1st Conference in Venice

1st International Conference on


Ateneo Veneto
Venice, Italy
June 6 - 10, 1985

"… the new example Venice set in city planning was never taken in, much less imitated by other cities… Venice pushed even further, right into our own age, the organization by neighborhoods and precincts whose recovery today, as an essential cellular unit of planning, is one of the fundamental steps toward re-establishing the new urban form."
Lewis Mumford

We have chosen to hold this Conference on Making Cities Livable in Venice, in the belief that participants may find inspiration from this most livable of cities. Among the “success stories” to be presented at the conference, or cities that have restored a quality of livability and human scale in their city centers, Venice plays a special role. An introductory session will be devoted to this city which, despite its changing fortunes, has never relinquished its human centeredness and its exuberant love of life.

Architects, city planners and urban designers still have much to learn from Venice’s incomparable organization of community urban spaces – “campi”, its network of pedestrian streets and alleys, and its compact human scale. Mayors and city managers could study no city that offers its residents a better quality of life, ease and pleasure in shopping and marketing, in business, in commuting, a city that for six centuries has maintained a quite stable economy, a city that offers stimulation, delight and surprise without stress. Urban space animators could find no city as inexhaustibly imaginative in its production of festivals, concerts, performances, processions and dances in the campi. And sociologists could find no richer location for the study of everyday social life than to observe Venetians in the campi.

This is not t say that Venice does not have its problems. Nonetheless, most Venetians agree with their poet, Diego Valeri that …there is probably not one city under the sky that is more completely a city, which means to say, more imbued with constructive energy, more coherent in itself, more rigorously adapted to civil life.

Plenary and Panel Sessions

  • Concurrent Themes: Learning from Europe / Community Participation
  • Learning from Venice
  • Community Participation in Planning
  • Maintaining a Viable Community
  • City Case Studies: Venice, Salzburg, Vienna, Freiburg, Tübingen
  • The Importance of Markets
  • Architecture and Streetscape
  • The Pedestrian and Traffic
  • Methods for Studying and Reviving Downtown
  • Sculpture for Public Places
  • Natural Light & the Italian Piazza
  • Social and Ethical Aspects of Public Life
  • Public Life and Public Space for Children and the Elderly
  • Festivals, Celebrations and Entertainment
  • The Art of Living in Cities, The Art of Making Cities Livable


  • Matthias Angermeyer, Psychiatrist, Medizinische Hochschule, Hamburg, GERMANY
  • Paul Bert, Director of Building Works, Freiburg, GERMANY
  • Suzanne H. Crowhurst Lennard, Director, Center for Urban Well-Being, New York, NY, USA. Conference Organizer
  • Andreas Feldtkeller, Director of Planning & Restoration, Tübingen, GERMANY
  • Guelfo Frulla, Director, Stanford-Florence Program, Florence, ITALY
  • Dietrich Garbrecht, Urban Planner, Zurich, SWITZERLAND
  • Jaques Kaswan, President, Urban Alternatives, San Francisco, CA, USA
  • Fred Kent, President, Project for Public Spaces, New York, NY, USA
  • Sandra Davis Lakeman, Assoc. Professor, Architecture & Environmental Design, Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo, CA, USA
  • Henry L. Lennard, Professor of Sociology in Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA. Conference Organizer
  • Rolf Monheim, Professor of Urban Geography, Bayreuth University, Bayreuth, GERMANY
  • Patrick Quinn, Professor, Department of Architecture, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Jim Rouse, Developer, President of Rouse Corporation; Enterprise Foundation, Columbia, MD, USA
  • Edoardo Salzano, Deputy Mayor for Urban Planning, Venice, Professor, University of Venice, Venice, ITALY
  • Derek Shearer, Director of Urban Studies, Occidental College, Santa Monica, CA, USA
  • Bonifatius Stirnberg, Sculptor, Aachen, GERMANY
  • Hartmut Topp, Professor of Transportation Planning, University of Kaiserslautern, GERMANY
  • Johannes Voggenhuber, City Councilor, Mayor for the Old City, Salzburg, AUSTRIA
  • William H. Whyte, American Conservation Association, New York, NY, USA

Special Events

  • Teatro Fenice - Ballet “Bandoneon”
  • Chiesa della Pietà - Mozart Divertimenti

Photo Gallery