Conference Session & Social Highlights



Looking forward to November!

The core of the ACSP Annual Conference has always been the opportunity to share research, network with peers to strengthen relationships, make new ones, and find opportunities to collaborate. We're virtually doing our best with ACSP2020 to continue with this long standing tradition even while transitioning to new ways of accomplishing these goals. ACSP celebrates its 60th conference this year!

In a time when in-person events are just not feasible, ACSP leadership is committed to the continuance of an exceptional conference. The following are some highlights of what you can expect from ACSP2020...

  • The online conference will accommodate all papers, posters, and roundtables from abstracts accepted earlier this year.
  • During the month of October, the ACSP will host the Doctoral Workshop with anticipation that all attendees of this workshop will join us for the conference as well.
  • The Pre-Doctoral Workshop for Underrepresented Students of Color will be held in conjunction with the conference.
  • NEW THIS YEAR: ACSP will host 'conference within a conference' as our Focal Event. See more information below!
  • In addition to a wide array of research presentations and roundtable discussions on Friday and Saturday of the conference, Saturday will also host special sessions on global topics.
  • Following even more paper sessions on Sunday, the final day of our conference will be Career themed with job market and student-focused activities.
  • We know that the social aspects and informal networking opportunities are valuable to you, so we are exploring creative virtual alternatives.

Please check the Google spreadsheet schedule for detailed session timing. Read about the highlights of our conference below. As more information becomes available, this page will be updated.


Thursday, November 5

Focus Event 

The “Racial Equity and Justice in Urban Planning Research and Education in the Face of Racialized Inequality” focus event will be a significant highlight of the conference. With the move to online, we will be dedicating the entire first day of the conference to the focus event. This will be a day-long program of paper sessions and roundtables, the plenary panel on indigenous planning, and a special social event hosted by the Planners of Color Interest Group will celebrate the end of our first day. With the move to online, we are excited about the prospect of engaging an even broader group of scholars for this focal event, and in the panel who are working on indigenous planning issues around the world. We hope that the focus event will build our collective knowledge of issues of racial equity and justice, challenge us to examine racism and white supremacy in planning practices, and center these issues within our scholarship.  More information is available.

Opening Plenary

The first session of the day will be an array of roundtable discussions to inspire thoughts and open up conversations. Following our first round of sessions will be the Opening Plenary, a brief window of time to thank our colleagues who spent a great deal of time planning for this special event, and provide them an opportunity to share their hopes for successful outcomes of the day. Without holding you captive for too long, you'll then be invited to choose from a long list of session options for the rest of your day.

Poster Session

Nearly 75 poster presentations across 16 topical tracks will be shared via on-demand access during our conference. About 30 posters with research of the focal event will be available from 10:00am - 7:45pm EST on Thursday, November 5; while the remainder of the posters will be available for viewing on Friday, November 6, from 10:00am - 7:15pm EST. View as many as you can squeeze in throughout the day, and a chat feature will be available for sharing thoughts or questions with the authors. A panel of judges will be selecting the Best Poster as has become a tradition for the ACSP conference.

Keynote Panel Discussion - Decolonizing Planning: Indigenous Perspectives from Settler States

This keynote panel brings three leading scholars in Indigenous planning who have studied the contexts of three contemporary settler-states (Canada, the US and New Zealand) to engage ACSP attendees in a timely discussion about whether a decolonial planning is possible and, if so, what it might mean for the academic and professional planning communities. It is a chance to discuss the history of planning in relation to colonization and spatialized oppression, and what kind of barriers and opportunities we face when planning more equitable futures. Read more!


POCIG Social Event

Hosted by the Planners of Color Interest Group
This event is designed to bring planners of color, including faculty and students, together in a virtual space to reflect and connect. It is a time to celebrate our accomplishments, meet new people, connect old friends, and renew our commitment to advancing planners of color in the academy. While the event is meant to be an informal gathering, POCIG is planning interactive activities, including live chats and break rooms, to engage attendees in learning more about each other and moving the work of POCIG forward.


Recruitment and Retention - Undergraduate Planning Programs

Organized by the ACSP Committee on Diversity
This panel focuses on the recruitment and retention of students of color and students from under-represented social groups in undergraduate planning programs. While communities of color and low-income communities are often the subject of planning practice and discourse, professional and academic careers in planning are seldom apparent to undergraduates. This panel invites program directors with experience in recruiting undergraduate students from under-represented social groups to share their experiences, challenges, and successes.


The Challenges and Possibilities of Intra- and Inter-Racial Allyship in Planning

Organized by the ACSP Planners of Color Interest Group (POCIG)
The focus of this session will be to understand and foster allyship between and among people who identify as white and as people of color. The purpose of this roundtable is to bring together these groups into conversation to discuss the concept of allyship and the range of forms it can take in both the academy and in planning practice. We will bring together a group of 5 – 8 planning researchers and practitioners (diverse across gender, sexual orientation, position in the field, as well as race and ethnicity) to share experiences with allyship and strategies for how to create strong and healthy alliances within these two spheres. The session will consist of storytelling, “turn and talk” exercises, and examining current thought about what it means to be a good ally. How well does current thought translate to academia and planning practice? How can we de-center the experiences of the white ally? How do other identities interact with race in the academy and in the planning field? Our aim is to foster a rich conversation in a safe space.


Planning and Racial Justice in a Time of Crisis

Organized by the ACSP Student Governing Board Representatives
Faced with increasingly diverse cities and urban identities, it is integral for planning scholars to engage with issues of racial equity and justice. Planning research and pedagogy must emphasize how racialized inequality continues to shape our urban spaces, leading to inequitable outcomes for historically marginalized communities. The COVID-19 crisis has further exposed these inequalities by highlighting the disparate impact the pandemic has had on communities of color. In this roundtable session, faculty and student scholars will highlight their academic work on racial justice and discuss the ways in which planning research and pedagogy must engage with issues of racial equity in cities today. Participants will also explore how research can inform the response to COVID-19 and other emergencies, while paying particular attention to the racial impacts of such crises.


Feminist Futures of Radical and Insurgent Planning

Organized jointly by the ACSP's Faculty Women's Interest Group (FWIG), the Inclusion + Allies Interest Group, and the Planners of Color Interest Group (POCIG)
This session continues the discussions of last year's ACSP roundtable entitled "Radical and Insurgent Planning: Reflecting on Concepts, Stories, Geographies, and Futures". The goal is to debate/dialogue about the future of radical and insurgent planning, focusing on the challenges and contributions of women and non-binary people of color in this sub-field of planning and its many implications for theory, practice, and pedagogy. These implications go beyond issues of gender and dealing with power, process, and ethics, reaching to the basis of many essential aspects in urban planning such as equity, justice, social inclusion, the role of the planner, the political nature of planning, the legitimization of the field itself, but also the possibilities of retooling planning for all the people.


Friday, November 6

Poster Session - Tracks 1-16

Nearly 75 poster presentations across 16 topical tracks will be shared via on-demand access during our conference. About 30 posters with research of the focal event will be available from 10:00am - 7:45pm EST on Thursday, November 5; while the remainder of the posters will be available for viewing on Friday, November 6, from 10:00am - 7:15pm EST. View as many as you can squeeze in throughout the day, and a chat feature will be available for sharing thoughts or questions with the authors. A panel of judges will be selecting the Best Poster as has become a tradition for the ACSP conference.


HBCU Leadership Roundtable

Five planning programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) including Morgan State University, Alabama A&M University, Jackson State University, Texas Southern University and Savannah State University discussed several critical and institutional dimensions of their programs at a roundtable titled “Planning Education at Historically Black Colleges and Universities: History, Problems and Prospects” during the 2010 ACSP Conference in Minnesota, MN. Over the past ten years, some changes and progress have occurred to planning education at HBCUs. The contributions of planning program at HBCUs are vast, yet they are often unacknowledged.

This roundtable will revisit the state of planning education and the contribution of HBCUs to the planning profession. This roundtable brings together a representative from each HBCU planning program to present the progress and changes of their respective programs in the past ten years. They will also discuss the following issues:

  1. HBCU role in educating African American planners and the need for sustaining such programs;
  2. the lessons offered by the past ten years of changes and progress for moving forward;
  3. the success stories that can be inspiring for other HBCU planning programs;
  4. future prospects for HBCU planning programs;
  5. the support from the university administration for the advancement of HBCU planning programs;
  6. creative ways of recruitment and student retention in HBCU planning programs.


Track 2 Roundtable - Community and Economic Development in the Post-COVID-19 Era

Organized by the Track 2 Economic Development Track Chairs
The world of economic development is set to confront significant challenges in the post-COVID 19 era. Many economic development scholars are now grappling with the question of what happens when necessary public health interventions require policy changes that result in economic downturns.

In this roundtable, panelists will assess potential economic development outcomes as well as the opportunities that may emerge as a result of the pandemic. Knowing that the pain of recessions does not hit all localities evenly, our roundtable participants will consider how disparities in things like economic composition, population density, and demographics relate to both responses and recovery outcomes for localities. Participants will address some of the following questions:

  1. What are state and local governments doing to respond to the economic realities of the post-COVID-19 era? And how do those responses differ across regions, states, and countries?
  2. What types of economic development research are most pressing in the post-COVID era?
  3. Looking forward, what have localities learned about preparing their economies and communities for public health and other crises?
  4. To what extent, and in what ways, has the epidemic and resulting downturn influenced future economic development course content and delivery?

This Economic Development Track Chairs' Session is intended to spur dialogue about important issues facing the economic development sub-field in the post-COVID 19 era. We encourage all economic development planning faculty and local practitioners to attend.


Planning Beyond the Gayborhood (Session 5.135)

Organized by the Inclusion + Allies Interest Group

  • Centripetal and Centrifugal Forces and Queer Spaces, Petra Doan, Florida State University
  • Queer Spaces in Istanbul - An Exploration of Conflicting Forces, Ozlem Atalay, Florida State University
  • Mainstream-Oriented Businesses and Institutions Serving LGBTQ People in Smaller Cities, Andrew Whittemore, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Planning for LGBTQ Inclusion in the U.S. Public Realm, Michael Frisch, University of Missouri-Kansas City


Presidential Session 1: Planning for Climate Justice

Organized by the ACSP Climate Action Task Force
ACSP is in the midst of considering how the association should respond to the challenge of climate change, and how urban planning can play a more visible and skilled role in moving climate action forward. At the same time, the Association and many planning practitioners and educators are building their awareness of the extensive impact of histories of inequality and the connections between climate and justice. This Presidential Panel provides an opportunity to reflect on the intersections of planning, justice, and climate, to both more clearly examine the past and more equitably imagine a future.


Planning Education and the Digital Evolution

Organized by the Planning Accreditation Board
The Planning Accreditation Boards (PAB) Task Force on Innovation and Communication in Planning Education, a collaboration with APA/AICP and ACSP, was charged with learning how planning programs are adjusting to trends in the profession and the evolving role of planners, understanding what new knowledge and skills planning graduates may need, and how effectively those are being taught. The 2019 task force report indicates that instruction in data analytics and the use of technology are lagging but are emerging in some programs. Learn how accredited planning programs are incorporating the new technologies into their curriculum to enhance the skills of graduates and assist the community.

This session also explores the balance between innovations and the increased focus on technological skills with the core knowledge, skills and values needed by planning graduates. Be part of the conversation and share your voice on innovations in the field: how can accredited programs better train their students? What are the knowledge, skills and values necessary in this 21st century technology focused world? In this session, you will also learn how you can participate in the PAB curricular revision soon to come.


FWIG Annual Business Meeting and Social

Hosted by the ACSP Faculty Women's Interest Group
The FWIG Luncheon has traditionally been held on the Friday of the conference and is an opportunity for students and faculty in the planning academy to network, encourage and support each other, and learn about FWIG’s initiatives in promoting the advancement of women in the academy. While no virtual lunch will be served, we hope you'll join us!

For over 20 years, FWIG has been active in shaping the agenda within ACSP and the planning academy regarding women faculty and students. Through services such as the FWIG yellow book and the annual FWIG CV book, we have helped women prepare for, enter into, and proceed through their academic planning careers. Join us at the annual event to learn more about the interest group and meet our members. If you're interested in supporting FWIG or FWIG student members, please donate today!


Saturday, November 7

Borderless Pandemic: Response to COVID-19 and its Impact on Planning in the Global Arena

Organized by the Global Planning Educator's Interest Group
Most planning paradigm shifts have occurred as a result of major events, both catastrophic and non-catastrophic. While technological advancement, such as the introduction of automobiles, led to a significant change in travel behavior and development patterns, catastrophic events like earthquakes and hurricanes led to change in how we plan for vulnerable populations. Health-related catastrophe, such as plaque, changed the service delivery of waste management and sanitation for urban regions. The spatiotemporal impact of health-related catastrophes varies from other events because it is characterized by much uncertainty in an ever-changing environment (2). While non-health-related catastrophic are location specific and tend to affect, even if global, over a long period, health-related catastrophic are relatively contiguous and can spread across the globe in a short period. The recent outbreak of the novel Coronavirus, COVID-19, has a global death rate of about 6.6% (WHO, April 2020). Human-to-human transmission, including secondary infections, has amplified the spread locally, regionally, and globally. The vulnerability increases with an increase in the risk of infections from the local transmission to community transmission (X). Planning at a local and regional scale and in a global context will need to adapt to mitigate transmission in varying geopolitical situation. For the current and future mitigation efforts to be successful, planning will need to reassess the trends of globalization and neo-liberalism and examine the impact of the outbreak on planning practice and research. Some expected impacts to be assessed include current planning approaches and its effectiveness of social distancing and the impact of social distancing on planning, especially in developing nations and its slums, governmental responses, and its impact on planning across borders. In this global context, we would focus our discussion around the following:

  1. What are the lessons learnt from the outbreak of COVID-19 and social distancing for planning?
  2. What planners have done or can do to deal with such an outbreak now and in the future, especially in the context of developing nations?
  3. Can we contemplate the impact of this pandemic on planning theory, research, and practice at both local and global scales?
  4. Is it essential to discuss the impact of this on planning education? If so, how or what changes should we anticipate?
  5. Can we propose a 'smart cities' that can decline the cost of travel with the intensification of digital infrastructure that maybe our way out? Or is it? Can it lead to authoritarianism? How do we deal with social and economic segregation both physically and ethically? In all, how do we come out of this stronger and plan for a more united global community against such pandemics?


Capacity Building for The New Urban Agenda - The Role of Universities and Researchers

Organized by the Global Planning Educators Interest Group (GPEIG), partnering with the Global Planning Education Association Network (GPEAN), and the ACSP Global Planning Education Committee (GPEC)
The New Urban Agenda (NUA) of UN-Habitat III sets global guidelines for sustainable urban development and rethinking the way we build, manage, and live in cities through cooperation with committed partners, relevant stakeholders, and urban actors at all levels of government as well as the private sector. The document is essential for urban planning and the education of urban planners since it reflects a global consensus of national and local policies on the growth and development of cities. It offers a global approach to the problems of human settlements, which in many ways, are characterized by varying local realities. Thus, urban issues and priorities change in different settings, and localities are also characterized by different governmental structures, policy contexts, and capacities for implementing and enforcing policies. While the NUA is rich in the discussion of inclusive, integrated urban planning, it also discusses finance, governance, and other key areas that affect planning. Planning schools and researchers are expected to support the implementation of the NUA through capacity building, knowledge production, and research that informs policymaking. They are also to data collection and analysis for monitoring successes in achieving the NUA objectives. Planning educators and researchers are also critical to the implementation of this universal policy by facilitating local-based research- and evidence-informed policymaking, and evidence-based governance. This panel includes representatives of planning schools from around the world who will explore the implications of NUA for planning curricular, research, and engagement. The panelists will also discuss the needs and challenges for implementing NUA in their various regions and explore how the planning academy is equipping planning graduates with skills and competency for adopting and successfully implementing the global policies of NUA.


ACSP Annual Business Meeting

Open meeting
Established as a mandated annual meeting of the Association, all member school program and department chairs or their representatives are invited. An agenda will be shared prior to this meeting. Attendance will be taken to account for a quorum. Please R.S.V.P. in advance to


Inclusion + Allies Annual Business Meeting and Social

Hosted by the Inclusion + Allies Interest Group
This will be the second annual business meeting of the new interest group, Inclusion + Allies! Hope to see you there.


Annual Award Ceremony

Always a highlight of our annual conference is the Annual Awards Presentation where we honor student and faculty for their outstanding work and contributions to the Association. We look forward to hosting you for this special ceremony as we acknowledge our award-winning colleagues and new scholars.


Presidential Session 2: Setting a Climate Action Agenda for ACSP - A Collaborative Workshop with the ACSP Climate Action Task Force

Organized by the ACSP Climate Action Task Force
Join the members of the ACSP Climate Action Task Force to collaborate on developing a strategy to enhance ACSP and planning scholars’ impact on solving the climate crisis. Introductory presentations will be followed by breakout discussions on the following questions: (1) What should we be teaching the next generation of planners about climate change? (2) How can we advance a climate action planning research agenda that increases our impact? (3) How can the ACSP organization decrease its carbon footprint and increase its resiliency? The Task Force will use the outcomes of this workshop to inform its work over the next year.


The Changing International Higher Education Market in Urban Planning

Organized by the ACSP Global Planning Education Committee (GPEC), partnering with the Global Planning Education Association Network (GPEAN), ACSP Global Planning Educators Interest Group (GPEIG), and the Association of Canadian University Planning Programs
International movement of planning students is in considerable flux in response to expansion of planning education in many countries, changing national attitudes toward supporting study abroad, and changing immigration laws. Many countries that once exported graduate planning students to North America, Europe and Australia/New Zealand, are exporting fewer students. New magnet countries have begun enrolling substantial numbers of foreign planning students. New programs mix an international component to domestic graduate education, either during degree studies or at the post-doctoral stage. Immigration rules and expectations of scholarship programs are changing the abilities of graduates to remain in countries of their studies for professional work following graduation. Tertiary education institutions are responding to these challenges in diverse ways. The result is that the international composition of student populations in planning degree programs is changing, with resultant impacts on curricula, needed pedagogy, job placement services, and planning workforce. We seek to understand how these issues are playing out in various countries in order to better design recruitment, degree- and non-degree-study programs, and professional credentialing.


Junior Faculty of Color Workshop Attendees' Social

Hosted by the ACSP Committee on Diversity
Join Committee on Diversity members, workshop faculty, and your colleagues who attended the 2015 and 2017 and 2019 Junior Faculty of Color Workshop for fellowship.


GPEIG Annual Business Meeting and Social

Hosted by the Global Planning Educator's Interest Group
The annual GPEIG Business Meeting will celebrate the success of GPEIG programs and activities during the academic past year and discuss the upcoming GPEIG programs. We will announce and honor the winners of the following GPEIG awards: Outstanding Service to GPEIG Award; Best Student Paper Award; Best Case Study Project Award; Gill-Chin Lim Dissertation Award; Gill-Chin Lim Travel Award.

Consider making a modest donation to support GPEIG and subsidize students' participation. GPEIG thanks you for your support and engagement. We sincerely appreciate the generosity of those who have already donated this year.


Student Reception

Hosted by the ACSP Student Governing Board Representatives
The ACSP Student Governing Board Representatives invite you to join the annual student reception at this year's conference. Join your fellow students in an evening of fun activities and conversation at this virtual reception. All students are welcome and we hope to see you there!


Sunday, November 8

Career Focus

Along with traditional paper sessions, the last day of the ACSP conference will include a series of sessions of professional development study for students and faculty. Career Information Sessions will be available hosted by member schools with open positions, to share more about their department and university.  This day wraps up with 45 opportunities for one-on-one meetings between faculty and students to review the students vitae and provide advice. Information about sign-ups for these meeting slots will be shared as we get closer to the conference.


Publishing Roundtable - Boundaries of Planning?

Organized by the editors of both journals, JPER and JAPA
Academic journals define fields by inviting some contributions and excluding others. The generalist journals - JPER & JAPA - play this role for urban planning. Yet, as an applied field of research and practice, the boundaries of planning are porous and frequently shift to accommodate emerging societal needs. Perhaps we should instead ask what is planning's attractive core, rather than seeking to locate its edges. This roundtable explores the shifting boundaries of planning research as it plays out in editorial decisions at these flagship journals, and the implications for research, practice, and pedagogy. In a generalist journal, articles need to speak beyond their specialty to those with other interests, but how broad do those conversations need to be? Participants will address what it means for the field and for individual authors.


Student Workshop - Publishing in Planning: Where and How?

Organized by the ACSP Student Governing Board Representatives
This workshop focuses on publishing in planning journals as a student or recent graduate. Topics of discussion will include: publishing expectations of doctoral students, journal selection, publishing a paper from the dissertation, and the merits of various types of publication (e.g. peer-reviewed articles, technical reports, book chapters). The format of the workshop will be largely interactive with a panel of faculty (some of whom are current/former editors) to share valuable tips and insights and answer questions.


Student Workshop: Preparing for the Academic Job Market

Organized by the ACSP Student Governing Board Representatives
This workshop is geared towards doctoral students who are on the academic job market, will be applying soon, or are interested in learning about the academic job search process. It features faculty who have been part of search committees or were recent job market candidates. Topics of discussion will include how to apply for academic jobs, how to prepare your job market materials, how to prepare for interviews and campus visits, and how to successfully navigate the academic job search process. The format is primarily focused on student interest, so come prepared with questions.


Student Workshop: Non-Academic Career Paths for Planning PhDs

Organized by the ACSP Student Governing Board Representatives
This workshop will introduce tools and strategies that doctoral students can use to gain a range of skills for non-academic jobs while in their programs, talk about job search strategies, and consider how students can discuss these options with their advisors. It will also highlight broader questions around how ACSP and doctoral programs can support and engage non-academic PhDs. The format of the workshop will be interactive with a panel of both planning faculty and of planning PhDs who have gone on to non-academic careers.


Mentoring Through the Life Cycle: From PhD Studies to Full Professor to Beyond

Organized by the ACSP Faculty Mentoring Committee
The ACSP Mentoring Committee members are interested in knowing how we can serve the needs of ACSP participants throughout their career - from the transition from being a PhD. student to a tenure-track position or a non-academic position to associate professor, or independent scholar and finally to a full professor and administrator. In this session, we hope to explore various methods of providing mentorship from ongoing partnerships between a tenured and untenured faculty member to one-time targeted mentoring or ACSP sessions on special topics. This is your opportunity to share your ideas to shape the mentoring program of ACSP.


Career Information Sessions

What started out as a random request to use an empty room at the conference many years ago, has now developed into a wait-list for events as the demand for time and space on the ACSP agenda increases each year. In the past few years, these sessions have become an essential function of the conference with upwards of 20 member schools asking to share their insights and details about their departments and the positions becoming available. More information is available.



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.


2910 Kerry Forest Parkway, D4-206 • Tallahassee, FL 32309