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9th Urban China Forum, Day 2

Sat, Oct 15, 2022    9am

The 9th Urban China Forum: Urban Sustainability Planning in China — Existing Practices and New Trends of Urbanization

Day 1, October 14
(EDT/New York) 9:00am – 11:00am Avery 114 and Virtual
Register on Zoom

Day 2, October 15
(EST/New York) 9:00am – 12:00pm
Fayerweather 209 and Virtual
Register on Zoom

The forum will be live streamed starting from 9:00 AM EDT/9:00 PM CST on October 14 and 15. The general public is invited to view the event on Zoom, and Columbia affiliates are invited to participate on Zoom on in-person in Avery 114 on Friday and Fayerweather 209 on Saturday.

On October 15, the forum will be followed by a reception in Fayerweather 209 for in-person attendees. Please attend to reconnect with friends, make new connections, and share industry insights and experiences with your fellow students and alumni.


The rapid urbanization in China has fostered the emergence of new socio-economic centers across urban regions and the continuous reshaping of urban landscapes in recent decades, while it also brought up challenges along with the global tendency of urban sustainability planning in response to the rising concerns of environmental degradation and social inequality resulting from mismanaged urban developments. Over the years, urban sustainability as a general theme has been broadly defined in various ways related to social, economic, and environmental issues, with the ultimate goal of promoting and supporting the long-term well-being of people and the built environment.

From the regeneration of existing urban spaces to the attempt to construct new eco-friendly cities, China has already explored various approaches to urban sustainability planning. How effective are these methods of historical preservation, conservation planning and economic revitalization in creating resilient and sustainable cities? As a response, this year the Urban China Forum aims to put together both existing urban sustainability planning practices and new trends of development strategies to frame the conversation in dialogue and bring new perspectives to future urban planning methodologies.


Li Tian is a professor and deputy head of the Department of Urban Planning at Tsinghua University. Her research focuses on urbanization and land use studies. Professor Tian has a great number of publications in both Chinese and English, including 14 books and more than 130 journal papers with 30 SSCI/SCI papers as first or corresponding authors. Besides her extensive research, Professor Tian has also been planning leads for many urban design projects across cities in China. From 2014 to 2020, she was listed by Elsevier as “Most Cited Chinese Scholars” for six consecutive years.

Weifeng Li is Associate Dean (Research Postgraduate Studies) and an Associate Professor in Faculty of Architecture at the University of Hong Kong (HKU). He has been working in the Department of Urban Planning and Design at HKU since 2011 after receiving his Ph.D. From MIT. His research interests focus on environmental sustainability associated with urbanization and transportation, urban spatial structure and air pollution, health effects, and the use of urban modeling, remote sensing, and big data in urban and environmental studies. Professor Li is also a member of the editorial board of Transportation Research D: Transport and Environment, Honorary Secretary of buildingSMART International Hong Kong Chapter, and Immediate Past President of the Hong Kong GIS Association. He was an Associate Editor of Journal of Transport and Land Use and received International Association for China Planning (IACP) Distinguished Service Award (2018).

Jianqiang Yang is a professor in the school of Architecture at Southeast University and an active registered urban planner in China. His research area includes urban regeneration, historic preservation, urban planning, and urban design. Professor Yang has multiple publications, including The Theory and Methodology of Urban Regeneration, The Urban Regeneration in West Europe, Urban Planning and Design, etc. Many of his publications are selected as teaching materials for the urban planning curriculum in China. Besides his extinguished academic reputation, professor Yang has also led much urban planning and design projects across cities in China.

Yunjing Li is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Geography at the University of Hong Kong. Her research focuses on low-carbon city planning and urban climate governance. Dr. Yunjing Li’s doctoral thesis at Columbia University takes Shenzhen as a case study to explore the concept of low-carbon city and its implementation in Chinese cities through the lens of urban governance. She also previously worked with the United Nations Population Fund and UN-Habitat on environmental sustainability issues as well as the Urban Technical Assistance Project, a Columbia initiative that aims to provide support for inner-city communities.

Nick R. Smith is an assistant professor of Architecture and Urban Studies at Barnard College, Columbia University. His work explores the politics of urbanization and planning in Asia, with a particular focus on contemporary China. Smith’s recently published book, entitled The End of the Village: Planning the Urbanization of Rural China, investigates an epochal shift in Chinese urban policy and its experimental implementation in Chongqing. His current research on the Shekou Industrial Zone re-examines the origins of China’s rapid urbanization in the early reform era.

This forum is organized by Urban China Network of Columbia GSAPP and sponsored by the M.S. Urban Planning program within Columbia GSAPP.

9th Urban China Forum
Smart City and Info Universe

October 14, 2022