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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2017.05.15 - 12:00 PM

With the rapid urbanization process in China, the spatial structure of Beijing has changed enormously, combined with its massive increase of population and the sharp growth of urban development speed and size. As a great historical city and capital of China, Beijing has both problems and opportunities underlying the transformation of its national development mode.

2017.05.16 - 1:00 PM

In the past two decades, the real estate sector has been the largest pillar industry of China’s economy. Since China ended its socialist public housing system in 1998, a strong housing market has enabled China’s massive urbanization which is unprecedented in the world in terms of its scale and speed. Today, restrictions imposed on housing prices, purchases, and sales seem to suggest market failure. What could be the fundamental cause for that? What choices is the real estate sector facing today?

On Tuesday, April 11, 2017, Michele Bonino and Filippo De Pieri, both associate professors of architectural and urban design at Politecnico di Torino, gave a lunch talk titled The Danweis of Beijing and the Notion of “Industrial Heritage” in Contemporary China. 

Karen Seto visited MIT on April 6, 2017, to give a talk jointly hosted by the STL Lab and the Enviornmental Policy and Planning Group (EPP) as part of the STL China Talk Series. Her talk was attended by approximately 35 students, faculty, and community members.

On Wednesday, April 5, 2017, Shenjing He, associate professor in Department of Urban Planning and Design at The University of Hong Kong, delivered her China Talk Series lecture on the definition, evolution, composition, implementation, and future development of the idea of the creative city. Prof. He spoke to an audience of approximately 30 students, faculty, professional practitioners, and guests.

On Tuesday, April 4, 2017, Henry Wai-chung Yeung, provost’s chair and professor of economic geography at the National University of Singapore, gave a lecture as part of the spring 2017 China Talk Series. He spoke about the economic development and state-firm relations in East Asia, focusing on the region's emerging role in the new global economy, which is based on his recent book, Strategic Coupling (Cornell University Press).

On February 21, 2017, Prof. Yubo Liu of South China University of Technology (SCUT) delivered the second lecture of the spring 2017 China Talk Series. He highlighted unique histories, aspects, challenges, and implications of the planning and social impacts of university campuses’ morphology in China. Prof. Liu is a visiting scholar at Harvard from the Department of Architecture at SCUT, where he serves as the dean. He delivered his talk to an audience of roughly 30 students, faculty, staff, and guests from the greater Boston area, such as designers from Sasaki.

2017.03.07 - 9:15 AM
9-326(STL Hub)

Lianjia (Homelink) is the largest real estate brokerage firm in China, with more than 8,000 branches and 130,000 employees nationwide, located in over 25 cities nationwide, including Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and other major Chinese cities. Currently, Lianjia is building an online-to-offline (O2O) platform in China’s real estate industry to help real estate professionals become more efficient in their business, more technology savvy, and more professional when working with home buyers and sellers. 


High vacancy rates in China cannot solely be attributed to investment purposes or cultural motivations, but are in fact a consequence of misunderstanding urbanization, according to Prof. Li Gan, director of the China Household Finance Survey at Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in China and Clifford Taylor Jr. Professor in Liberal Arts at Texas A&M University. In his talk to the DUSP and CRE community on February 16, Prof. Gan urged researchers in both the public and private sectors to take a closer look at the phenomenon as it will have serious implications for housing markets in the future.


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.