Urban Policy Students Explore China's Massive Urbanization in Shanghai Summer Course
Within the next 20 years, China will move 300 million people--similar in number to the entire U.S. population--from rural to urban areas. This massive and rapid urbanization poses tremendous challenges to environment and sustainability, but also offers great opportunities for industrial restructuring and economic development.
Zhan Guo, an assistant professor of urban planning and transportation policy at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University, has completed the second summer course in Shanghai, exposing 19 students during the summer of 2011 to the unparalleled transition from a centrally controlled economy to a market oriented economy. The urban policy students are from Wagner and several other graduate schools across the United States.
The 12-day course, to be offered each summer, exposes students to diverse issues under this context, such as the household registration system, migrant rural workers, motorization and high speed rail, the land finance and real estate bubble, property rights and forced eviction, economic development zones, and environmental protection. The course is held at NYU Shanghai [http://www.nyu.edu/global/shanghai/campus/campus_photos.htm], and combines classroom lectures, local guest speakers, visits to local organizations, and field trips in Shanghai and nearby towns and villages.
Excursions take students on visits to migrant worker enclaves, suburban ghost "new towns," and the vast Yangshan deep-water port, the Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP), a large-scale mixed-class residential development, and Bao Steel factory.
Students also met the planning director of Suzhou and chief planner for SIP, discussed the real estate bubble with one of the largest developers in Shanghai, participated in a workshop at an architectural studio, and interacted with domestic students.
NYU Wagner courses abroad provide students and professionals with an opportunity to enhance conceptual knowledge, learn and interact with leading experts in the field, and apply new skills in a practical setting - in Accra, Ghana; in Cape Town, South Africa; and in Geneva, Switzerland, in addition to Shanghai.
For more information about the Shanghai program, please visit here: http://wagner.nyu.edu/shanghai.