Call For Papers (2/3) – The digital turn in planning practices and policy making (IGC 2024)

This is the second of three calls for papers from the Data Stories team for the next International Geographical Congress (IGC) in 2024. 

IGC 2024 is an international conference bringing together geographers from all fields, from the social sciences to physical geography and beyond. The theme for 2024 is “Celebrating a world of difference”, for which 44 different commissions are proposing sessions. The IGC 2024 will be held in Dublin from August 24 to 30: 

CFP The digital turn in planning practices and policy making  

Dr. Juliette Davret (chair), Oliver Dawkins, Dr. Carla Maria Kayanan and Prof. Rob Kitchin are organising a session on the use of the digital in planning and policymaking.  

Session abstract: Planning has long used digital tools such as GIS and decision-support systems. Yet, much of the practice of planning has remained paper-based. In recent years, a concerted effort to digitalise planning has occurred, shifting all aspects of planning (from strategic, to development, to enforcement) onto an amalgam of data infrastructures and systems. This digital turn is altering the day-to-day work of planners, shifting external body engagement, enabling wider access to information, raising questions about the public’s proficiency and ability to engage, and enabling new data flows (Daniel & Pettit, 2021; Willow & Tewdwr-Jones, 2020). The change management introduced by the adoption of digitally-mediated planning is not straightforward and is complicated by the multiplicity of sectors, stakeholders, data systems and flows intersecting through different stages of planning processes. 

This session explores the impact of digitalisation on the field of planning (Potts, 2020; Datta, 2023). We seek papers that shed light on innovative approaches, challenges and opportunities presented by the digitalisation of planning whilst also implementing a critical lens (e.g., critical data studies, critical geography, critical planning studies, STS, etc.).  

Topics include (but are not limited to): 

  • Digital change management of planning systems and practices; 
  • Planning’s data infrastructures and data ecosystem; 
  • Smart cities and urban planning;
  • Data-driven decision making; 
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in planning; 
  • Emerging technologies in planning development; 
  • Sustainable and resilient infrastructure planning; 
  • Community engagement in the digital age; 
  • Policy implications and ethical considerations of digital planning; 
  • Data policy in digital planning. 

Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit abstracts. 

The Digital Turn in Planning CFP Banner

The deadline for submitting an abstract is on 12th January 2024. Abstract submissions must be made via the conference website. Details on submitting can be found here: 

The Congress Commission for this abstract is C.31 Local and Regional Development. Ensure you make clear you are submitting for this session when submitting your abstract. 

Please direct questions to session chair: 

See our two other blog posts for calls for papers for the pre-event and the IGC conference. 


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