2nd International Conference on Smart Villages and Rural Development

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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.


Conference dates

2-4 December 2019

Tentative Schedule

The tentative schedule for the conference is now available here.

We are still awaiting confirmation from some participants so this may change.

Smart Villages Poster Competition

Will be run as part of the conference. Please click here for details on how to enter.

Conference Organiser

Smart Villages Lab (SVL)
The University of Melbourne

Local Organiser

Assam Engineering College, Jalukbari, Assam, India

Key Dates

Abstract submission is now closed

Abstracts are currently under review, expect results shortly

Full paper submission: 23rd August 2019, please submit through COMS link here

Full paper acceptance: 30th September 2019

Camera ready paper: 1st November 2019

Keynote speakers

Prof Satyanarayana, Director, IIT Tirupati, India

"Rural construction and governance - opportunities and challenges"

Prof Koshy Varghese, IIT Madras, India

Topic to be confirmed

Dr Uddhab Bharali (Padma Shree)

"Small Scale Innovations for Smart Villages"

More to come...

Chief Guests

Honourable Chief Minister of Assam  and Honourable Finance Minister of Assam (TBA)

Registration fee (presenters)

  • Early Bird Discount (until 30th September 2019): $300
  • Full Price (from 1st October 2019): $350
  • Student Price: $150 (student cards will be checked upon arrival and this would be strictly enforced)
  • Local Student Price: $75 (Local students in India only)

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Assam Administrative Staff College, Khanapara, Guwahati


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
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
Dr Benny Raphael, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India
Professor K.C. Iyer, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, India
Dr Dominique Hes, University of Melbourne, Australia
Dr 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
A/ 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
Pablo Giovani Palafox-Alcantar, University of Birmingham, U.K.
Dr Sasanka Borah, Assam Engineering College, India
Professor Bipul Talukdar, Assam Engineering College, India


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.
  • Smart Governance
    ICT and data-driven solutions, machine learning applications, alternative forms of governance and other relevant topics.


COSVARD 2019 will be 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 2019 they will offer a special rate.

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

Further information

Download the brochure