Student Award - Karen Polenske Best Student Paper
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Submission Window Now Open! See below.


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 present excellent research at major international planning conferences.

Currently the IACP presents one Polenske award at their annual conference in China and one Polenske award at their annual membership meeting in the United States during the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP) conference.

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



The deadline for submission is June 1 using the form below.



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

  1. be a current IACP student member;
  2. be either the sole author or the lead author of a paper that has been accepted for presentation at the ACSP Annual Conference (ACSP staff will verify the accepted paper); and
  3. attend and present the paper at the ACSP Annual Conference.


Application Information

  • Submit the full paper, along with one recommendation letter from either a faculty member or program administrator as one PDF document using the form below.
  • The 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.



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

  • Yang Zhang, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Chair
  • Shenjing He, University of Hong Kong
  • Xiaoguang Wang, Central Michigan University


Biography of Karen R. Polenske

Past Award Winners

  • 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"


Please use the application form below.

If you have trouble with your submission, please contact Thank you!



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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