Ismael Fernandez Mejia


The planning profession is designing and planning cities as if the world was still in the past two centuries, when the requirements of society were different, leaving the profession in a state of coma or intensive care. A major issue is the failure to deliver the right proposals for solutions to the challenges that are prevalent today – urbanisation, urban poverty and urban liveability. Applying 19th and 20th century solutions to 21st century problems is not the answer. On the one hand, we ought to try to understand the causes and effects of the urbanization phenomenon and apply some new and imaginative tools for immediate action. On the other hand, we must do pure research on how society is living and what future expectations are, and the technical, social and economic resources that we have at our disposal. Planners must help change the paradigm of how cities are designed and constructed, and need to identify the tools to achieve these objectives .

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Global Movement Leader, Architect, Urban Planner, Urban Developer & Urban Designer

Ismael Fernandez is a Mexican Architect, Urban Planner, Consultant in Urban Development Projects and Infrastructure. Its professional experience, of more than 35 years involved in projects for the private and public sectors, is based in the fields of Urban and Regional Planning, Spatial Analysis, Urban and Architectural Design, and the Design and integration of Infrastructure and Real Estate Development Projects. Ismael Fernandez is the former President of the International Society of City and Regional Planners, a global society of urban planners devoted to the generation and dissemination of knowledge for better cities, with representation and members in more than 90 countries. He is also a member of the Steering Committee of the UN-Habitat World Urban Campaign and Team Leader of the Global Research Study “The Age of Cities”. As an architect, urban planner, international consultant in urban development projects, he is President of IFM International.

IFM International is a firm devoted to the integration of urban development, infrastructure and real estate investment projects and President and CEO of IF & A SC, a consultancy firm giving advice on projects and studies in architecture, urban design and regional planning. He is also Head and Founder of the Centre of Urban Studies, a think tank specialized in urban matters. His professional experience of more than 35 years lies in the fields of urban and regional planning, spatial analysis, urban and architectural design, and the design and integration of infrastructure and real estate development projects. He is currently the Chair of the Habitat Professionals Forum, representing more than 2 million human settlements professionals in the fields of architecture, planning, engineering, surveying, landscape architecture, water, and urban design.