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Delta councillor to see what makes Paris suburb more livable

The IMCL says the conferences have become ‘a unique peer-to-peer gathering of city leaders and researchers, typically hosted in beautiful, intimate and instructive case-study locale’
jeannie kanakos conference 2022
Coun. Jeannie Kanakos will be attending a Paris conference on livable cities. Each conference is aimed at focusing on a host city ‘offering important and timely lessons in livable and sustainable urban development.’

Delta Coun. Jeannie Kanakos will be going to Paris, France to find out more about what makes communities more livable.

She will be a moderator at the Making Cities Livable Conference from May 18 to 22.

It’s part of an international conference series hosted by the Lennard Institute for Livable Cities.

The Paris region will be the case study this year.

“It’s being held in a suburb of Paris where they have done an extensive repurposing of a bedroom community/suburban community to become a more livable community,” said Kanakos. “They’ve been doing things near and dear to our hearts with things like more bike lanes and making a 15-minute city that’s close to everything. It will focus on best practices for communities and cities.”

Noting she has been involved in past conferences, Kanakos said she received an invitation to attend this year’s event, a peer-to-peer gathering of civic leaders, professionals and scholars.

The theme for the upcoming conference is “Architecture and the Edges of Public Space: Tools and Strategies for a New Urban Agenda.”

Those attending are to discuss what the role is of architecture in supporting more active, more connective, more beautiful public spaces, promoting human and planetary health, well-being and livability.

The International Making Cities Livable (IMCL) conference series started in 1985 and has become a premier international gathering and resource platform for more livable, humane and ecological cities and towns, according to its website.

“Each IMCL gathering has focused on a host city offering important and timely lessons in livable and sustainable urban development. Past hosts have included Freiburg, Germany; Charleston, USA; Bristol, UK; Venice, Italy; Portland (OR) USA; and Carmel, Indiana, USA. Importantly, the IMCL conferences cover not just big cities but also small towns and suburbs, since such a large percentage of the world’s inhabitants live in these areas, and many of the world’s social, economic and environmental challenges occur there too.”

The organization also notes the conferences brought “new attention to the importance of making cities livable for all including children and the elderly, the need for public transit, bicycle lanes, and traffic calmed streets, for human scale architecture and mixed use urban fabric, for reviving city centers and creating public places where people could gather for farmers markets, festivals, outdoor cafes and community social life.”

Delta council recently endorsed the invitation for Kanakos to attend the conference on the city’s behalf, agreeing to the expenditure, which will be just under $4,000.

Kanakos, who will provide a report to council following the event, said she will also be talking about Delta initiatives including the cycling master plan and housing strategy.