Peter Blake's picture
June 14, 2023
New York, United States
Subject Fields: 
Architecture and Architectural History, Urban History / Studies, Environmental History / Studies, Geography, Urban Design and Planning



Place: New York  (City Tech - City University of New York)

Format: In-person and virtual

Dates: 14-16, June, 2023

Abstracts: July 5th, 2022  (Later submissions in November ‘22 and April ‘23)



What makes a city livable? Transport, housing, health and environment. Matters of culture, entrepreneurship, crime and safety. Affordability and education. Depending on whose ‘livability index’ you look at, it may include design quality, sustainability and the digital infrastructures of the smart city. Other criteria applied may encompass food access, job opportunities or walkability. Inclusivity and the politics of participation also come into play.

The past two decades have seen an exponential rise of livability measures. Reflecting increased urbanity globally, they risk making the notion of the city ever more contested. The Mercer Livability Ranking takes New York as the datum by which all other cities globally are graded – as better or worse. London, by contrast, measures itself: the London Assembly scoring everything from air quality to indices of deprivation. When we consider the livability of cities then, it is clear we are dealing with a plethora of issues – both isolated and, inevitably, interconnected.

For example, affordable housing is a neighbourhood issue. It is often linked to other questions: walkability, transport access, food deserts, and poor-quality public space. Equally, the ‘Smart City’ can be treated as a technical issue. But it also raises questions of equality of access, surveillance, adaptive computing and human interaction – not to mention creative economies, business innovation and entrepreneurial cities. The design of our neighborhoods and buildings is connected to public health, mental wellbeing and the ‘economics’ of healthy cities. In its turn, crime and public safety affect design through defensible space practices and strands of resilient city thinking.



City Tech - City University of New York, Cmabridge Scholars Publishing, UCL Press, AMPS

Contact Info: 

Cindee Hogan, Jason Montgomery, Peter Blake

Contact Email: