Moving Towards a Healthier World

Release date: Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Deadline: Friday, January 29, 2016


(1) Introduction

We are now accepting proposals for Pro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place to be held in Vancouver, BC, September 12-15, 2016. Moving Towards a Healthier World is the conference theme and proposals are sought for four focus areas: Mobility, Governance, Health, and Resilience. The call for proposals closes Friday, January 29, 2016 at 8pm Eastern.

Pro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place was established in 1980 and it is North America’s premier conference on active transportation and active living. The conference draws a wide range of professionals who hold that more and better walking and bicycling improves quality-of-life and builds places. An international audience of urban planners, transportation designers and engineers, citizen advocates, placemakers, entrepreneurs, developers, elected officials, health professionals, and others will gather in Vancouver. Our delegates will hear the latest case studies, design standards, and research and will exchange best practices with their peers.

Vancouver, BC, host city for 2016, inspires both the conference theme and focus areas.

  • Mobility: How can walking, bicycling, transit and efficient land use work together to achieve ambitious mode shift goals?
  • Governance: How can the public interest be protected in a region that is a global crossroads and undergoing constant renewal?
  • Health: How can public health objectives guide public policy, planning and infrastructure investments?
  • Resilience: How can social, economic and environmental change be planned for inclusively?

The host city has much to teach us, and is ready to learn from the rest of the world; that is where you come in. We will be accepting your stories of leadership, lessons learned, and obstacles overcome until Friday, January 29, 2016 at 8pm Eastern. If you are ready to share your knowledge and learn from others, please read on.

(2) Focus Areas

We are accepting proposals for case studies, publications, research and discussions in the following focus areas.

Mobility – how we move and connect

People and places thrive when modes are balanced and connections to destinations such as housing, employment, education and recreation are planned as part of a robust, interdependent transportation system. Well-designed streets are community assets that facilitate social interaction and add value to a neighborhood or corridor. We encourage proposals that consider walking, bicycling and mobility in this context.

Expected topics may include: Shared Space, Walking, Bicycling, Transit, Shared Mobility, Safe Routes to School, Accessibility, Land Use, Transportation Networks

Governance – how we participate and decide

Sound and just decisions are arrived at when institutions actively engage with and listen to constituents. An empowered and articulate citizenry guide institutions towards more equitable public policy and investments. We encourage proposals about proven approaches, mechanisms and tools that improve transparency, accountability and trust between constituents and government.

Expected topics may include: Public Engagement, Civic Participation, Public-Private Partnerships, Place-based Governance, Volunteerism, Open Government, Participatory Budgeting, Lighter/Quicker/Cheaper, Big Data

Health – how we become healthier and happier

Promoting and preserving the public’s health, safety and welfare is the mandate of our public institutions. Settlement patterns, income inequality, environmental hazards, neighborhood design and an aging population often challenge this mandate. We encourage proposals that address these challenges and move us towards the goal of health consideration in all policies.

Expected topics may include: Active Living, Food Systems, Injury Prevention, Place-based Health, Belonging & Social Cohesion, Play, Active Aging, Open Streets

Resilience – how we understand and adapt to a changing world

Social, economic and environmental change pose myriad challenges to transportation, governance, food production, energy consumption, settlement and public health. Meeting these challenges in ways that will reduce not retrench inequality requires rethinking public investment priorities. We welcome proposals from planners and visionaries who are preparing people and institutions for flexibility and continuity.

Expected topics may include: Global Warming, Youth Leadership, Sustainability, Human Migration, Placemaking, Economic Localization, Housing Affordability

(3) Conference Formats and Proposal Guidelines

Proposals are being accepted for breakout sessions, pecha kucha style presentations and poster displays. Before selecting a format please review the description and conditions of each to decide which is the best fit.

Breakout Sessions – 45 minutes

Forty-five minutes for you and your audience to learn from one another. Recognizing that creativity and innovation are born out of necessity and limited resources, we are shortening our sessions and challenging our presenters to propose creative ways to connect with their audience before, during and after the conference. Note: more conversational time has been added between sessions.

Conditions: Multiple presenters per proposal; single presenter proposals will be accepted and matched with complementary proposals.

Pecha Kucha Style Presentations – approximately 7 minutes

A challenging and fun format for those willing to distill their knowledge into 20 slides, at 20 seconds per slide. Pecha Kucha sessions occur on the final morning of the conference, which is the perfect time for these rapid, high-energy presentations.

Conditions: One presenter per proposal

Poster Displays – 60 minutes of display

This is an ideal format for presenting research, technical information, or work in-progress. Graduate students seeking feedback on projects may also use this format. Poster displays allow for lengthier interactions between presenter and audience.

Conditions: One presenter per proposal

(4) Proposal Guidelines

  • Presenters selected for the program will receive a specially discounted registration rate.
  • Presenters are limited to two breakout session speaking appearances. You may submit and/or join as many proposals as you wish.
  • Breakout session proposals should reflect a diversity of backgrounds and experiences. If you are unable to meet this guideline please contact the conference organizer for assistance.
  • Proposals that are promotional or commercial will be rejected.
  • Presenter substitutions are discouraged and will be approved at the discretion of the conference organizer.

(5) Proposal Scoring Criteria/Evaluation

Completed proposals will be scored by the Program Review Committee and evaluated by Project for Public Spaces. Proposals will be selected for the program based on scoring, competition for a given topic or focus area, presenter expertise and the expected contribution to our affiliated professions.

The Call for Proposals is open from December 16, 2015 to January 29, 2016, 8pm Eastern. Respondents must provide the following information:

  • Contact and demographic information
  • Proposal abstract (200 words)
  • Evaluative questions (for Breakout Sessions only)
  1. Please describe the challenge or unmet need that you are addressing.
  2. Please describe the audience(s), process, tools and methods you employed to address this challenge.
  3. Please describe your results and/or lessons learned. We want to know what worked, what didn’t and why.
  4. Please describe how your project or proposal addresses/remedies existing economic, environmental, health inequities and/or social injustice.
  • Learning objectives for professional development (if applicable)
  • Autobiography (100 words)
  • Contact information for co-presenters (if applicable)

Up to 25 points may be awarded to proposals received for Pecha Kucha-style presentations and Poster Displays. Points will be awarded based on quality, thoroughness, and the expected contribution to the advancement of our profession(s).

Up to 50 points may be awarded to proposals received for Breakout Sessions, with 10 points possible for answering each Evaluative Question (40 total), and 10 points possible for the quality and thoroughness of the proposal.

Video Submissions (Panels Only): You may submit a 2 minute video as an alternative to the written form. Submissions must address the Evaluative Questions and will be scored using the same criteria as written submissions. For directions on uploading video, please see the proposal form.

(6) Community Principles and Expectations

Principles for the Pro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place community:

  1. Our work will focus on a systems approach to mobility.
  2. Our work will help define and defend the public interest.
  3. Our work will expand opportunity for disenfranchised individuals and underrepresented populations.
  4. Our work will support and contribute to the advancement of our affiliated professions.

Community Expectations:

  • We will share our knowledge and credit the work of others.
  • We will acknowledge, respect and celebrate our differences.
  • We will never forget to laugh.

(7) Timeline and Contact Information

At the close of the Call for Proposals we begin our period of evaluation and (as applicable) panel assembly. Invitations to present at the conference will be extended no later than mid April 2016. The breakout program will be announced prior to the ending of Early Registration in mid May 2016.

Throughout this process we endeavor to provide excellent and expeditious customer service. Here is how to reach us with questions about the call for proposals:

For questions relating to the focus areas, formats, evaluation and community principles contact:

Project for Public Spaces
Monday – Friday 9a – 5p Eastern
David Leyzerovsky
212.620.5660 x346
program [at] walkbikeplaces [dot] org

For technical support questions about the CFP form and portal contact:

University of Oregon
Monday – Friday 9a – 5p Eastern
walkbikeplaces [at] uoregon [dot] edu


(8) Acknowledgements

Pro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place is produced by Project for Public Spaces and the National Center for Bicycling & Walking. The conference began in Asheville, North Carolina in 1980 with just over one hundred advocates; today it draws over one thousand planners, engineers, landscape architects, elected official, health professionals, citizen advocates, academics, transportation professionals and Placemakers from around the world. The conference was last convened in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2014.

Pro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place 2016: Moving Towards a Healthier World is made possible with the support of our sponsors. For more information about becoming a sponsor please download our sponsorship kit or contact sponsor [at] walkbikeplaces [dot] org.