Vancouver 2019

Fourth C+T Conference, Vancouver, May 23-26, 2019

(now closed)

Spontaneous Urban Planning at the Intersection of Markets, Democracy and Science

This, the fourth C+T conference, builds upon the multidisciplinary experience of C+T‘s previous conferences in Vancouver (2013), Rochester (2015) and Milan (2016). Abstracts of 500-1,000 words are being solicited on any aspect of spontaneous order processes and/or instrumental organizations deemed salient to urban development as per the following:

Urban planning presents a particularly relevant domain for studying the interaction of different spontaneous orders. Developers and speculators seek profits through the creation or discovery of higher land values, while actors in local and regional democratic processes seek votes partly based on their perceived success in creating a liveable and affordable urban environment. Moreover, actors in market and democratic processes are profoundly affected by the growth of scientific knowledge. In urban planning, relevant science includes not only economic theories of efficient spatial allocation of resources, but also theories from various natural and social sciences that address a diverse set of socially relevant problems. Examples include (but are not limited to) the effects of population density on energy use, the effects of the design of transport networks on traffic congestion, and the impacts of various configurations of residential socio-economic patterns on aggregate outcomes such as labour participation, educational achievement, and crime rates etc.

The City of Vancouver provides a prominent case-study for exploring these conference themes. Vancouver was arguably the first North American city to challenge the functional separation of districts into single-use zones with the automobile as the predominant mode of transportation. Contemporary Vancouver features a walkable mixed-use downtown, which has contributed to its ranking as one of the world’s most liveable cities. But Vancouver also faces challenges, particularly as an attractor of potential inbound capital and migration. It is now the least affordable city in North America, if house prices are measured as the ratio of median house price and median household income. One important future problem concerns how to reconcile an excellent urban environment with a greater provision of affordable housing, which inevitably involves affordability/attractiveness trade-offs such as loss of green areas, taller apartment buildings or more suburban expansion.

The conference will comprise up to 12 presentations. Conference papers combining perspectives from two or more disciplines are especially welcome (urban economists, geographers, sociologists, and planners) as well as scholars working in the broader traditions of political economy, political philosophy and the philosophy of social science.

Submissions should be sent to the Editor-in-chief (Professor David Andersson) no later than June 1, 2018. If successful, conferees will qualify for full support for travel and room and board for the duration of the conference.

Accepted papers will be published in C+T and therefore should not be committed elsewhere.