Student Award - ACSP/IACP Karen Polenske Best Student Paper
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Nominations Now Closed


The ACSP/IACP Karen R. Polenske Best Student Paper Award for Outstanding Paper on a China Planning Related Topic, established in honor of Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor Karen R. Polenske - a prominent regional economist and a leading scholar of China's sustainable development - is given annually to International Association for China Planning (IACP) student members who presents excellent research at the ACSP annual conference.

The ACSP/IACP Karen R. Polenske Best Student Paper Award has been made possible by generous donations given by several distinguished individuals who are mostly Professor Polenske's former students.

The winner of this competition will receive $1,000 USD to cover portions of her/his expenses for conference travel. In the case of two winners, the two winners will share the prize. The student is invited to present their award-winning paper at the ACSP Annual Conference and if available to do so, the winner will be provided waived ACSP conference registration.


To be eligible for this year’s ACSP/IACP Karen R. Polenske Best Student Paper Award, author(s) must:

  1. be a current IACP student member as of February 1st. 2020;
  2. be either the sole author or the lead author of a paper;
  3. the paper has been accepted for presentation at the 2020 ACSP Annual Conference; and
  4. attend and present the paper at the ACSP Annual Conference.

Application Information

  • Submit a paper abstract to the 2020 ACSP conference. The abstract submission is now open and will close on Tuesday, March 10 11:59 pm (U.S. Eastern Time). The 2020 ACSP conference website is Please follow the ACSP abstract submission guideline when you submit your abstract.
  • Submit the full paper using the ACSP award application online submission form ( ACSP will begin to accept award applications on February 26, 2020. The application window will close on June 1, 2020.
  • The IACP award committee will evaluate the full papers submitted based on their innovative scholarship and insight that advance the understanding of China-related planning topics, including but not limited to urbanization, urban economics, housing and community development, environmental planning, land use policy, transportation planning, urban design, analytical methods for urban studies, regional development issues. The full paper submitted should have excellent organization, structure, style, clarity, and originality.

About the 2020 ACSP Conference

The 60th ACSP Annual Conference will be held in Toronto, Ontario November 5-8, 2020. This year’s conference is hosted by Ryerson University, University of Toronto, & York University. More information, please visit


The committee constitutes four current IACP board members. It is established by IACP with consideration of the ACSP President and updated by both.

  • Xiaoguang Wang, Central Michigan University, Chair,
  • Yiping Fang, Portland State University,
  • Steven Jige Quan, Seoul National University,
  • Lingqian Hu, IACPchair,

Biography of Karen R. Polenske

Past Award Winners

  • 2020 Julia Harten, USC Price
  • 2019 No award given
  • 2018 Zifeng Chen & Anthony G. O. Yeh, University of Hong Kong, "Residential Differentiation of Income Groups and Accessibility Poverty in Urban China: Case Study of Guangzhou"
  • 2017 No award given
  • 2016 Chenghe Guan, Harvard University, "Spatial Distribution of Urban Territories at a Regional Scale: Modeling the Changjiang Delta's Urban Network"
  • 2015 Qianqi Shen, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, "Negotiating Governance: Central-Local Government Relation in the Establishment of Three Development Zones in China"
  • 2014 Nick Smith, Harvard University, "Negotiating the Power to Plan: Planning and Property Rights at China's Institutional Edges"





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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