STL Lab Researchers Interact with Fulbright Scholars on Urban Studies

by Prof. Shihe Fu, Fulbright Visiting Scholar, MIT CRE

On May 30, 2017, STL Lab organized a half-day workshop on urban studies with a group of Sino-US Fulbright Visiting Scholars in Boston. Twelve presentations were made on a large variety of topics spanning the diverse fields of urban economics, urban planning, urban culture, housing markets and policy, and urban environment. The presenters included four researchers from DUSP, CRE, and the STL Lab, seven Fulbright scholars, and a special guest from Clark University.

Professor Siqi Zheng, the Samuel Tak Lee Associate Professor of Real Estate Development and Entrepreneurship, hosted the workshop and discussed how high-speed trains have cultivated a spread of knowledge across Chinese cities. Professor Junfu Zhang, Professor of Economics at Clark University, shared his recent research on the economics of walled cities in the Qing Dynasty in China and their long-term impact on current city development.

Ting Meng, a postdoctoral researcher in DUSP, presented a paper on stated preferences for smart green infrastructure in urban storm-water management in the US. Dr. Jingsi Shaw from DUSP presented her research on the spatial effects of government intervention on housing markets in Singapore. Xiaonan Zhang, a Ph.D. student from Tsinghua University, China, currently visiting CRE and the STL Lab, reported how air pollution in Beijing discouraged people to dine out, thus impacting local entertainment economies.

Six Fulbright scholars visited from Harvard University, and five of them shared their important research. Professor Jian Liu, from Tsinghua University, discussed the similarity and difference of urban planning between China and the US from her unique, professional perspective. From Shanghai Jiatong University, Professor Duoqi Xu discussed the legal issues of equity-based crowdfunding regulation in China. Professor Yongqin Wang, from Fudan University, used his theory model to explain why Chinese city government targets GDP growth. From Shanghai University, Professor Yixuan Wang compared the protest traditions between Chinese and American culture. Xu Wang, a Ph.D. candidate from Hong Kong University, shared his research on economic and social upgrading in the Pearl Delta region in China.

Two Fulbright scholars visiting MIT also joined the discussion. Professor Xuhong Li, from Fudan University and visiting the Sloan School of Business, used large survey data from listed companies in China to explain how achieved and ascribed income inequality affects employee well-being.  From Southwestern University in China and currently visited MIT’s CRE, Professor Shihe Fu, reported how the Boston housing market has responded since the Hainan Airline launched the direct flight from Beijing to Boston in June 2014, and another from Shanghai to Boston in June 2015.

While other Fulbright scholars who did not make presentations due to time constraints, all participants and attendees provided active and stimulating discussion. This interdisciplinary workshop both represented and generated significant knowledge exchange across a wide range of research topics related to cities and urban spaces.