The International Planning History Society (IPHS) was inaugurated in January 1993 as a successor body to the Planning History Group, founded in England in 1974. The Society endeavors to foster the study of planning history worldwide; encourages and supports interest and place-based networks in the fields of planning history; publishes a journal and organizes conferences.
The College of Design, Construction and Planning, University of Florida, USA with support from Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida, is hosting the 2014 IPHS Conference, July 20-23, 2014. The conference theme, “Past as Guide to Sustainable Futures” links with the role of the St. Augustine community as a window into development of cities in North America with the influence of multiple cultures.
The conference city is a model of sustainability and adaptation. Founded in 1565, St. Augustine is the oldest continuously occupied city in North America and whose town plan is recognized on the US National Historic Register. The IPHS conference will occur in the midst of a four-year remembrance that includes the 200thanniversary of the Spanish Constitution, the 500th anniversary of the landing of Juan Ponce de Leon in Florida and by official accounts North America, the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act (which had direct ties to St. Augustine) and the 450thanniversary of the founding of St. Augustine by Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles. St. Augustine remains a vibrant walkable city with a rich array of historic sites of national importance, including the Castillo de San Marcos situated along the city’s waterfront. There are several other forts in the city and adjacent area. St. Augustine boasts historic houses and structures preserved and managed by an array of local organization, museums that showcase different phases of St. Augustine’s development. The city’s signature complex, the Hotel Ponce de Leon and its companion buildings (opened in 1888) now function as the academic buildings of the Flagler College campus. Two other Flagler structures serve the city, one being the main offices of city government and a museum, and the other a high-end hotel, the Casa Monica.
The Conference will use many parts of this walkable city. For example, the Flagler College campus classrooms, auditorium and the Ponce itself, will accommodate many of the conference activities. Yet, adjacent to the Flagler campus is Government House, a historic structure that previously served as a post office and then as government offices (including those of the local preservation officials) which is being restored and converted into a multi-use space under the stewardship of the University of Florida. Indeed, the University of Florida, in partnership with the City of St. Augustine, is engaged in improvements and management of more than thirty historic and re-production structures within the main historic core of St. Augustine. The intent of the conference is to embed participants, even for their short stay, in the life of this historic walkable city.