The Future of Places Summit: Putting Research into Practice

The Future of Places Summit will be the lead event of the Placemaking Leadership Forum and will take place on Thursday, Sept 15 in Vancouver. Building upon the first three Future of Places forums—which drew together over 1,500 urban thinkers from 100 countries and 700 organizations—this summit will focus on tangible, evidence-based methods with which international practitioners and policymakers can advance placemaking both locally and globally. A symposium will examine the thought leaders as well as promising new research into practice. This is an urgent agenda for implementation, particularly as global leaders prepare for the UN Habitat III conference the following month.


The Future of Places Summit takes place in downtown Vancouver at the Sheraton Wall Centre, Canada as part of the Placemaking Leadership Forum during Placemaking Week, September 12- 16, 2016. The Summit programming also includes an evening program: Celebrating Place to the Power of 10, co-sponsored with the SFU Public Square, taking place at various venues in downtown Vancouver.

Call for Presentations  

As part of the summit, we will feature a symposium in which presenters will share leading research into practice.  The research may include work by others that you believe will be urgently needed in the coming years, or it can be your own research, if sufficiently relevant. You can submit a presentation proposal here.

  The Urgency of the New Urban Agenda   The purpose of the United Nations Habitat III Conference in Quito, Ecuador in October 2016 is to define a “New Urban Agenda” to guide the rapid global urbanisation that will continue to increase over the next twenty years. Results from previous Future of Places symposia have already contributed a number of Key Messages to initial drafts of this document, but to ensure that the potential impacts of applying a placemaking lens to urban/economic development are fully realised, the Vancouver Future of Places Summit will focus on tangible strategies that member states can implement with their local partners.

Specifically, who will implement the New Urban Agenda? What tools and strategies will they use? Where can these resources be found? How can they be developed, shared, and refined for local application under diverse conditions? This is the focus of the Vancouver research symposium – and it is the topic for which we invite your contribution.

If you wish to attend the event without submitting a proposal, you can register here.

Plenary Speakers:

● David Brain, Ph.D., Professor, New College Florida (USA)
● Patrick Condon, Chair, Urban Design and Professor, Landscape Architecture, the University of British Columbia (CA)
● George Ferguson, first elected Mayor of the City of Bristol in the UK, and Past President, the Royal Institute of British Architects (UK)
● Hans Karssenberg, founder, Stipo, STrategic and Innovative Product development in an Open source environment, Amsterdam (USA)
● Bruce Katz, J.D., Centennial Scholar, the Brookings Institution, Washington D.C. (USA)
● Fred Kent, founder and president of the non-profit organization Project for Public Spaces, New York (USA)
● Setha Low, Ph.D, Professor of Anthropology, Environmental Psychology, Geography and Women’s Studies, and Director of the Public Space Research Group at The Graduate Center, City University of New York (USA)
● Michael Mehaffy, Ph.D., Director, Future of Places Research Network, and Executive Director, Sustasis Foundation, Portland, OR (USA)
● Vikas Mehta, Associate Professor and the Fruth/Gemini Chair and Ohio Eminent Scholar of Urban/Environmental Design at the College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning at the University of Cincinnati (USA)
● Paul Murrain, Paul Murrain Consultancy, and Senior Fellow, The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community (UK)
● Mary Rowe, Senior Fellow, Project for Public Spaces, New York (USA) ​

Sep 15 2016, 8:30am - 6:00pm PDT
BC, Vancouver, V6Z 2R9, Sheraton Wall Centre
PDT Pacific Daylight Time (North America) UTC−07

Topics of interest: 

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