CoLab Radio and Polis invite you to chronicle your thesis or dissertation by blogging your research as it unfolds or digging back in to a research project you haven’t yet left behind.

This year’s chroniclers come from the UPenn, UTexas at Austin, UNC Chapel Hill, Cornell University, the University of Melbourne, MIT, Tufts University, and Berkeley.

Current thesis chroniclers include:

Giovanni Vecchio: Right to the City, Right to Mobility

Johanna Bratel and Stina Hellqvist: Urban Informality: Improving open spaces in slums

Chiara Camponeschi: The Enabling City: Unlocking the democratic potential of cities

Jeffrey Juarez: (Re)Imagining the use of public markets for community development

Laura Manville: Preservation and public housing in post-Katrina New Orleans

Addy Smith-Reiman: Art of urban nature: Curating the city with the work of Joseph Beuys

Laura Tolkoff: Rethinking the role of urban planning in reducing obesity

Alison Lee: Changing car parking to bike parking in Melbourne

Lana Z Porter: Strolling and scrolling: Navigating Brooklyn off- and online

Christa Wagner: Rural economic development & creative economy in Star, North Carolina

Every year students produce some of the freshest ideas on the world’s most pressing issues: energy efficiency, social justice, media, affordable housing, race, transportation, food distribution and urban design, among others.


As part of his 2010 thesis project, John Arroyo invited people who are committed to the Los Angeles River to draw their visions for its future.  He published the hand-drawn maps one at a time on CoLab Radio.  Ultimately, L.A. Councilmember Ed Reyes and the local public television station, KCET, partnered with Arroyo to take his methodology to scale. Above, one local River enthusiast’s vision.  See Ron’s full map here.

CoLab Radio wants this research to make it out to policy makers and into communities in an accessible form. Knowledge should be co-generated between academics, community members, and people working on the ground. In some cases, a blog series can be one piece in making that possible. By blogging their work, researchers have been able to make deeper connections in the communities they are studying and with other people in their fields.

Any thesis or dissertation writer from any university in any country is invited to submit a concept for this series.  Graduate and undergraduate students are welcome.

To get started, email with some information on your research and your general ideas for a series.  Thesis series should be between three and twelve posts. As you do your series, you will have the opportunity to reach even more people by publishing a comprehensive article on Polis.


Gayle Christiansen profiled one amazing Camden business owner at a time for her thesis on the potential of small businesses to transform Camden, New Jersey. Christiansen co-authored an op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer with one of her thesis interviewees. Above, Kelly Chang’s Friends Café caters to both Rutgers Students and Camden locals.