54th Conference in Santa Fe

54th International

Making Cities Livable Conference on


& Design Awards Competition on

Designing Public Places

La Fonda Hotel, Santa Fe, NM
October 2-6, 2017

30 AICP CM credits

Dear International Making Cities Livable,

Welcome to Santa Fe! Our community thanks you very much for choosing The City Different for the fifth time to host your conference, and for coming at such a beautiful time of our year.

This year’s conference theme of “Public Places for Community, Democratic Dialogue, Health and Equity” is one that Santa Fe relates to strongly. As you may know from previous visits, we preserve, protect and produce our public spaces with those principles in mind. We’ve been recognized by the American Planning Association, who named the Santa Fe Railyard as one of the Great Places In America, and last December we were named one of three finalists in the world for the National Geographic World Legacy Awards in the Sense Of Place category.

Your continued visits to us also reaffirm our commitment as a livable, sustainable city with treasured community places and other features of “True Urbanism” as you define it. For example, in addition to preserving the long and low architectural style that protects our mountain views, Santa Fe provides free transit through the Santa Fe Pick-Up service. In addition to our Green Lodging initiative, over the last dozen years the city has added 19 miles of paved, off-road hike/bike trails and another 12 miles of designated bike routes—in part leading to a Silver Ride Level Destination award from the International Mountain Biking Association. Currently we work to unify the entire trail system around the city.

From our historic public square and marketplaces to outdoor cafes, farmers markets, and community festivals, and from human-scale architecture and balanced transportation to pedestrian and bicycle networks, we share our values with you. Santa Fe is also full of public art, but also an artwork itself, and is designed to be safe, creative and inspiring for young and old, families of all kinds, and everyone else who comes down the trail to see us.

We are especially honored to have International Making Cities Livable with us at this important time and wish you all the best this week in Santa Fe and in all your endeavors beyond the conference. 

Javier M. Gonzales,
Mayor, City of Santa Fe

Public places – our streets, plazas, squares, and green spaces – belong to ALL of us! They are our democratically shared common wealth - the most important aspect of every city. How we treat the public realm demonstrates how we value our fellow citizens, our democratic principles, and our community.

If we treasure our plazas and main squares as beautiful places for community festivals and celebrations, we are embracing our unity and the power of our shared identity as a city.

If we hold a daily farmers market on a square next to city hall, government representatives can demonstrate they value democratic dialogue, and civic engagement flourishes.

If we create lively, hospitable neighborhood plazas, we exhibit our faith in the benefits of social life and community, and the opportunity to raise our children within a village of sustained adult relationships.

If we make our streets safe for walking and biking, and provide good public transit, we show that we recognize that health is important, and that we care for our children and elders as much as for those in cars. If we make our streets beautiful, hospitable, and lively with active street facades, we encourage strolling, lingering at outdoor cafes, and the sociable interaction that can follow.

Public places are the essential key to a livable city. Join us in Santa Fe to share your achievements and learn from others how we can take back our streets and squares - and in the process, strengthen community, civic engagement, health, and equity.

See you in beautiful Santa Fe - “The City Different”!

Suzanne H. Crowhurst Lennard, Ph.D.(Arch.)
Co-founder & Director, IMCL Conference

Conference venue

The conference will take place at the historic La Fonda Hotel on the Plaza. La Fonda’s rich and colorful legacy dates back 400 years. It established the Santa Fe Trail, and became the preferred lodging option among trappers, soldiers, gold seekers, gamblers and politicians. Today’s unique adobe structure is a national treasure, with hand carved beams, stained glass skylights and a 25 foot cathedral ceiling. It was built in 1922, and features the influence of architects Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter and John Gaw Meem.

Today, the hotel offers luxury accommodations, and traditional rooms and suites with authentic hand-carved furniture and original artwork. The hotel offers restaurants, bars, a café and the Bell Tower Bar, wellness services, a spa and pool, as well as shops and galleries. A whole traditional town seems to exist within this rambling adobe building.

The hotel is offering our delegates special rates beginning at $169. As soon as you are registered, we will send you details of how to reserve your room at the conference rate.

Arriving in Santa Fe

Most people fly into Albuquerque International airport, which handles major airlines. From there, a regular shuttle bus service takes you the 60 miles (2 hours) to the door of La Fonda Hotel. For shuttle information, see Sandia Shuttles or Road Runner Shuttle.

If you also plan to tour the area, you can rent a car at the airport and drive to Santa Fe. Parking in the hotel is currently $18/day. Alternatively, Enterprise car rental is located in the garage at La Fonda.

Santa Fe Municipal Airport provides commercial airline service by American Eagle Airlines and United Express. For further information, click here. In bad weather flying over the mountains can cause some disruption of service for these smaller planes.

For a unique historic entry into Santa Fe, you can also arrive in Santa Fe by train via Albuquerque. (Please note the train station is not connected to the airport). View the Schedule and Current Fare Structure, and visit the New Mexico Rail Runner Express website for details.


A variety of tours in Santa Fe will be organized for Monday afternoon, October 2, the earliest beginning at 2.30pm. Longer tours in the Santa Fe area (e.g. Taos, Bandelier, Chimaya, mountain biking) will be organized for Friday afternoon, October 6.