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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 51 IMCL Conferences, by presenting the best examples from Europe and the Americas, and by honoring 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 and the elderly
- 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!