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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.




Michael Häupl, Mayor of Vienna

Welcome by the Mayor and Governor of Vienna
As the Mayor of Vienna, I am pleased that Vienna is hosting the 47th IFHP World Congress in October 2003. Experienced international professionals will, during this congress, lead discussions about the effects of rapid globalisation and the influence of liberalisation and deregulation on urban governance and management. The congress theme ‘Cities & Markets’ has, in the light of the current debate about the GATS (General Agreement on Trade in Services), acquired particular significance. Not only for Vienna, but also for most other cities, there will be fundamental changes in public services. The consequences for urban development, infrastructure and quality of life are still unclear.

The Mayor of Vienna is one of the finalists for the 2004 World Mayor title.