The Urban Institute (TUI) has strengthened its links with Tsinghua University by jointly organising a successful international symposium in Beijing.
The symposium addressed the theme of China’s urban transformations and attracted scholars from leading universities from across the world. The symposium was the brainchild of Dr Jing Wu from Tsinghua University’s Hang Lung Institute and Dr Wenjie Wu of TUI, supported by TUI Director Professor Mark Stephens.
China faces enormous challenges as it embarks on the next stage of urbanisation. ... These are the challenges that the papers presented at this symposium addressed.
Mark said, “China faces enormous challenges as it embarks on the next stage of urbanisation. It is seeking to restructure the economy towards boosting domestic consumption, and broaden coverage of public services such as education and healthcare. The Chinese government is now balancing the over-riding priority given to economic growth against social and environmental objectives. These are the challenges that the papers presented at this symposium addressed.”
Papers presented at the conference are among those the organisers will consider for publication in special issues of two international journals:
- Housing, Theory and Society, and
- Urban Policy and Research.
In addition to facilitating links between TUI academics and China scholars from Chinese and UK universities, US (including MIT and UCLA), the Netherlands and Australia.
Two of Heriot-Watt’s doctoral students participated in the event:
- Yiyi Chen presented a paper on inequalities in wellbeing in Beijing’s neighbourhoods, and
- Yang Wang, who has recently submitted her thesis on the social housing programme in western China.
Developing links with Chinese universities is a strategic priority for TUI, formed within EGIS just over a year ago.
It is vital to develop collaborations with Chinese scholars and universities to conduct research in China. We have made a good start by raising the university’s profile in the country.
Wenjie Wu also participated in the UK-China Workshop on the impact of urbanisation on health, supported by the British Council, Newton Fund and NSFC, and hosted by the Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Both Wenjie Wu and Mark Stephens gave a series of invited lectures and seminars, with Wenjie presenting at Tianjin University, Yunnan University and Sun-Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou.
Mark gave guest lectures in the Peking University Lincoln Land Institute’s distinguished lecturer series, and at Sun-Yat-Sen University, as well as seminars at Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Hong Kong University.
Wenjie surmised, “It is vital to develop collaborations with Chinese scholars and universities to conduct research in China. We have made a good start by raising the university’s profile in the country.”