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This is an archived article published in September 2003 and updated in October 2003
IFHP 2003 congress discussed
effects of globalisation on cities

The International Federation for Housing and Planning (IFHP), founded in 1913 by Ebenezer Howard, the father of the ‘garden city’, used its 47th world congress to celebrate the organisation’s 90th anniversary.

The IFHP, originally known as ‘Garden cities and Town Planning Association’ is an international forum for learning and networking within the profession of housing and planning. The Federation organises a wide range of activities to enable an international exchange of knowledge and experience. The IFHP’s most prominent event is its annual congress, which in 2003 was held in Vienna on 5 to 8 October.

The theme of the 2003 congress was ‘Cities and Markets, Shifts in Urban Development'.

In a pre-event statement, the congress organisers said a lot had changed in cities since 1913, but that the pace of change today was accelerating ever more rapidly. “Power relations are becoming increasingly dominant and moving far beyond the influence of local actors,” the statement continues.

The agenda for the Vienna congress included topics such as ‘What can cities learn from globalisation’, ‘How will competition change the framework of future urban development’ and ‘Which urban planning and management instruments will be necessary to secure social cohesion and spatial quality?'.

During the three-day programme, the main topics were addressed by 25 speakers. The focus was on urban economy, urban society and urban space. There were plenary sessions in the mornings, and more small-scale parallel sessions and study tours in the afternoons. At the end of the congress the organisers published a set of conclusions that benefit the whole planning profession.

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