Cologne: 05.–08.11.2019

Save the date: 5 to 8 November 2019

26th International IAKS Congress in Cologne, Germany

The IAKS Congress is THE international meeting place for everything to do with sports and leisure facilities, pools, amenity areas and urban design. The panel discussions, lectures and workshops of the IAKS Congress illustrate the trends in architecture and management that you need to know now and in the future.

IAKS Kongress at FSB

How can cities address the global demand to offer more space to citizens for active and healthy lifestyles? How can public authorities promote physical activity, sport for all and recreation to communities with a growing diversity? Social sustainability is key for the future of urban living, and it requires new ways of programming as well as unique and creative solutions for the design, integration and operation of sports and leisure facilities.

Main topic: "Facilitating an active world"

The conference programme will feature an international group of speakers providing innovative responses to the demanding challenges of funding development of new sports and leisure facilities that offer relevant, meaningful, and lifestyle-enhancing experiences to all members of the community. Presentations will look at global trends and constraints with the objective of addressing them at the community level.

Active living in sustainable cities

Global Active City Lable

Experts from TAFISA and Evaleo will present the “Global Active City (GAC) programme”. The GAC programme, which is supported by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), aims at recognizing cities that implement a Physical Activity and Sport for All management system, improving governance and efficiency.

Further information to Global Active City

Visiting sports and leisure facilities

Visiting sports and leisure facilities

Once you have arrived in Cologne, you will discover interesting sports and leisure opportunities in the vicinity of Messestadt. For your comfort, the IAKS has put together selected sports and leisure facilities that are worth a visit due to their architecture, accessibility, location, operating and management concept or sustainability.

Overview of sports and leisure facilities

Preliminary programme IAKS Congress 2019

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Developing active cities

The first congress session is devoted to international, national and local initiatives from around the globe. Experts will present global strategies and planning models to make cities better places for active living.

The afternoon will see presentations from municipalities that have undertaken significant steps to become “Global Active Cities”. Learn how they developed their strategies to enhance urban planning, offer better activity infrastructure, engage neighbourhoods and design public spaces and streets for more inclusivity and activity! The “Global Active City” programme is part of the “Active Well-Being Initiative” formed by TAFISA, evaleo and the IOC.

2019 IOC IPC IAKS architecture prizes gala event

The highlight of the 2019 IAKS Congress social programme will take place on the night of 5 November, when operators and designers of exemplary sports, leisure and recreational facilities will be awarded with the 2019 IOC IPC IAKS architecture prizes.


10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Developing active cities: Global strategies and initiatives
  • Introduction by Dr Stefan Kannewischer, IAKS President
  • IOC Strategy on socially sustainable development
  • The Global Active City Label and the Active Well-Being Initia-tive
  • Development of sports and leisure facilities in the UK
12:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Lunch break and visit of FSB
2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Global active cities: Best practices
  • Liverpool: A pioneer city walks the talk
  • Hamburg: The legacy lives on
  • Richmond: Leading healthy and active lives
4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Visit of FSB
5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Happy hour for IAKS members and friends
Meet & greet at the IAKS booth
6:30 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
2019 IOC IPC IAKS Architecture Prizes Ceremony
Awards gala with prize-giving ceremony
Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Activating infrastructure: Best practices

Growing a city’s profile around sports and leisure has been an often-repeated goal but few metropolitan cities have been successful in ultimately achieving this. City representatives and planners from Northern America and Europe will demonstrate how to build stronger active living infrastructure in metropolitan cities responding to different cultural, geographic and urban settings.

The second session of the day will focus on smaller cities. Typically having fewer resources, smaller cities often find it more challenging to offer settings that are active and inclusive. Learn from the experiences of Danish and UK operators and architects how you can succeed in creating modern and appealing, financially and socially sustainable leisure facilities!


10:30 a.m. - 12:00 a.m.
Building stronger active living infrastructure in metropo-litan cities
  • Best practices from Denver
  • Best practices from Calgary
12:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Lunch break and visit of FSB
1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Building stronger active living infrastructure in smaller cities
  • Why recreation facilities are so important in small communities
  • GAME concept and Streetmekka best practices
3:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Coffee break and visit of FSB
3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
IAKS General Assembly (only for IAKS members)
5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Happy hour for IAKS members and friends
Meet & greet at the IAKS booth
Thursday, 7 November 2019

Leisure and recreation: What is the right public and social infrastructure?

“Sports halls for the future” is the challenging title for the first session of the third congress day. Sports halls are one of the fundamental building blocks of a community’s sports and leisure infrastructure but their design and programming need to evolve to meeting an ever-broadening range of expectations and users. An international panel will show strategies for activating leisure elements into traditional sports hall concepts, as well as how to realize integrated concepts for recreation, cultural and social uses.

Achieving the social and financial objectives for public pools cannot be realized without understanding the diverse needs of the users, anticipating the financial impact of operations, and developing the most appropriate design concept. Members from the IAKS Expert Circle “Pools” will introduce best practice examples from different countries and discuss goals for future public pool strategies.

In the afternoon session, ice rink experts from Northern America and Europe will exchange ideas how to develop the planning and design of ice arenas beyond the traditional model. The international panel will provide examples of successful single-pad and multi-pad ice facilities for sports and leisure use, as well as community-scaled spectator arenas that bring an aspect of entertainment into the market.


10:30 a.m. - 12:00 a.m.
Indoor recreational facilities for future generations
  • Carla Madison Recreation Center in Denver
  • Recreation Centre Development in Calgary
  • New approaches for sustainable building concepts and innova-tive funding methods
12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Lunch break and visit of FSB
2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Social and financial sustainability for public pools
  • What is the right order of policy decisions to realize a pool project successfully? “Objective-led planning process”: Social goals first, hardware goals second
  • Optimising financial planning to get best value: Feasibility studies, regional planning, life-cycle costing
  • Choosing the right operating model for your pool: PPP models and revenue models in the UK
4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Ice rinks for leisure and physical activity
  • Evolution of community ice rink design as a tool for physical and social interaction
  • The Pavilion as an approach to all-season sports and recreation
5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Happy hour for IAKS members and friends
Meet & greet at the IAKS booth
Friday, 8 November 2019

Urban activity areas

Skate and bike parks have become a global trend seen in both developed countries and those lacking a robust sports infrastructure program. How can they satisfy at the same time the demands of a future Olympic discipline as well as being socially relevant?

The popularity of urban and sub-urban activities like parkour, bouncing and trampoline has initiated private investors to build indoor centres as commercial activity. What are their challenges and success stories?

Find out more about programming, designing and operating urban activity areas for the youth and for the young at heart!


10:30 a.m. - 12:00 a.m.
Urban activity areas
  • Urban skate parks between subculture and the Olympics
  • Skills Park Winterthur: Programming, designing and operating urban activity areas for the youth and for the young at heart
Download IAKS Programme 2019

Save the date!

Remember the 26th edition of the IAKS Congress in your Outlook Calendar.

Make an appointment for the IAKS Congress (.ics)

Review and impressions IAKS Congress 2017

In 2017, the IAKS Congress attracted over 400 visitors and delegations from 39 countries and provided outstanding opportunities for top-level international networking between experts and decision-makers.

IAKS Congress Contacts

IAKS International Association for Sports and Leasure Facilities
Eupener Str. 70
50933 Köln
Tel. +49 221 1680 230
Fax +49 221 1680 2323
Write an e-mail
To the IAKS website