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Panel 1: CUPUM in Evolution - 21 June @ 9:00 (Day 2)

Much has changed since we started CUPUM (generative AI!). Much has not changed (we continue to gain insights from spreadsheets). Hear from the founders and shakers of CUPUM on its evolution and what’s needed for CUPUM to flourish. 


Panellists will discuss the past, present and future of our community:


  • How has CUPUM evolved over the decades? Who is our community? Who should be in our community? 

  • How have the underlying disciplines like urban planning evolved and influenced CUPUM?

  • How do we sustain CUPUM?

  • What insights can we glean from past technological usage and innovation?

  • How will new tech influence CUPUM?

  • Is there a global consensus with the evolution we discussed? What of the priorities in different regions of the world? Global North? Global South? 

  • What is the impact of digital divides on tech’s evolution and CUPUM’s evolution?

  • What is the role of ethics, especially with the increasing uptake of new technologies like AI. What is the role of planners in discussions of ethics in tech + urban issues?


  • Xinyue Ye (Texas A&M University)


  • Joanna Badach (Gdansk University of Technology)

  • Michael Batty (University College London)

  • Joe Ferreira (MIT)

  • Richard Klosterman (University of Akron)

  • Marketta Kyttä (Aalto University)

  • Chris Pettit (University of New South Wales)

  • Qingming Zhan (Wuhan University)

Panel 2: CUPUM According to ChatGPT - 22 June @ 9:00 (Day 3)

The tools we teach to our students and the skills we expect them to acquire has changed significantly since the early days of CUPUM. We know that GIS transformed graduate training in disciplines like urban planning and geography. Few universities don’t have at least one course in GIS; some have entire degree programs in GIS/spatial analytics/geomatics and urban science. In this panel, we’ve assembled individuals from a broad range of backgrounds and diverse locations to speak on the changes in what we teach as a result of innovations in tools. The latest innovation is ChatGPT and GPT-4. With generative AI, spatial analysis could become reduced to a geographic query. Will we need to teach buffers, projections, data transformations when AI takes over? What skills are fundamental to question the outputs of these new tools?  What knowledge is needed and what knowledge is valued? Some regions have few resources to even teach GIS, let alone foundation models. Where should they start? Regions also have diverse needs for analytical tools, yet we see new tools like AI being proposed as an overarching solution to almost anything. How do we create training programs to address diverse needs?  


Urban planning, as a field, emphasizes professional development. AI can disrupt those professional development pathways. Do we now teach planners to be ‘prompt engineers’? 


Panelists will consider these issues and much more.


  • Raja Sengupta (McGill University)


  • Robert Goodspeed (University of Michigan)

  • Nelson Rodrigues da Silva (University of São Paulo) 

  • Renée Sieber (McGill University)

  • Roberto Ponce Lopez (Tecnológico de Monterrey)

  • Sarah Williams (MIT)

  • Anthony Yeh (University of Hong Kong)

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