Call for Papers: 2019 UCRN Conference

29th Nov 2018

Call for Papers: 2019 UCRN Conference 

The Next Generation of Urban China Research: 20 Year Anniversary of UCRN

Nanjing University, Nanjing, China, June 21-23, 2019


The Urban China Research Network (UCRN) will have its next conference at Nanjing University, Nanjing, China, during June 21-23, 2019. This conference is co-sponsored by the School of Architecture and Urban Planning, School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and School of Geography and Ocean Science at Nanjing University, UCRN, the State University of New York at Albany, and the Committee of Urban-rural Governance & Policy Research, CACP (China Association of City Planning).

The conference organising committee consists of Xiaolong LuoZai Liang, Zhigang Li, John Logan, Steven F. Messner, Youqin Huang, Jon Bannister, Linping Liu, Xianjin Huang and Cheng Chen

‚ÄčConference contact person: Ms. Zhe Zhang Tel: +8625 83621405

We will open other channels of communication, including Conference program contacts and logistics contacts after the deadline for paper proposal submission (February 28, 2019).


The theme of the conference is “The Next Generation of Urban China Research - 20 Year Anniversary of UCRN”. China has entered a new era that is characterised by the efforts to realise the “Dream of Beautiful China” along with people-oriented urbanisation, targeted poverty alleviation, and rural rejuvenation. This new era presents both exciting new opportunities for China’s path toward sustainable development and some daunting challenges. It is high time for urban China scholars, especially the younger generation, to explore both theoretically and empirically intriguing issues/questions for urban China’s future.

This conference would welcome papers from all social science perspectives including sociology, anthropology, economics, demography, geography, history, management, political science, public policy, urban planning and design, geography and urban studies. At the 2019 Nanjing conference, UCRN will work together with Urban Studies journal (USJ), SAGE (USJ) to name and award Best Paper prizes (explained below), and will recommend the winners to submit and hopefully publish their papers in USJ. In particular, as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Urban China Research Network, we encourage graduate students and junior faculty members to submit papers on topics that include but are not limited to:

  • Urban sustainability
  • Migration and social-economic integration
  • Urban crime and public safety
  • Housing and financialisation
  • Neighbourhood, community and urbanism
  • Urban and regional governance research
  • Integration of urban and rural China
  • Urban historic preservation and identity construction
  • Healthy city and built environment
  • Urban China research 2.0: new mission and new responsibility


Conference website: currently under construction

This is where you obtain information in greater detail about the conference. Please read it for registration, paper submission rules and related information. After February 28, 2019, the conference website will be open for conference registration, hotel reservation, and local tour plans. Accepted papers will be available from the conference website after May 15, 2019 with the authors’ permission.


Conference venue: the plenary and all concurrent sessions are organised in the Gulou Campus of Nanjing University. Specifically, the opening and closing plenary sessions will be held in the Hall of Science and Technology, concurrent sessions in the Zhixing Building, the Jianliang Building, and Zhenggang Building.


Conference registration fee is RMB 800 yuan or USD $115 charged to each conference participant. This fee covers three lunches, two dinners, and one conference banquet during the conference, and additional meal tickets will be available in a discount rate to the conference participants’ guests for lunch (RMB 60 yuan), dinner (RMB 90 yuan), and banquet (RMB 120 yuan).

The registration fees partially cover other conference costs. The deadline to pay the conference registration fee is March 31, 2019, and an online payment method will be provided at the conference website after February 28, 2018.


The paper proposal submission deadline is February 28, 2019.

Please submit your paper proposal by email to Ms. Zhe Zhang at [email protected].

Papers in English will be preferred, but papers in Chinese will also be considered. The proposal can take the form of a full paper or an abstract. The cover page of the paper proposal should include every author’s name, institutional affiliation, mailing address, and email address. For a co-authored paper, the corresponding author must be identified. Papers with theoretical rigor and/or empirical richness will be given priority to be accepted for presentation at regular sessions, and papers not accepted for presentation may be included in a poster session. Decisions on acceptance will be announced by March 31, 2019.


Organisation of sessions: There will be (A) regular sessions and (B) panels from doctoral student paper competition.


Regular sessions are open for paper proposals from student and non-student researchers. We encourage former UCRN awardees to submit paper proposals to present their most recent research outcomes; a separate mailing will be sent to them. An UCRN board member or a senior researcher will be assigned to preside at the sessions and discuss the papers.

For panels from the doctoral student paper competition, please read the following.


Panels from Doctoral Student Paper Competition: The 2019 UCRN Conference is continuing its series of conferences highlighting research by doctoral students. The first was held in 2002 in Hong Kong, and the most recent ones were at the University at Albany in 2014, Brown University in 2015, Xi’an Jiaotong University in 2016, Shanghai University in 2017, and Wuhan University in 2018. UCRN counts on a core group of about 30 senior scholars from many disciplines who support the goal of encouraging promising research by the next generation of urban China scholars (see

  • Papers to be presented will be selected competitively by members of the UCRN International Advisory Board. No more than 12 papers will be included, so that each presentation will receive full discussion and commentary by a selected mentor from the members of the UCRN Advisory Board.
  • Selected students will have their conference fee waived and their expenses covered for up to three nights of lodging and meals for presenters. Students’ home institutions will be asked to pay the students’ transportation expenses (this may be through a department or institute, a research grant, or other institutional funding sources). Institutional support is a prerequisite for this competition. 
  • The proposed paper should be submitted to the conference contact person: Ms. Zhe Zhang by February 28, 2019. Decisions on acceptance will be announced by March 31, 2019 on the webpage of our conference.
  • The cover page of the paper should include the author’s name, institutional affiliation, the program he/she is enrolled in, mailing address, and email address, plus the name and email address of the person who will send a recommendation letter on the student’s behalf.
  • A recommendation letter from the student’s adviser and/or unit head should be addressed to the conference organising committee including: 1) reasons why the paper merits consideration, and 2) affirmation that the student’s institution will cover round-trip transportation between origin city and Nanjing if the paper is selected. The recommendation letter is the responsibility of the student and must be submitted along with the paper proposal.
  • Eligible students are those in any discipline relevant to urban China research who have not received their PhDs by December 31, 2018
  • The paper must not have been published or accepted for publication at the time of submission. The student must be the first author of the submitted paper.
  • Each selected paper will be assigned to a member of the advisory board for comments and suggestions for revision both at the conference and afterwards. There is a possibility for publication at a later stage.
  • Promising but incomplete proposals will be provisionally accepted and given a deadline for a more complete proposal with the assistance of an assigned reader. The final versions of the accepted papers must be submitted by May 15, 2019. Papers will be posted on the conference webpage. Papers should be no longer than 8,500 words (including references and footnotes) with no more than 10 tables and figures.
  • The UCRN Advisory Committee will identify the best paper and the runner up. These will be announced at the conference, and their authors will receive a certificate and a small cash prize. In particular, starting from 2019, UCRN will work with Urban Studies journal, SAGE, to name and award the winners of this prize, with the recommendation that the winners submit their papers to USJ for consideration for publication. Details can be found on USJ website:


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