Student Paper Competition on Planning Technology

The Technology Division is seeking outstanding student papers on the topic of technology and planning. This award will recognize student scholarship completed for courses in accredited masters and undergraduate planning programs.

Deadline: March 9, 2014, 5 p.m. ET

The Prizes

The prize for the best student paper is $300. The winner will be announced at the APA National Conference in Atlanta on April 26-30, 2014. Summary of the winning paper will be published in the APA-Technology Division Newsletter, Planning & Technology Today. The Technology Division also will submit a summary of the winning paper for publication in APA's Planning magazine.


  • Papers must have been originally written by a single author in a PAB-accredited planning program in a college or university during calendar years 2012 and 2013. A student in a PAB-accredited planning program may self-nominate his or her own paper. On the cover sheet, please indicate when and for what course the paper was prepared. Master's theses, terminal professional reports, internship projects, and student group projects are eligible, if they are reformulated to meet the criteria for length and formatting.
    Doctoral students are not eligible for this award
  • Papers should not be more than 30 pages long, including an abstract (no more than 250 words), tables, maps, other diagrams, and references. Papers must be double-spaced with margins of at least 1 inch and a font of at least 12 point. Title page should include student name, address, degree program, university name, date that shows when the paper was originally submitted, and phone number.
    No name or other form of identification should be included on the pages within the text of the paper
    (e.g., a header or footer should only include the page number and paper title).
  • A paper may be submitted only once; papers may not be revised and resubmitted a second time.
  • Contestants must be member of the APA Technology Division before they submit their papers. The annual membership cost for students is $10. If students are not member of the division, they may a join here.

Selection Criteria

A subcommittee of planning practitioners and a planning faculty member will read all papers using blind review. The papers will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Originality: This may be carried out with one or more of the following approaches: 1) the author takes an original approach to presenting issues in the creation/use of technology; or 2) the author proposes or introduces an original tool or use of technology.
  • Quality of Presentation: The paper is clear and effective in its writing, documentation, argument, and overall presentation.
  • Functionality and Use: The paper clearly addresses the use of a tool or set of technologies by the public and/or by planners to address a clearly defined need. There is discussion of the ease of use of the tool, its value in participatory process, and its value as a tool for analysis.
  • Implementation: The paper addresses the implementation of a tool or technology in a planning context.
  • Significance to Planning: The author addresses the significance of a technology or technological tool to the practice of planning.


  • Papers will be accepted via e-mail; the format of the paper should be PDF. Please submit the title page separately from the paper. No late papers will be accepted.
  • Make sure to carefully read the eligibility section in this document, before you submit your paper. 
  • Please send your submissions to Nader Afzalan, the Technology Division Vice-chair: