In the autumn of 1909 the first five students joined the new Department of Civic Design. One hundred years later, we are delighted to be hosting the annual AESOP (Association of European Schools of Planning) Congress. We extend an invitation to colleagues from Europe, and beyond, to join us in what will be a major international congress to help celebrate our centenary. Chosen as European Capital of Culture in 2008, Liverpool has been the focus of numerous regeneration initiatives. The city has and continues to change dramatically, and is re-emerging as a renaissance city. For the city, 2008 marks an important point in the journey, but the rebuilding of the city will continue and 2009 is designated year of the environment in Liverpool. The Congress will provide an excellent opportunity to see and reflect upon the substantial progress that has been made in recent years, and indeed the legacy of 2008.