China Talk Series

The China Talk Series is a multi-part lecture series about architecture, planning, and real estate in China.



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2017.02.21 - 12:30 PM

A Century of Campus Development with Urban Growing and Challenges for the Future

2/21/2017, Tuesday, 12:30-14:00

During the past 100 years, China's university campuses experienced a special way of evolving together with urban growth. They were deeply influenced by both American and Soviet universities, but due to China's special system of higher education, they developed a variety of morphologies during the so-called leapfrog development period. Now, they begin to face some challenges from city needs, such as tearing down campus walls. Dr. Liu will discuss the phases of morphological evolution and forces behind.

2017.02.16 - 2:30 PM
9-326(STL Hub)


2/16/2017, Thursday, 14:30-16:00
9-326(STL Hub)

Despite much attention on “ghost towns” in China, no official vacancy rates exist in the country. This talk uses data from the China Household Finance Survey, which collects expansive micro-level information about household wealth from a nationally representative sample of over 40,000 households. Professor Gan will discuss how to determine the latest vacancy rate for China, and suggest some causes for the phenomenon.

On Thursday, November 17, 2016, Jian Liu, associate professor of urban planning and design at Tsinghua University School of Architecture, delivered the latest China Talk Series lecture on whether the challenges facing rural China can be addressed through the field of urban planning. Prof. Liu spoke to an audience of approximately 30 students, faculty, professional practitioners, and guests.

2016.12.01 - 5:00 PM
Samberg Conference Center (E52, 7th Floor) 50 Memorial Drive Cambridge, MA

Founded in 1995, SOHO China is currently Asia’s largest commercial real estate IPO. As the largest prime office developer in Beijing and Shanghai, their properties have already become landmark buildings in these cities’ modern skylines. In 2014 SOHO China launched “SOHO 3Q” pioneering the concept of coworking in China.


On November 14, 2016, Dr. Yuan Xiao gave a lecture to the MIT DUSP and CRE community about the land quota markets in China. Dr. Xiao is an Urban Development Specialist at the World Bank's Middle East and North African region.  She previously worked at Columbia University as an assistant professor in urban planning, and as a postdoctoral research scholar at Columbia Law School.  She obtained her PhD in Urban and Regional Planning from MIT in 2014, with an award-winning dissertation on urbanization and land governance in China.


On October 17, 2016, Prof. Shihe Fu, a Fulbright Scholar in the Center for Real Estate at MIT and professor of Urban and Real Estate Economics at the Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in China, gave a lecture as part of the fall 2016 China Talk Series. He spoke about the benefits rural migrants gain from agglomeration economies in China.


On September 26, 2016, Prof. Anthony Yeh of the University of Hong Kong delivered the second lecture in the fall 2016 China Talk Series, in which he highlighted the evolution of China’s urbanization process. Prof. Yeh visited the STL Lab and delivered his talk to an audience of roughly 30 students, faculty, staff, and guests.


On September 23, 2016, Professor Fulong Wu of University College London delivered the first lecture in the fall 2016 China Talk Series, in which he highlighted unique aspects, challenges, and implications of urban growth in China. Prof. Wu visited the STL Lab from the Bartlett School of Planning, where he is the Bartlett Professor of Planning. He delivered his talk Understanding Chinese Cities and Their Implication for Urban Theory to an audience of roughly 30 students, faculty, staff, and guests.

On May 4, 2016, Dr. Max Woodworth gave a lecture entitled “Ghost Cities: the Role of Citizens and the Government.” Dr. Woodworth is an Assistant Professor of Geography at the Ohio State University. He completed his dissertation on new city of Kangbashi in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, which is often referred as a “Ghost City.” With his first-hand living and research experience in this Ghost City, Dr. Woodworth relayed the processes and the key players in China’s socio-economic and political structure that triggered the unprecedented “boomtown” growth phenomena in China.

On April 20th, 2016, the STL Lab was honored to have Professor You-tien Hsing, a Professor of Geography at Berkeley, share her knowledge of the transformation of state and society in China as a result of land battles in Chinese cities and villages. To preface the main content of her presentation, Professor Hsing shared a few key facts about the unprecedented scale and speed of urbanization in China that has required massive mobilization of resources (land, capital, and labor) to build the infrastructure necessary to support the millions of newly urbanized citizens. She argues that this drastic spatial transformation is not simply a physical change but also a process of political, economic, and social transformation.