Computational Urban Planning and Urban Management

CUPUM23 Montreal, Canada - 20-22 June 2023

About us

For 30 years, CUPUM (Computational Urban Planning and Urban Management) has been the premier international conferences for the exchange of ideas and applications of computing technologies to address a diverse range of social, managerial, and environmental problems impacting urban planning and development. CUPUM brings together the research community at the intersection of digital technologies, data science, urban planning and city shaping.

Cupum has a rich history of being hosted in a range of countries across the world. For more information on previous conferences click here.


“In 1985, we began an academic exchange between the Department of Town Planning in the University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology and the Centre for Urban Studies and Urban Planning in the University of Hong Kong. Tony Yeh visited Cardiff for one month in 1985 and I visited Hong Kong for 2 months as a Croucher Fellow in 1986. Over the next couple of years Tony and myself planned a conference on new computer tools for planners and along with the special interest group on Computers associated the Association of the Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP), the first conference organised by Tony was held in 1989. This truly international  meeting brought together people working with computers and planning from around the world for the first time and out of it came a couple of special issues  of journals: Applications of Geographic Information Systems in Urban and Regional Planning, edited by Tony Yeh and myself in Environment and Planning B, Volume 17, 1990 and The Promise of Expert Systems for Urban Planning in  Computers, Environments and Urban Systems, Volume 15, 1991. The tradition of producing special issues of journals and now pre-printed books has continued ever since and is a hallmark of the CUPUM conferences.

The success of the venture, even though the first conference was quite high profile, was never assured. The number of those working in this nascent field was quite small but interest was high and the conference series continued: Oxford in 1991, Atlanta in 1993, Melbourne in 1995 and by then the biennial form and the momentum had been established. What is so important about the CUPUM conferences is that they provide a wonderful litmus test for the state of the art. Back at the beginning, expert systems and geographic information systems were very new and all the rage. CUPUM picked up on these. By the time we got to Melbourne, Windows 95 and the World Wide Web dominated the scene. Fast forward more than 25 years to 2022 and local scale urban design with a focus on mobility as well as big data and methods for extracting significant patterns using machine learning relating to new spatial behaviours are to the forefront. The conferences have not changed their form that much from the first but the internationalism that has always been a feature of them is now writ large and a successful body of committed people will ensure that the conference lives on. CUPUMs great achievement is to establish a forum for dissemination of new ideas in computers in planning which is held together by sheer academic and practical dedication and interest in the field.”

— Professor Mike Batty, University College London

“Attending CUPUM has been a highlight of my PhD candidature. It has been fantastic to connect with others who undertake research at the intersection of urban planning and digital technology and I am still in contact with some people I have met at past conferences. As an early career researcher it has been particularly inspiring to hear keynotes from established academics who generously shared their research and experiences, and from people advocating for the use of open technology to help build better cities for all.”

— Claire Daniel, PhD student, UNSW Sydney