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IFHP on the Road in France: Convening on the Montreal Design Declaration

On April 3-5th 2019, IFHP convened with signatories to the Montreal Design Declaration in St. Etienne, France at a Pre-Summit Meeting.

IFHP first reported on the Design Declaration back in November 2017, when it had just been signed on 24 October 2017 in Montréal, in the presence of three UN agencies (UNESCOUN-HabitatUN Environment) by the fourteen international organisations and partners, including WUC: World Urban Campaign as well as WUC affiliates: UIA: International Union of Architects; IFLA: International Federation of Landscape Architects; GPN: Global Planners NetworkCAP: Commonwealth Association of PlannersASF International: Architecture Sans Frontières International and, of course IFHP.

The signing of the Design Declaration marks the launch of a global collaborative effort to utilize the potential of design for the benefit of all, and concludes: "All people deserve to live in a well-designed world." The Design Declaration is a Call to Action, consolidating a broad spectrum of design disciplines, to speak in a single voice on the value of design across the board, to get the ear of governments, educators, civil and private sectors to engage with design. It is also a call to designers themselves to step into a leadership role. A call for “people for design”.

From an IFHP perspective and in terms of the built environment and the cities we need, we see sustainable design goals as part and parcel to sustainable development goals, and we are campaigning for the role and responsibility of urban design. But to do so, we need people and policy making the most of potential of urban design. So to say; Urban Design for People takes People and Policy for Urban Design.

The St. Etienne Pre-Summit Meeting  focused on the development of three key projects outlined in the Design Declaration, which were identified as highest priority by the Declaration Signatories in a recent internal survey:
— Design Metrics: Establishing metrics and collecting data and case studies to more effectively communicate the value of design;
— Design Education & Research: Fostering development, recognition, support and funding for design education and research, including development of new formats for design education curricula.

— Government Design Policy: Supporting development of national and regional design policies;

The themes were elaborated and explored in three specific sessions highlighting the Pre-Summit in St. Etienne. Project sessions included curated keynote presentations, as well as panel and round table discussions. The results of these sessions will contribute to informing the pathway for full activation of the Projects leading to the next full-scale Summit Meeting.

Design Declaration Summit Steering Committee

Currently six design organizations are leading the implementation of the Design Declaration

  • BEDA: Bureau of European Design Associations: Bart Ahsmann, Päivi Tahkokallio
  • Cumulus: International Association of Universities and Colleges of Art, Design and Media: Elsebeth Gerner Nielsen, Salmi Eija
  • IxDA: Interaction Design Association: Alok Nandi, Brenda Sanderson
  • ico-D: International Council of Design (): David Grossman, Zachary Haris Ong
  • IFHP: International Federation for Housing and Planning: Flemming Borreskov, Regitze Marianne Hess
  • IFLA: International Federation of Landscape Architects: Kathryn Moore

Read more about the Pre-Summit in St. Etienne at World Urban Campaign’s Newsletter and about the Montreal Design Declaration at ico-D.


IFHP Director International Affairs, Regitze Marianne Hess,