2016 56th Annual Conference
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2016 56th Annual Conference

The ACSP Annual Conference attracts more than 1000 scholars representing roughly half the planning faculty in the U.S. and Canada, plus important clusters of faculty from planning programs across the globe, a substantial group of doctoral students, and local practitioners seeking CE credits.

11/3/2016 to 11/6/2016
When: November 3 - 6, 2016
8:00 AM
Where: Hilton Portland & Executive Tower
921 SW Sixth Avenue
Portland, Oregon  97204
United States
Contact: Donna Dodd

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ACSP 56th Annual Conference

November 3-6, 2016  ~  Portland, Oregon


Local Hosts: Portland State University and the University of Oregon


Planning: Practice, Pedagogy, and Place


This conference theme considers the role played by academic urban planning programs in practice and in place. Urban planning is unique and important because as a field it grapples with the study of real problems in real places; professional degree programs train those who will not only study but act. At the 2016 conference, participants will be especially encouraged to reflect on the relationships of planning programs with practice and/or place and how our pedagogy engages these relationships. We encourage participants to engage with challenging questions for our field and our departments, to dialogue with one another and to bring additional voices into the room –practitioners, community members, and students. We see the conference—the key gathering of planning academics in conversation—as an opportunity to build the conversations about what urban planning in the academy is and means, how it is important to universities, and what it means to the places we inhabit and serve. Some areas to explore include:

  • SCHOLARSHIP - Planning research is often applied, place-based, and ‘just-in-time’ based on unfolding events. Is this kind of research a competitive advantage for planning as compared to the traditional social science disciplines? How are planning scholars making the knowledge from this kind of research useful for practitioners as well as introducing it into the scholarly literature on relevant issues?
  • PEDAGOGY - While some disciplines are just now exploring the concept, community-engaged teaching and learning have been a long tradition in planning departments using studio and project courses to educate professionals. What pedagogies are planning programs articulating for community-engaged teaching? How are planning programs working effectively with communities in authentic, non-exploitive ways that produce real benefit? What can planning programs do to model this for our universities?
  • PLANNERS, PRACTITIONERS - Being engaged scholars, working with practitioners and studying practice are critical to teaching future professional planners. How do planning programs reflect practice in our pedagogy? How do we adapt the teaching of planning to reflect current and anticipated needs for new skills and knowledge? What mechanisms do we use to respond to practitioner needs and address perceived rifts between academic and practicing planners?
  • IMPACT - Measuring the impact of our programs is becoming increasingly important in our own universities and in (re)accreditation. How can we gauge the extent to which university planning programs affect practice? How can we assess planning schools’ contributions beyond our scholarship, through engagement and the activities of our alumni?




The Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning promotes education, research, service and outreach in the United States and throughout the world by seeking to:

  • recognize diverse needs and interests in planning;
  • improve and enhance the accreditation process, and;
  • strengthen the role of planning education in colleges and universities through publications, conferences, and community engagement;
  • extend planning beyond the classroom into the world of practice.


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