Remembering Suzanne Crowhurst Lennard

by Michael Mehaffy

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of our dear friend and collaborator Suzanne Crowhurst Lennard, at 3:15 AM on September 17, after a relatively short illness. The cause of livable and humane cities has lost a champion—but her work and legacy will go on, including the International Making Cities Livable conference series begun by her with her late husband Henry Lennard. The next conference will be held in Carmel, Indiana June 2-6, 2020.

57th Conference in Carmel

57th International Making Cities Livable Conference on

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

& Design Award Competition

June 2-6, 2020
The Center for the Performing Arts, Carmel, IN


In 1985, when these conferences began, there was no discussion at other planning or architectural conferences, or even at the League of Cities Conferences about making our cities more "livable". Only the IMCL Conferences focused attention on the importance of making cities livable for children first, the need for public transit, bicycle lanes, and traffic calmed streets, for human scale architecture and mixed use urban fabric, for reviving the city center and creating public places where people could gather for farmers markets, festivals, outdoor cafes and community social life.

By bringing together people of vision from all disciplines at the past 56 IMCL Conferences, by presenting the best examples from Europe and the Americas, and by honoring exemplary cities and civic leaders for their achievements, we rejoice in the fact that these are now common goals for cities all across America and Australia, as well as in Europe.

Our mission now is to:

  • Rebuild community by replacing sprawl with compact, human scale urban fabric
  • Recognize and combat the negative impact of our built environment on physical, social and mental health
  • Adopt planning and urban design decisions that will make our cities and suburbs more livable for children, elders and the poor 
  • Emphasize ethical land use patterns to reduce extreme economic disparities
  • Strengthen compact urban neighborhoods to maintain diversity of ethnic and cultural identity
  • Build multifunctional town squares that, like the ancient agora or medieval marketplace, can regenerate civic engagement and democratic participation.

These issues must be resolved in the next twenty years if we are to rediscover the principles of true urbanism, rebuild our cities so that they are ecologically sustainable, and regain communities that are healthy and socially sustainable. Please join us in helping to reach these goals!