This was the ICPMA Conference 2017 – Report
A packed 2017 conference discussed and debated two topical subject areas: how to add value to modern city centres, and digitalisation; the way forward?
Attendees came from across the globe again; Austria, Australia, Finland, Hungary, Iran, Ireland, Japan, U.K., USA, Switzerland and Germany. With the focus on Hamburg, the waterfront; Elbphilarmonie; HafenCity and Art Invest projects were showcased: with the National Theatre London; Oslo; Kyoto and Ireland concluding the international look.
All of these projects have combined new uses for our cities that respect the historic fabric, but add something special and create places popular with people. Further use of digitalisation was acknowledged by all delegates to be the route to create more effective, successful and efficient buildings. Whilst the talent of designers and other professionals will always be needed, achievements can be maximised by fully embracing these modern techniques. Speakers from Austria, Switzerland and Germany gave fascinating insights and this theme will be returned to in future conferences.
During the evening celebrations, two distinctions for 2017 for ”the better way” awards were presented to the Higashi-Honganji Temple in Kyoto, by Nikken Sekkei; and for the Qatar Foundation for Islamic Studies in Qatar, by Astad.
A site visit was held to the iconic Elbphilarmonie Concert Hall in Hamburg, one of the most impressive new buildings seen by ICPMA and set to be a catalyst for the future growth of Hamburg. It was again wonderful to see that people who met there for the first time in a formal manner said goodbye in a very personal way, as friends. That is the spirit of ICPMA Conferences and why ICPMA is different from many other organisations.
During the conference proceedings I was officially announced as the new President of ICPMA, and I will endeavour, with the Steering Committee, to help to grow the influence and value of ICPMA during my tenure. A special thanks goes to Arnd Wittchen for his two years as President and for arranging such a special conference in the city where he works. He will be a hard act to follow.
I look forward to meeting you and our members again at our next Annual Conference, currently being planned for May/June 2017. We will keep you informed about the location and specific dates on our homepage in the near future.