The IFHP (International Federation for Housing and Planning) celebrated recently one century of active engagement with cities and human settlement issues. Hosted by the Bartlett School of Planning, UCL, the IFHP 100 Centenary London Congress took place on 8-11 June bringing together a pluralism of international voices and perspectives. Participants coming from around the globe shared their experiences regarding urban growth. And this was one of the key elements of the Congress; discussions were based on ‘experiences’, on living examples-manifestations of urban prosperity or decay and of the shifting from the one to the other. From the challenges of urban growth, the visions and intentions – up to the policy making, the planning and the outcomes in terms of housing and social justice over time, one could trace the complexity of urban planning and the dynamics of public, private and civic sectors in the socio-economic processes of cities’ emergence.
The Congress Themes included resilient citiessmart citiesinclusive cities and cities in transition. Cases of regional planning, of masterplanning and of soft-urbanism, retrofitting and conviviality; issues of governance, infrastructure, land ownership, resource distribution and profit; climate resiliency; ‘smart’ as the new ‘green’; ‘garden cities’ versus ‘eco cities’; these were all topics discussed highlighting the ever-changing needs of urbanity and bringing to the fore the critical need for long term planning. Does the achievement of long term and adaptable solutions lie, as Charles Laundry (Comedia-Urban Futures Think Tank) suggested, in the divergence of our focus from the composition of laws, rules and regulations to the formation of frameworks, guidelines and suggestions? Food for thought…
For those more interested in the particularities of this event,