, the City of Carmel, is a fascinating and successful case study of suburban retrofit, from a sprawling car-dependent suburb to a walkable, mixed, diverse and livable town.

The conference will focus on specifics and how-to information, as well as broader lessons from the pandemic. Examining a model at the Carmel Redevelopment

Topics will include development tools and strategies, Commission's information center

code reforms, street and suburb retrofits, strategies for

promoting greater equity and affordability, resilience and

sustainability, age-friendly development, and -- of course --

health and well-being.

Keynote speakers are national and international leaders in research and best practice, including Christopher Leinberger of George Washington University, former Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution, and author of The Option of Urbanism; Ellen Dunham-Jones of Georgia Tech, who will discuss her new book Case Studies in Retrofitting Suburbia (with co-author June Williamson); Patrick Condon, author of the new book Sick City: Disease, Race, Inequality, and Urban Land, exploring the economic dimensions of livability and equity in a post-COVID world; Doug Kelbaugh, author of the new book The Urban Fix, on emerging solutions to climate stress and urban resilience; Setha Low, anthropologist, environmental psychologist, and Director, CUNY Public Space Research Group; author of Spatializing Culture; and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, pioneering urbanist and architect, and co-author of Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream.

Mayor Brainard and Michael Mehaffy examine

the spectacular Palladium plenary hall.

We will also learn from many people with hands-on experience in achieving successful developments and revitalizations, including planners, designers, developers, and staff involved in the City of Carmel's remarkable transformation. The focus will not only be on assessing challenges -- including those emerging from the period of the pandemic -- but on identifying and sharing effective new tools and approaches to respond to city challenges.

The conference will therefore offer a unique opportunity for city leaders, planners, designers, developers, and scholars to learn the latest from global leaders, and from peers, about how to make more walkable, mixed, equitable, healthy, livable places. It will also be an early opportunity to recharge, and overcome "Zoom burnout."

While most if not all attendees are expected to have received vaccinations against COVID-19 by the time of the conference, attendees will still have ample opportunities for social distancing. The spacious Palladium View from the adjacent Hotel Carmichael, part of our venue.

plenary hall has 1,700 seats with just 350 attendees. Many

events and activities will also occur outdoors.

We hope to see you there! More information is at

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