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Call for Proposals


We will be accepting proposals for Walk/Bike/Places to be held in New Orleans, LA, September 16-19, 2018, from Wednesday, December 20th at 1pm Eastern. The call for proposals closes Friday, February 2, 2018 at 8pm Eastern.

When we meet in New Orleans we will be marking our twentieth anniversary. With each conference, with each new city, we organize our program to reflect the needs of the host city, the best possible professional development for our audience, and to reflect the change we wish to see in our profession and our world.

Respondents are invited to submit proposals that support the following conference outcomes:

  1. Transportation that is accessible and sustainable
  2. Cities that are fair and equitable
  3. Streets that are safe and beautiful
  4. Public process that is meaningful and inclusive
  5. Planning that is smart and just
  6. Places that are for people

Respondents may submit proposals for the following conference formats:

  • Poster Displays - Share your knowledge, get feedback and meet new people
  • Breakout Panels - Propose a panel of up to three presenters for a 60-minute session
  • Breakout Panelists - Propose to join one of our curated deep-dive technical sessions

More than 1,500 planners, placemakers, designers, researchers, students, engineers, advocates, and others will converge on New Orleans for Walk/Bike/Places 2018. If you want to share your knowledge at North America’s largest active transportation and placemaking conference, then please read on!


Walk/Bike/Places 2018 will feature three conference formats. Please review the description and conditions of each format and choose the one that best fits your presentation style and content. You may submit as many proposals as you wish, but you will only be offered one speaking opportunity.

Poster Displays

This format is ideal for sharing research and presenting technical information. Because the format allows for lengthier interactions between presenter and audience it is favored by students and academics interested in getting feedback on their work. Presenters should expect up to 60 minutes of display time. Posters will be displayed in our Town Square which will also host exhibits, refreshment breaks and live music.

Conditions: (a) one presenter per proposal

Breakout Panels

Breakout sessions are the core of Walk/Bike/Places. We will select approximately 60 proposals for these 60-minute sessions. Each complete proposal will consist of a session summary, answers to four evaluative questions, learning objectives and the names of co-presenters. Respondents are encouraged to be creative with their 60-minute session and provide time for audience interaction. Proposals will be scored by our Program Review Committee with the final breakout program determined by session score and a need for the best balance of session topics.

Conditions: (a) proposals must address one of the six conference outcomes; (b) only complete panels will be accepted (no single presenters); (c) a maximum of 3 presenters; and (d) proposals that are dominated by one consulting firm or that are commercial/self-promotional in nature will be disqualified.

Breakout Panelists

Every conference there are a handful of topics that we deem critical to the future of our practice or foundational knowledge for those who have recently joined our community. We are calling for presenters to join “Super Sessions” on these important topics:

  • Building better bicycling infrastructure. Potential topics: protected bike lanes, bicycle boulevards, shared streets, protected intersections, etc. More details >>
  • Planning for autonomous vehicles. Potential topics: ethical challenges, planning considerations, travel modeling, user conflicts, technology, etc. More details >>
  • Radical transformations. Potential topics: large-scale demonstration projects, tactical urbanism, open streets, Lighter/Quicker/Cheaper, etc. More details >>
  • Data. Potential topics: finding/collecting/analyzing travel, health, safety, economic data, etc. (No apps please.) More details >>
  • Creating place. Potential topics: governance, culture, process, placemaking, etc. More details >>
  • Sustainable urbanism. Potential topics: high performance infrastructure, mode shift, local food production, renewable energy, etc. More details >>
  • Inequality. Potential topics: wealth creation, displacement, social cohesion, etc. More details >>
  • Principles and purpose. Potential topics: defining the public interest, ethical planning, ethical public engagement, ethical advocacy, etc. More details >>

Respondents will select a topic, describe what knowledge they would share in a 15-20 minute presentation, and provide biographical testament to their expertise and experience. Successful applicants will become part of a 3-hour session assembled by the conference organizer.

Conditions: (a) one presenter per proposal

(3) Proposal Guidelines

Please review these additional proposal guidelines to ensure your proposal receives due consideration:

  • Walk/Bike/Places has a proud legacy of gender equality. Care for the legacy informs and influences decisions about who we invite to speak at Walk/Bike/Places. Please contact us if you need help finding women or men to join your proposal.
  • You may submit multiple proposals under multiple formats but you will only be offered one speaking opportunity for our breakout program. The intent of this policy is to open the conference program to new voices.
  • Presenters pay to attend Walk/Bike/Places but they will be offered a discounted registration rate. The cost to attend the 2016 conference was approximately $550 for a full registration. A limited amount of need-based financial assistance will be made available and announced in spring 2018. There is no cost to submit a proposal, and no obligation to attend Walk/Bike/Places is implied by submitting a proposal.
  • Presenter substitutions are discouraged and will be approved at the discretion of the conference organizer.

(4) Scoring Criteria and timeline

The Call for Proposals will be open from Wednesday, December 20, 2017 to Friday, February 2, 2018, 8 pm Eastern. Respondents will be notified of their status by early April 2018. Invitations to speak will be issued well in advance of the Early Registration deadline and concurrent with financial aid and scholarship programs.

Poster Display presenters will be selected based on quality, thoroughness, and the expected contribution to the advancement of our profession(s). Up to 25 points are possible.

Proposals for breakout sessions will be reviewed, discussed, and scored by our Program Review Committee. Proposals will be selected for the program based on merit, competition for a particular outcome, our need to assemble a compelling and timely program, and our commitment to building a diverse and equitable conference. Up to 50 points are possible.

  • 10 points: Describing the challenge/unmet need
  • 10 points: Describing the audience(s), process, tools and methods employed
  • 10 points: Describing the results, lessons learned, and what did (and didn’t) work
  • 10 points: Describing how the work addresses inequities OR how it advances our profession
  • 10 points: Quality, thoroughness and support for the selected Conference Outcome

Breakout panelists will be selected for our curated “Super Sessions” based on the ideas received, the respondents’ experience and the learning objectives for each of the eight topics.

(5) Community Principles and Expectations

Walk/Bike Places will uphold the following principles and expectations that we think are vital to sustainability of our event and the growth of our 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.
  5. We will share our knowledge and credit the work of others.
  6. We will acknowledge, respect and celebrate our differences.
  7. We will never forget to laugh.

(6) Contact Information

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

Project for Public Spaces

Monday – Friday 9a – 5p Eastern

Juliet Kahne


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

(7) Acknowledgements

Walk/Bike/Places 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 Vancouver, British Columbia, in 2016.

Walk/Bike/Places 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.