A half-day conference on urban planning and technology
Hosted at the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP) and the DUSP Urban Information Systems Group

Friday, April 8, 2011
11:30 AM - 6:30 PM
Location: MIT Building 9
(download .ics file)
Hashtag: #planningtech11 (Twitter)


New technologies are transforming how we communicate, expanding access to data and information, and revolutionizing how we understand and navigate our cities. Join a diverse groups of practitioners, scholars, students, and citizens for a half-day conference on the impact of these changes on the field of urban planning. Held one day before the start of the American Planning Association National Conference (also in Boston), this will be an opportunity to meet innovators from around New England and the across the nation.

The event will include discussion of urban modeling, urban sensing for planning, planning support systems, meeting technologies, social media and Web 2.0 tools, and gaming for participation.

Connect and share on the conference wiki

View list of attendees

Presentation Information

Participants have four options for presentations:

  • Lightning Talks - presenters will have 20 slides, 20 seconds per slide.
  • Paper Session - Presentation of a paper, submitted two weeks before the conference. Should be no more than 5-10 pages.
  • Presentation Session - Presentation without a formal paper, A/V materials optional.
The submission period has closed, please see below for accepted presentations. Papers will be posted to the conference wiki.


Speakers and times subject to change

Welcome & Lightning Talks

11:30 AM - 12:45 PM (Room 9-450)
View video of the lightning talks

The New Frontier of Point Specific Data: Big Opportunities, Big Responsibilities (slides pdf)
Amy Glasmeier, MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning

Breaking the Rules of Public Participation: Lessons From High and Low Tech Outreach (slideshare)
Ann Sussman

Transit Transparency: A Real Time Action Cycle (slides pdf)
Francisca Rojas, Transparency Policy Project, Harvard Kennedy School

Real-time Visualization of Place-based Comments (slideshare, slides pdf)
Crystal Wilson, PlaceVision

Planning to Plan: The Web in Planning Education (slideshare, slides pdf)
Jase Wilson, UMKC School of Architecture Urban Planning & Design

Hacking Your Neighborhood (slides)
Frank Hebbert, OpenPlans

Deploying the Future's Open-Access Municipal Fiber Optic Networks
Jason Whittet, Massachusetts Technology Collaborative

Seven and a Half Easy Steps for Raising $15,000 From Investors to Build Your New Planning Technology Prototype (slides and video)
Kristen Carney, Cubit Planning


12:45 - 1:45 PM

Sessions I

2 - 3:30 PM (concurrent sessions)

Participation Innovation (9-450)

  • Micro-participation: The Role of Twitter in Promoting Engagement in Planning [paper] (Jennifer Evans-Cowley)
  • Crowdsourced in Connecticut: How Two Downtowns Are Taking Revitalization to the People [paper] (Elaine Clisham)
  • Broadening Public Engagement in Planning through Social and Digital Media (Andrea Winkler and Ian Malczewski)

Connecting Communities (7-338/Stella)

  • City Top Level Domains as Urban Infrastructure [slides and background] (Thomas Lowenhaupt)
  • Texting, Mobile Blogging and Relationship Building: Making Civic Media Work in Low-Income Communities of Color (Stefanie Ritoper)
  • Digital Literacy for Community Economic Development (Paula Robinson)

New Discourses of Practice (9-250)

  • Constructed Futures: The Language of Technological Progress [paper] (Leah Marthinsen)
  • Crowd Sourced City: Seeing the City Through a New Lens (Sarah Williams)
  • Dashboards, Mashboards, Washboards, Planning Boards, and Other (Possibly-Futile) Attempts to Make Sense of Overwhelming Information in a Complex World [paper] (Ezra Glenn)

Sessions II

3:45 - 5:15 PM (concurrent sessions)

Participatory Scenario Planning (9-450)

  • Wii Hacks for Participatory Planning: Interactive Climate Change Scenario Planning using CommunityViz and Other Low Cost Tools (Jason Lally and Amy Anderson)
  • Local Scenario Modeling for Sustainable Growth (Tim Reardon)
  • Participatory Scenario Simulation: The Case of Florida's Greater Everglades Landscape [project website] (Mike Flaxman and Juan Carlos Vargas)

The Geospatial Landscape (7-338/Stella)

  • Mapping the Informal City for Public Accountability: The Case of Chennai, India [project website] (Nithya Raman)
  • From Planning to Gaming: High Performance Geoprocessing and User Experience [slides] (Robert Cheetham)
  • New Data Sources for Modeling Metropolitan Growth in Boston (Joseph Ferreira, Jr.)

Transforming Government (9-250)

  • WordPress for Government Websites?! (Jase Wilson)
  • Web-based Collaboration Among FEMA and its Partners (Andrew Freese)
  • From Freedom of Information to Open Government: Access to Massachusetts Municipal Spatial Data (Rob Goodspeed)

Closing Session

5:30 - 6:30 PM (9-450)


6:45 PM - MIT Media Lab

Organizing Committee

Last updated 17 April 2011
Contact: planningtech at mit.edu