Yale’s new Benjamin Franklin and Pauli Murray residential colleges, designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects, has just won the Charles Bulfinch Architectural Award in the “institutional” category. Congratulations!

Marlena Happach is making a lasting impact as the Director of Architecture and Spatial Planning in Warsaw, Poland. Driven by her belief that quality of the city’s public places determines quality of life, she is working to “make more space for pedestrians”, “increase green in the city”, “create multifunctional, attractive spaces”, and emphasize the human scale that residents clearly prefer. “This is the end of the big investments, we want to start making little changes…” says Happach

A deadline is coming up, so act now to register for the “Healthy, 10-Minute Neighborhoods Conference”. This is going to be a spectacular event, with participants and speakers from around the world, passionate to share their findings, experience, and best plans for creating sustainable, sociable, green and walkable complete neighborhoods, and to learn from others dedicated to these ideals. 

She is outspoken, articulate, and controversial. And she believes that survival of our cities - and our planet - requires a massive culture shift. Jennifer Keesmaat, Toronto’s Chief Planner for 5 years, “a passionate champion for bike lanes, pedestrian-friendly streets, and improved transit” (CBC News) will be keynote speaker at the 55th IMCL Conference on Healthy, 10-Minute Neighborhoods in May. 

Every year, millions of tulips bloom at Ottawa’s Canadian Tulip Festival, May 11 – 21, celebrating the return of spring, and commemorating Canada’s close ties with the Netherlands. The festival is the largest of its kind in the world. In Commissioners Park alone, over 250,000 tulips of 60 different varieties bloom along one kilometer of flower beds and pathways near the Rideau Canal.

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer will speak at the 55th IMCL Conference on Designing Healthy Living, the topic of her new Report on the State of Public Health in CanadaDr. Tam will address “the tremendous potential that changing our built environment has for helping [all to] live healthier lives”. – Her call is relevant for people in cities around the world.

A healthy neighborhood is one in which most trips – to school, shops, services, work, recreation, and public transit can be made by foot or bike within 10 minutes. At the 55th IMCL Conference we shall review some of the most innovative efforts to create healthy 10-minute neighborhoods.

Social health is the foundation for physical health. At the 55th IMCL Conference we shall discuss how findings in public health and social sciences should impact the way planners and urban designers shape neighborhoods. 

Contact with nature has been shown to support health in innumerable ways. At the 55th IMCL conference we will hear about ways in which professionals in public health are working with cities to strengthen their commitment to improving access to nature in the city for physical, mental, and social health reasons, as well as new research findings in the area.

How a neighborhood is designed has a huge impact on the health of its residents.  The environment affects how much exercise we get, how strong our social immune system is, whether we can eat a healthy diet, and whether we have access to the health benefits of nature. While universities are developing this interdisciplinary field of knowledge and skills, city planners and elected officials need to collaborate with those in public health to make our cities more healthy. Please join us at the 55th International Making Cities Livable Conference on “Healthy, 10-Minute Neighborhoods” in Ottawa, May 14-18 to help achieve this.

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