The 6th International Conference on Smart Villages and Rural Development (COSVARD 2023)

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Providing a global platform for researchers, policy makers and industry professionals to share relevant knowledge and examples from practice associated with new forms of rural development.


With over 40% of the world’s population now living in rural areas, there is global interest in research associated with the creation of “Smart Villages” to address the ever growing urban-rural divide. Smart Village research being undertaken in the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne is exploring rural community development, practices and relevant policies with a focus on community-centric planning of affordable housing, infrastructure, sustainable development and growth, community empowerment and other issues related to the creation of Smart Villages.

About the conference

This will be a peer-reviewed conference with a scientific committee comprising global leaders and experts. Papers will be subject to a double-blind review before acceptance. The proceedings of COSVARD 2023 will an ISBN publication published through the University of Melbourne. The proceedings will be cataloged at the Australian National Library as well as in both hard copy and e-collections at the University of Melbourne library.  A downloadable file of the proceedings will be available under the 'Publications' section of the Smart Villages Lab homepage for public access and wider dissemination.


Conference dates

04-05 December 2023 (Hybrid mode)

Time: 9:00am (Indian Standard Time), 2:30pm (Australian Daylight Eastern Standard Time)


The conference FINAL Schedule will be available HERE.

Smart Villages Design Poster Competition

Will be run as part of the conference. For poster details, refer to Smart  Villages Design Poster

Conference Organiser

Smart Villages Lab (SVL)
The University of Melbourne

Local Partner

Assam Engineering College, Jalukbari, Assam, India
Mizoram University, Mizoram, India

Key Dates

All papers must submit through COMS

  • Sign-up, submit a brief abstract with a clear title of the paper/ or design poster:   31 May 2023 (revised)
  • Full paper/design poster submission: 30 June 2023 15 July 2023 (revised)
  • Full paper/design poster acceptance: 30 August 2023
  • Camera ready paper/design poster:  30 October 2023
  • Registration on or before: 30 October 2023
  • Conference date: 04-05 December 2023

Keynote speakers

1. Prof George Ofori, UK

2.Prof Hemanta Hazarika, Japan

3. Prof Virendra Kumar Vijay, India

4. Prof Mohan Kumaraswamy, Sri Lanka

5. Prof Ikaputra, UGM, Indonesia

Honourable Governor of Assam, Prof Jagdish Mukhi (To be confirmed)
Honourable Chief Minister of Assam, Dr Himanta B Sarma (To be confirmed) 
Honourable Minister for Education, Assam, Dr Ranoj Pegu (To be confirmed)

Registration fee (presenters)

  • Early Bird Discount (until 30th September 2023): $150
  • Full Price (from 1st October 2023): $200
  • Student Price: $75(student cards will be checked upon arrival and this would be strictly enforced)
  • Local Student Price: $75(Local students in India only)

Register now


Face to face venue:
Assam Engineering College
Jalukbari, Guwahati, Assam, India

Webinar (link to be made available soon)


Scientific committee

  • Professor Craig Langston, Bond University, Australia
  • Professor Mark Burry, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia
  • Professor Anthony Mills, Deakin University, Australia
  • Professor Bishwajit Bhattacharjee, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, India
  • Dr Yoshiki Higuchi, Nippon Institute of Technology, Japan
  • Dr Siddhartha Singha, Indian Institute of Technology,Guwahati, India
  • Professor Shaila Bantanur, BMS School of Architecture, Bangalore, India
  • A/Professor Masa Noguchi, The University of Melbourne, Australia
  • Assistant Professor Sajal Chowdhury, Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology, Bangladesh
  • Dr James Helal, University of Melbourne, Australia
  • Professor Anu Gokhale, Illinois State University, U.S.
  • Professor Reeta Sarmah, Jorhat Engineering College, India
  • Professor Benny Raphael, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India
  • Dr Dominique Hes, University of Melbourne, Australia
  • A/Prof Peter Raisbeck, University of Melbourne, Australia
  • Professor Koshy Varghese, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India
  • A/ Professor Arup Bhattachajee, Jorhat Engineering College, Assam, India
  • Dr Mehdi Amirkhani, University of Melbourne, Australia
  • A/Professor Manjuri Hazarika, Assam Engineering College, India
  • Geoff Kimm, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia
  • Dr Citra Ongkowijoyo, Deakin University, Australia
  • Professor Boeing Singh, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, India
  • A/ Professor Nithyadharan Mokkaiyan, Indian Institute of Technology Tirupati, India
  • Dr Salman Shoostarian, RMIT University, Australia
  • A/ Professor Essam Almahmoud, Qassim University, Saudi Arabia
  • Dr Mohammad Arif Rohman, Sepulah Nopember Institute of Technology, Indonesia
  • Velyne Katharpi, University of Melbourne, Australia
  • A/Prof Sean Jin, Western Sydney University, Australia
  • Dr Sasanka Borah, Assam Engineering College, India
  • A/Professor Pradip Baishya
  • Professor Bipul Talukdar, Assam Engineering College, India
  • Dr Medalson Ronghang, Bineswar Brahma Engineering College, India
  • Dr Kiran Shinde, La Trobe University, Australia
  • Dr Hannah Robertson, The University of Melbourne
  • Dr Alessandro Liuti, The University of Melbourne
  • Dr Rakhee Das, National Institute of Technology, Rourkela, Odisha, India
  • Dr Sally Donovan, Research Fellow, The University of Melbourne
  • Dr Arif Rohman, Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (ITS), Indonesia
  • Dr B. Mahesh, IIT Madras, Chennai, India
  • Ms Dwijomala  Hanjabam, Mizoram University, India
  • Mr Abdullatif  Abdallah (Smart Villages Lab), The University of Melbourne


Conference themes include, but are not limited to:

  • Rural Housing
    Housing affordability, low-cost housing, materials selection, energy and water solutions, sanitation, reusability and recycling of waste, skill development, environmental design, disaster resilience and other relevant topics.
  • Rural Infrastructure
    Construction and maintenance of roads and other forms of infrastructure, access to education and health care, provision of services, including energy, potable water, waste and sewage management, creation of public spaces, ICT applications and operations, and other related topics.
  • Rural Economy
    Building social capital, micro and community-led finance, income generation, farming support, crop selection and improvement, market access, pricing, various forms of tourism and other related topics.
  • Sustainability 
    Environmental, Social, and Economic sustainability, implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
  • Smart Governance
    ICT and data-driven solutions, machine learning applications, alternative forms of governance and other relevant topics.
  • Circular Economy
    Framework for local manufacturing, local production, local consumption, use and re-use, repairing, refurbishing, re-cycling products and services including other relevant topics.
  • Social Procurement, Social Value and Value-for-Money
    Models for promoting localised trades and contracts, evaluation of community specific social benefits, value for money assessments, alternative forms of procurement strategies and other relevant topics.
  • Rural Enterprises and Rural Entrepreneurship
    Models for supporting people to build their entrepreneurial capability and capacity to leverage on new opportunities and empowering rural communities at large.
  • Rural Culture and Experience
    Appreciation, preservation, characterisation, comparison or contrast of the rural culture and experience with a solid connection to land, agriculture, and nature which encompass the way of living, values, habits, and traditions of people living in remote or rural areas.


Situation permitting, COSVARD 2023 will have been again held in the city of Guwahati, in the North-Eastern Indian state of Assam. Guwahati is the capital of Assam and contains the famous “Kamakhya Temple”, as well as the world’s smallest habitable island “Umananda” and many sites of archaeological significance.

Vernacular house; new housing solutions; tea plantation.
Vernacular house; new housing solutions; tea plantation.

Assam is located in the Himalayan Valley, and has an abundance of pristine natural beauty. It is also the gateway to the seven sister states of North-East India and neighbouring countries. It is home to an incredible variety of wildlife, including the single-horned rhinoceros, as well as a very high concentration of Bengal Tigers.

It is also where Majuli Island, the world’s largest river island, is located within the mighty Brahmaputra River. Assam is famous for its tea plantations and silk. Assam’s emerging economy, and rapid modernisation is attracting not only people from other parts of India but also visitors from around the world. For more information on things to do in Assam click here or here.

Single-horned rhinoceros
Single-horned rhinoceros


If you are looking for accommodation for your visit to the conference we recommend The Lily hotel or the Royal de Casa

Both venues are aware of the conference, and if you mention you are attending COSVARD 2023 they will offer a special rate.

If you are a student looking for discounted accommodation please contact the local partners at Assam Engineering College Pradip Baishya or Sasanka Borah.

Submission Templates

Further information

Download the brochure