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AUM 2014: Planning Urban Infrastructure

Symposium on Applied Urban Modelling, Cambridge, UK, 1-3 April 2014

AUM 2014 posterAnnouncement & Call for Abstracts

AUM2014 is the fourth of a planned series of annual symposia for discussing applied urban simulation models that offer insights into complex dynamics of urban change and inform practical initiatives.  Since its launch of the AUM series in 2011, the symposia have attracted delegates from diverse disciplines, universities, professional institutions and government agencies in many countries

The theme of AUM2104 is ‘planning urban infrastructure'.  Urban infrastructure in this context is defined as physical structures and engineering works in the city regions for transport, energy, water, waste water, solid waste disposal, telecommunications and wider information flows, green spaces as well as the building stock.   Demographic changes, urbanisation, aspirations for resource and environmental sustainability and post-recession economic stimulus have triggered a surge in urban infrastructure investment in many countries.  Because of its durability, urban infrastructure has a critical role to play in shaping the urban futures; it has also posed challenging new and urgent questions for applied urban modelling.

The symposium has a simple format that allocates ample time for presentation and discussions, and provides opportunities to develop an in-depth understanding of the state of the art across different model types and styles.  We hope high quality papers from final year PhD candidates and young postdocs will account for around one third of the presentations and they are scheduled in themed sessions along with papers from leading model developers, users and reviewers.

Compared with previous symposia, AUM2014 will aim to feature two new developments: (1) where appropriate, a discussant will be assigned to lead the discussion of a major paper; (2) we hope to devote one day to focus on the policy implications of applied urban modelling, given the cogency of this year’s theme to decision making in public, private and voluntary sectors.  We propose the following themes but will consider additional proposals from prospective speakers:

(1) Emerging frontiers - new models for urban infrastructure planning;

(2) Integrated modelling of activities and infrastructure in the city regions;

(3) Modelling smart infrastructure initiatives;

(4) Modelling risk and adaptability of urban infrastructure;

(5) Assessment of the effects of infrastructure investment in promoting growth, fairness and environmental sustainability.

The deadline for abstracts is 15 February 2014.  Decisions on the abstracts will be made week commencing 3 March 2014 along with a draft programmeAs was the case last year, authors can upload their papers and presentations before the symposium in an online repository (see below) to share with prospective delegates, but this is not obligatory – they can, if necessary, bring the presentation to the symposium and upload the presentations and papers afterwards.  Where required, we will facilitate the communication between speakers and their respective discussants.

For AUM2014 we propose to continue the dissemination strategy through peer reviewed publications, supplemented by an AUM website with public and delegate-only paper repositories.

Please email abstracts direct to Steven Denman (, and Cc Ying Jin (

We wish to engage with a wide group of authors, including leading scholars, decision-makers and practitioners, post-docs and PhD students close to completing their dissertations.  Those working at the sharp-end of applied urban modelling and its use in investment decision-making are particularly welcome.  We look forward to hearing from authors from the developing countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa, as well as the developed countries.

The symposium is open to all model types and styles, welcomes particularly papers that assess different pathways towards achieving practical policy solutions.  We also welcome papers that report innovations in modelling and data methods and techniques.

Expected audience and dissemination
Because of its direct policy relevance we expect a wide audience ranging from academics, professionals, decision-makers, policy analysts and local communities.  We plan to focus on the policy implications of urban infrastructure investment on the third day of the symposium (3 April) with papers that discuss insights from the model in a non-specialist language, which we expect to attract a wide and policy–cogent audience.

The Symposium papers are expected to be at the leading edge of policy research and modelling practice and in the usual way they will be disseminated through journals with a rigorous refereeing process. Key city region case studies are likely to be disseminated in conjunction with city region or local authority partners through online publication to feed into the policy debate in a direct and accessible manner.

Expenses and possible financial assistance
AUM2014 requires a registration fee (see table below) which covers symposium papers, lunches and refreshments.  Participants are generally expected to pay for their own travel to and from Cambridge and accommodation in Cambridge. This arrangement is dictated by the symposium funding structure.

    • Full registration fee (three days): £150.00
    • Full registration fee (day rate): £75.00
    • Conference Dinner on Wednesday 2 April: £50.00
    • Buffet Dinner on Tuesday 1 April: £35.00

Reduced registration fee for students and other non-salaried delegates:

    • Reduced registration fee for  (three days): £50.00
    • Reduced registration fee (day rate): £25.00

The registration fee covers lunch, drinks and refreshments on all conference days.  En-suite conference accommodation at Robinson College have been reserved at an additional cost (£75) and are bookable on a first come first served basis.  Symposium delegates will have full on-line access to papers and presentations on the AUM2014 website.

We have a modest fund to assist those authors who do not have funding for symposium registration, travel or accommodation.  Those who would require financial assistance or have other queries please contact Dr Ying Jin (



Registration can be made using the following link:

If you have any queries on registration please contact Steve Denman (


Symposium organisation

The event will be hosted at Robinson College, Cambridge by the Martin Centre for Architectural and Urban Studies (  We acknowledge the co-sponsorship from EPSRC Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction (  The Scientific Committee for AUM2014 consists of Prof Marcial Echenique, Prof Mike Batty, and Prof Michael Wegener.  The Organising Committee of AUM2014 is led by Ying Jin, Steve Denman and Claudio Martani.

Previous Conferences

Details on the previous conferences can be found here.