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Symposium – Tale of Three Cities: Urban Regeneration Through Design and Cultural Innovation

April 3, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Yuan Qian, Director, Vanke Urban Research Institute
Lemin Zhang, Xiamen University.
Ruoxi Zhang, Xiamen University.
Neill Mclean Gaddes, Principal, Sans Practice
James Shen, Principal, People’s Architecture Office, Harvard Loeb Fellow 2018, Research Fellow – Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies

In four decades China’s urban population has exploded, tripling to 58% of its total population. In compari-son to Europe at 74% and North America at 82%, China has ample room to further urbanize. However, the unfettered horizontal expansion of cities and the resulting over speculation and urban sprawl has led to severe environmental and social concerns.

Recognizing this challenge, President Xi stated at the19th National Congress of the Communist Party that the new urbanization plan will be “people centered” rather than land-driven. The 13th Five-Year plan he referred to, set a goal to regenerate 20 million residences in shantytowns, indicating a refocusing of urban development towards distressed locations and upgrading existing urban fabric.

Urban Regeneration sites such as urban villages and historic districts are typically located near city cen-ters, making it difficult to employ common tabula rasa urban renewal practices. Confronting dense urban areas with multiple stake holders and unique building and site conditions requires inventive approaches, multi-disciplinary collaboration, and public and private partnerships in order to gather the resources needed to tackle such projects.

This symposium brings together leading urban practitioners to discuss urban regeneration projects in Da-shilar Beijing, Hubei in Shenzhen, and Shapowei in Xiamen. In each case, Art and Design has played a crucial role through their history of development. This symposium aims to provide a forum for the ex-change of ideas and lessons learned from successes and failures in regard to the actual experience of implementing of innovative urban regeneration strategies.


April 3, 2019
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Category:


Gund Hall Room 111
48 Quincy St.
Cambridge, MA 02138 United States
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Harvard University Graduate School of Design
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