Megacities 2016: Call for Papers

 Karachi Logo 

International Conference on “Managing Megacities” 

at the University of Karachi, Pakistan 

September 20-22, 2016 


University Partnership Program 

University of Karachi & George Mason University 

Call for Submissions: full papers, extended abstracts and posters 


In 1950, New York City was the only megacity in the world, with 10 million or more inhabitants. At that time, Karachi’s population was only one million. In 1970 Karachi was not even among the 30 largest cities in the world. Currently, with an estimated population of over 22 million, Karachi is ranked as the 7th largest megacity in the world and its population has now exceeded that of New York. Today, most megacities are located in developing countries and beyond their size, many of these megacities share a constellation of challenges, including transportation shortages and congestion, water scarcity, environmental degradation, lack of health and education facilities and, extremely large proportions of young people, many of whom are trapped in poverty, violence and crime. These urban challenges take on a qualitatively new face at the scale of a megacity. 

Over the last three years, the Shar School of Public Policy and Government at George Mason University have collaborated with the Department of Public Administration at the University of Karachi in social science research capacity building, through the University Partnership Program funded by the U.S. Department of State. The focal point of this partnership has been studying Karachi, with a special emphasis on the use of social science data for planning, programming and evaluation purposes. As the initial phase of this partnership is drawing to a close, an international conference is being organized on “Managing Megacities” at the University of Karachi on September 20-22, 2016. The purpose of the conference is to highlight insights gained through the partnership, with an eye to improving the management, and ultimately the quality of life in Karachi, drawing on the experiences of other megacities. 

With this Call for Papers, we are soliciting extended abstracts or complete, but previously unpublished, papers on five Thematic Sessions that relate to existing or emerging megacities for oral presentation in the conference. Each session will concentrate on challenges facing residents and policymakers in the following specific policy domains: 

* Water and Sanitation 

* Transportation 

* Health 

* Education 

* Youth 

Papers for the thematic sessions should be based on qualitative or quantitative research and should address domain relevant issues of planning, implementation and/or evaluation of policies and programs in megacities, where the size and complexity of the urban environment qualitatively shift the administrative environment. 

Extended abstracts (of maximum 800 words) or papers are to be submitted by August 5, 2016 to

Important deadlines and dates 

  • Submission of extended abstracts/full papers (August 15, 2016) 
  • Notification of acceptance for extended abstracts (August 18, 2016) 
  • Submission of final papers* (for inclusion in conference proceedings) (September 5, 2016) 
  • Submission of conference posters (August 28, 2016) 
  • Notification of acceptance for posters (September 5, 2016)
  • Conference dates (September 20 – 22, 2016) 

*Full papers submitted to the conference will be considered for inclusion in the conference post-proceedings to be published as a special issue in a reputable international journal. Extended abstracts will be included in the conference proceedings only. 

For full papers, please use the IEEE template for conference proceedings:

Conference Poster Submission 

The conference will include poster sessions on the mornings of September 21 and September 22, 2016. Topics for posters are not restricted to the substantive areas listed above, but instead should highlight any aspect of the challenges and opportunities found in Karachi or any other megacity. Posters of size A0 (33.1 x 46.8 inches) must be submitted in electronic form (e.g., MS PowerPoint or MS Word) to Tips for preparing an effective research poster may be found at: A $200 cash prize will be awarded to the best student poster as judged by the conference organizing committee. 


Conference Organizing Committee 

Dr. Khalid M. Iraqi, Karachi University (Co-Chair) 

Dr. James Witte, George Mason University (Co-Chair) 

Dr. Roger Stough, George Mason University 

Dr. Shah Jamal Alam, Habib University 

Dr. Uzma Shujaat, University of Karachi 

Dr. Ghazal K. H. Akhtar, University of Karachi 

Mr. Moin Ahmed, University of Karachi 

Mr. Mustafa Hyder, University of Karachi 

Ms. Syeda Hoor-ul-Ain, University of Karachi