Symposium: Are we moving towards Smart, Inclusive and Sustainable Cities?

Knowlton Hall
March 27, 2019 - 4:30pm to March 29, 2019 - 2:00pm

The City and Regional Planning program at The Ohio State University celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2018-19. Over its 60 years, the program has had a significant impact on student development, local and global communities, and the planning field at large.

About the symposium

The City and Regional Planning faculty at the Ohio State University invite scholars to reflect on and address society’s emerging planning questions, disruptions and challenges during our March 2019 “Planniversary” Symposium. We will harness the tradition of forward-thinking research and teaching at Ohio State with a thematic focus on: “Are we moving toward Smart, Inclusive, and Sustainable Cities? Examining the relationship between scholarship and practice in planning.” We will welcome 10-20 scholars to present their research at four paper sessions. In addition, attendees will have opportunities to see the Banvard Gallery, engage with several invited keynote speakers, and tour key locations pertaining to SmartColumbus initiatives. 

As we internally reflect on 60 years of achievements at Ohio State, we are also appraising our current scholarship in the context of today’s planning discipline. Notably, we celebrate a decade of building our active faculty into the most diverse representation of scholars as yet seen in our program. We look forward to diverse participation from our colleagues across the academy as we celebrate our past and position ourselves for continued excellence. 

Call for Abstracts

Are we moving towards Smart, Inclusive and Sustainable Cities? Examining the relationships between scholarship and practice in planning

The City and Regional Planning faculty at Ohio State invite scholars to submit abstracts that advance the conversation on “smart” initiatives across the world. During the symposium, we hope to contextualize “smart” initiatives through the lens of social inclusion and sustainability. We invite submissions from those who both advance and critically examine the notion that “smart” initiatives are sufficient or necessary to achieve inclusion or sustainability goals. Participants are encouraged to examine case studies involving practitioner or community efforts, propose relevant theoretical and historical narratives, advance urban design, and /or conduct data and modeling analysis. Regardless of methodological preference, we seek submissions that push the academy to consider the ways in which planning academics are responding to and informing the role of technology across the broader planning discipline. Ultimately, do we understand relationships between socio-technical systems and urban outcomes in this era of digital engagement? 

Why have this conversation in Columbus, Ohio?

Cities around the world, including Columbus, have focused their branding and planning interventions around innovative technologies that promise to change the scale and manner in which urban users access resources. In June 2016, the US Department of Transportation announced Columbus as the winner of the Smart City Challenge. From the initial $40 million federal award, city leadership have parlayed that amount into $500 million in investment from the private sector and local partners. Since then, Columbus has deployed the first phase of self-driving shuttles on downtown streets and proposed plans to design transit kiosks that will allow transit-dependent mothers to communicate with their prenatal health care providers. As Columbus advances their deliverables to function as a living lab for smart mobility, Ohio State’s faculty are tasked with the challenge of keeping pace with this dynamic environment in their research, teaching, and broader community engagement. This, our thematic focus and central question is inspired by a need to better understand the role of technological change and innovation on today’s planning discipline.  

Opportunities to participate

Panel Session Presenter (Submit an abstract and white paper)
Discussant (Ohio State will invite internal and external scholars)
Attendee (Scholars and practitioners welcome) 

Submission timeline

01/01/2019 | Abstract submission due
01/15/2019 | Abstract decision from Ohio State
01/30/2019 | If abstract accepted, travel funding request due
02/15/2019 | Travel funding notification from Ohio State
02/15/2019 | Final symposium schedule from Ohio State
03/01/2019 | White papers due

Abstract submission instructions

All abstracts must be received by January 1st, 2019 11:59PM EST. Email submissions to Dr. Tijs Van Maasakkers at with the subject line "OSU CRP Symposium Submission." Submissions should be formatted as a single Word document attachment with title, author(s), affiliation(s), corresponding author contact information, and the abstract (300-word maximum). Up to three footnote references are permitted and will not count against the abstract word limit.

Travel and accommodations

Hotel recommendation (TBD)
Funds are available for reimbursement of travel costs when need is demonstrated
John Glenn International Airport (~20 minute drive to Ohio State's Columbus Campus) 

Preliminary Schedule

Details will be added as they become available.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019 // begins at 4:30 p.m.
Knowlton Hall, The Ohio State University, Columbus Campus

   4:30 p.m. | Reception and Registration
   5:30 p.m. | Baumer Keynote (TBD)
   6:30 p.m. | Banvard Gallery

Thursday, March 28, 2019 // begins at 9:00 a.m.
Location TBD, The Ohio State University, Columbus Campus

   9:00 a.m. | Registration
   9:30 a.m. | Paper Session 1
 11:30 a.m. | Lunch | Keynote A (TBD)
 12:40 p.m. | Paper Session 2
   3:00 p.m. | Paper Session 3
   6:00 p.m. | Dinner

Friday, March 29, 2019 // begins at 8:00 a.m.
Location TBD, The Ohio State University, Columbus Campus

   8:00 a.m. | Shuttle
   9:00 a.m. | Paper Session 4
 11:00 a.m. | Tour (TBD)
 12:00 p.m. | Lunch | Keynote B (TBD)
   1:00 p.m. | Shuttle