The Society for American City & Regional Planning History (SACRPH) is pleased to announce the winners of its 2017 awards competition. The Society recognized these projects and individuals at the 17th National Conference on Planning History, held in Cleveland, Ohio, on October 26-29, 2017.

Laurence Gerckens Prize for Sustained Excellence in the Teaching of Planning History:
June Manning Thomas, University of Michigan [Faculty Webpage]

Lewis Mumford Prize for Best Book in American Planning History:
Francesca Russello Ammon, Bulldozer: Demolition and Clearance of the Postwar Landscape (Yale University Press, 2016). [Yale University Press webpage]

Catherine Bauer Wurster Prize for Best Scholarly Article in American Planning History:
Brian D. Goldstein, “‘The Search for New Forms’: Black Power and the Making of the Postmodern City,” Journal of American History 103, no. 2 (September 2016): 375-399.

Journal of Planning History Prize:
Jordan Stanger-Ross and the Landscapes of Injustice Research Collective, “Suspect Properties: The Vancouver Origins of the Forced Sale of Japanese-Canadian-owned Property, WWII” Journal of Planning History 15, no. 4 (November 2016): 271-289.

Honorable Mention:
J. Mark Souther, “A US$35 Million ‘Hole in the Ground’: Metropolitan Fragmentation and Cleveland’s Unbuilt Downtown Subway,” Journal of Planning History 14, no. 3 (August 2015) 179-203.

John Reps Prize for Best Dissertation in American Planning History:
Garrett Dash Nelson, “A Place Altogether: Planning and the Search for Unit Landscapes, 1816-1956” (University of Wisconsin, 2016).
Patrick Nugent, “The Urban Environmental Order: Planning and Politics on Staten Island, 1945-1984” (George Washington University, 2016).

Student Research Prize for Best Research Paper on Planning History presented at the 17th National Conference on Planning History:
Pedro A. Regalado, Yale University, “Fixed Capital:  Building Transition and Drug Capitalism in New York City, 1961-1997.”


For a full list of SACRPH prizes and past award winners, see the Awards page on the website. SACRPH will hold its next prize competition in 2019.


CALL FOR PAPERS: Vernacular Architecture Forum 2018 Annual Meeting, A Shared Heritage: Urban and Rural Experience on the Banks of the Potomac, May 2-5, 2018, in Alexandria, Virginia.


The Vernacular Architecture Forum ( invites paper proposals for its 37th Annual Conference, A Shared Heritage: Urban and Rural Experience on the Banks of the Potomac, May 2-5, 2018, in Alexandria, Virginia.  Papers may address vernacular and everyday buildings, sites, or cultural landscapes worldwide. Submissions on all relevant topics are welcome but we encourage papers exploring mid-Atlantic American themes exploring agriculture, maritime activities, industrialization, urbanization, suburbanization, as well as themes such ethnic identity, religious expression, and the creation of vacation and recreation landscapes.  Additionally, the VAF is launching a multi-year program of inquiry into the distinctiveness of the VAF and the vernacular architecture movement. To this end, we encourage papers that consider this field over time. How does the wide range of VAF projects (tours, guidebooks, book and article awards, field schools, annual conference papers, publications, etc.) demonstrate how our questions, concerns, and methods have changed and evolved?  Where do we see evidence of that history in our current work, and what might our future look like? Proposals might focus on a particular building type (i.e. houses, barns), a research strategy (fieldwork), political or theoretical convictions (Gender, Marxism, the Everyday, etc.), or particular approaches to presenting our work and engaging colleagues and the public.

Students and young professionals may apply for the Pamela H. Simpson Presenter’s Fellowships offering support of up to $500 to presenting papers at VAF’s annual conference.



Papers should be analytical rather than descriptive, and no more than twenty minutes in length. Proposals for complete sessions, roundtable discussions or other innovative means that facilitate scholarly discourse are especially encouraged.  At least one session will be devoted to Field Notes – shorter papers (five to eight minutes in length) that introduce new techniques, innovations, and discoveries in documenting vernacular buildings and landscapes.  Proposals should clearly state the argument of the paper and explain the methodology and content in fewer than 400 words.  Make sure to indicate if it is a regular paper proposal or a shorter fieldwork proposal or intended for the VAF distinctiveness session.  Please include the paper title, author’s name, email address, a one-page c.v.  You may include up to two images with your submission. Note that presenters must deliver their papers in person and be VAF members at the time of the conference. Speakers who do not register for the conference by March 1, 2018, will be withdrawn. Please do not submit an abstract if you are not committed to attending the papers session on Saturday, May 5, 2018.



The abstracts and c.v. should be emailed as a PDF attachment to the VAF Papers Committee Chair, Daves Rossell, at For general information about the Potomac conference, please visit the conference website at the or contact Thomas Reinhart at



VAF’s Pamela H. Simpson Presenter’s Fellowships offer a limited amount of financial assistance to students and young professionals presenting papers at VAF’s annual conference. Awards are intended to offset travel and registration costs for students, and to attract developing scholars to the organization. Any person presenting a paper who is currently enrolled in a degree-granting program, or who has received a degree within one year of the annual conference is eligible to apply. Awards cannot exceed $500. Previous awardees are ineligible, even if their status has changed. Recipients are expected to participate fully in the conference, including tours and workshops.

To apply, submit with your abstract a one-page attachment with “Simpson Presenter’s Fellowship” at the top and the following information: 1) name, 2) institution or former institution, 3) degree program, 4) date of degree (received or anticipated), 5) mailing address, 6) permanent email address, 7) telephone number, and 8) paper title.


New faculty positions have been added to the SACRPH website:

  • Assistant Professor, Art of the Americas, Art History, Rutgers University (11/1/17)
  • Professor and Head, Urban and Regional Planning, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (11/17/17)
  • Assistant or Associate Professor, Urban Studies (Sociology and Anthropology), Baruch College (12/10/17)

Please see the Job Listings page for more information.


As both the conference hotel (the Westin Cleveland Downtown) and the Drury Plaza Hotel are now fully booked, we have just secured a block of reduced-rate rooms at the DoubleTree Tudor Arms Hotel. These rooms are limited in number, and unreserved rooms will be released after October 20. Please see the conference hotel page to reserve your accommodations!


New faculty and fellowship positions have been added to the SACRPH website. These include the following openings and initial deadlines:

  • Assistant Professor, African and African American Studies, Washington University in St. Louis (10/15/17)
  • Assistant Professor, Asian American Literature and Culture, Princeton University (10/15/17)
  • Faculty Positions, Urban Studies, NYU Shanghai (10/16/17)
  • Assistant Professor, Post-1945 U.S. History, University of Pennsylvania (11/1/17)
  • Assistant Professor, Justice and the Environment, Urban Planning Dept, UCLA (11/13/17)
  • Anschutz Distinguished Fellowship, American Studies, Princeton University (12/1/17)
  • Assistant Professor, Growth and Structure of Cities, Bryn Mawr College (12/5/17)

Please see the Job Listings page for more information.


As the official conference hotel is now sold out, we have secured an additional block of rooms at a reduced rate of $150.99/night (plus taxes) at the Drury Plaza Hotel Cleveland Downtown. Please see the Hotel page for details on booking procedures.


Don’t forget to register for the 17th National Conference on Planning History, to take place in Cleveland, Ohio, on October 26-29, 2017.

The conference will begin with a pre-conference tour, roundtable, and reception on Thursday, October 26th. The schedule for Friday and Saturday, October 27th and 28th, includes panels and roundtables, a Presidential address, a poster session, a book exhibit, and multiple receptions. We will conclude with optional walking and bus tours on Sunday, October 29th.

The deadline for securing the reduced conference rate at the Westin Cleveland Downtown is this Friday, September 22. In addition, for early bird conference registration rates, please register by online by October 1.

See the conference website ( for the latest program, accommodation, and registration details!


The preliminary schedule of sessions for the 2017 SACRPH conference is now available on the conference website. We will continue to update the program as the conference approaches. We look forward to seeing everyone in Cleveland on October 26-29!


SACRPH Student Travel Award Deadline Extended — Apply by September 15, 2017!

STUDENT TRAVEL AWARDS (up to $250 each)
The Robert S. Birch Endowment supports the activities of students within SACRPH and helps fund travel to the conference for students whose proposals have been accepted by the program committee. Individual grants will not exceed $250.

Students presenting papers should send an electronic copy to Sara Stevens.

Sara Stevens, Chair
University of British Columbia

David Smiley
Columbia University

Jennifer Hock
Maryland Institute College of Art


Registration is now open for SACRPH’s 17th National Conference on Planning History, to take place in Cleveland, Ohio, on October 26-29, 2017. Please check the conference website over the coming weeks for updates on program details. We hope you will join us!