Urban China Collective


Established in October 2017, Urban China Collective (UCC) serves as a platform to foster understanding of China’s urban development at Penn. We aim to strengthen a network of scholars, practitioners, and students devoted to studying China’s urbanization across disciplines and institutions both within the Penn community and beyond. In addition, with the hope to promote more efficient, inclusive, and sustainable urbanization in China, we strive to bridge the Penn community with practitioners and scholars engaging in China’s urbanization so as to bring real impact to this ongoing process.

UCC hosts a variety of events inside and outside the university, including annual conferences, guest lectures, roundtables, screenings, career talks, and office tours. We not only invite visionary professionals and scholars to Penn campus but also organize events to enrich the young students’ knowledge in the fields related to China’s urbanization. Please follow us if you are interested. Contact information is available at the bottom.


Past Events

Annual Conference

02/07/2020 | Mapping China’s Urban Development

UCC’s second annual conference featured three panels: Future Beautiful Cities, Real Estate and Housing, and Urban Governance and Policy. Our guests spoke to the new stage of urbanization in China by addressing the following questions: How to innovate urban governance strategies to coordinate urban and rural development? How could real estate leverage its pillar position in the economy for multiple-approach development? How will design improve the quality of the public realm under the call for a ‘Beautiful China’?


Richard Weller (Professor and Chair of Landscape Architecture, University of Pennsylvania)

Panel Speakers

Panel 1 | Future Beautiful Cities
Hong Zhou (Principal, James Corner Field Operations)

Panel 2 | Real Estate and Housing
Lan Deng (Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Michigan)
Youqin Huang (Professor of Geography and Planning, University of Albany)

Panel 3 | Urban Governance and Policy
Yan Chen (Post-doc of City and Regional Planning, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Fubing Su (Professor and Chair of Political Science, Vassar College)
Tom Daniels (Professor of City and Regional Planning, University of Pennsylvania)

11/16/2018 | Rethinking China’s Urban Development Models

UCC’s first annual conference featured three panels: Urban Expansion and Real Estate, Reinventing Smart Urban Future, and Towards Inclusive Urbanization. Our guests spoke to the past, present, and future of urbanization in China by addressing the following questions: How will China find ethical, efficient ways to redesign urbanization policies considering its large population? What can be done to increase fairness among social groups within the systems of housing, employment, and education? And how will new technologies as prioritized in “Made in China 2025” help China achieve its urbanization goals?


Marilyn Jordan Taylor (Professor of Architecture and Urban Design, University of Pennsylvania)

Panel Speakers

Panel 1 | Reinventing Smart Urban Future
Yinhai Wang (Professor of Transportation Engineering, University of Washington)
Shan Jiang (Assistant Professor, Tufts University)

Panel 2 | Urban Expansion and Real Estate
Alain Bertaud (Senior Research Scholar, NYU Marron Institute of Urban Management)
Xi Wang (President, Yanlord Land Group)

Panel 3 | Towards Inclusive Urbanization
Emily Hannum (Professor of Sociology and Education, the University of Pennsylvania)
Chunhua Qin (Director, Institute of Examination Research of Peking University)


10/03/2020 | City Prism, co-hosted by UCC and DA League

People-oriented: The street design guideline for Beijing sub-center by Zhenkun Gan (Assistant Professor, Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architect

The future Great Bay Area, China, as a dystopian world by Lujian Zhang (Project Designer, Coen+Partner)

The paradox of collaboration in city making by Yuxiang Luo (Director, James Lima Planning)

Architecture design practice and reflection in China urbanization by Yan Sun (Deputy Chief Architect, Nanjing Architecture Design and Research Institute)

04/15/2019 | Unveiling China’s Informal Settlement with a Global Perspective

Hong Kong informal: Problems, policies, citizenship and controversy by Gary McDonogh (Helen Herrmann Chair, Bryn Mawr College)

Growing out of informality: Evidence from slum upgrading in Jakarta by Mariaflavia Harari (Assistant Professor, University of Pennsylvania)

Self-help consolidation and displacement in the informal city by Ariadna Sanchez (Post-doc Fellow, University of Pennsylvania)

Lived experience of informality: Urban villages in the Delhi NCR by Kimberly Noronha (Doctoral Student, University of Pennsylvania)

01/19/2018 | Past, Present, and Future: Urbanization with Chinese Characteristics

China’s urban development by Sidney Wong (Senior advisor, Econsult Solutions)

China’s urbanization and inequality by Guo Chen (Associate Professor, Michigan State University)

Regulatory impact on urban development in China by Kate Dunhum (Adjunct Associate Professor, Columbia University)

Career Talk

11/12/2020 | MCP Panel

Junxiao Li (AIG Global Real Estate Investment, New York)
Lufeng Lin (Fehr and Peers, Oakland)

11/5/2020 | MArch Panel

Chengbo Wang (J&A, Shanghai)
Shixiang Zheng (FOX Architects, Washington D.C.)

10/29/2020 | MLA Panel

Jie Xu (Tianhua, Shanghai)
Xinnan Xu (China Resource Land, Shenzhen)
Xiaofan Wu (James Corner Field Operations, New York)

11/02/2019 | Real Estate

Huijuan Zhao (Brandywine Realty Trust, Philadelphia)
Jiahuan Cai (CBRE, Inc, New York)

10/22/2019 | Landscape Architecture & City Planning

Yi Ding (OLIN, Philadelphia)
Peiyong Yu (Econsult Solutions, Philadelphia)
Junran Yang (WRT, Philadelphia)



Please follow us for future events!

WeChat: @UCCpenn
Facebook: @uccpenn
Youtube: @Urban China Collective PennDesign
Instagram: @uccpenn

UCC always looks for energetic members at Penn. Please send us an email if you are interested in
joining UCC.
Email: urbanchinacollectivepenn@gmail.com