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The National Committee on U.S.-China Relations is the leading American nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that encourages understanding of China and the United States among citizens of both countries.

Jun 21, 2019

Since the beginning of China’s reform era in 1978, the country’s urban population has grown by 40%, with 813 million people now living in its cities. That number is predicted to reach one billion by 2030, continuing the unprecedented migration from rural to urban areas. Dr. Weiping Wu of Columbia University provides insight into the complicated process of China’s urbanization, from its hukou registration system to the ever-evolving definition of what constitutes a city, and contrasts the United States’ urban development to China’s.
Weiping Wu is professor of urban planning at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, and director of the M.S. Urban Planning program. She is also on the faculty of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute and Columbia Population Research Center. Before joining Columbia in 2016, she was professor and chair in the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University. Dr. Wu is a fellow of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations’ Public Intellectuals Program.
Trained in architecture and urban planning, Dr. Wu has focused her research and teaching on understanding urban dynamics in developing countries – in general and China, in particular. She is an internationally acclaimed urban and planning scholar working on global urbanization with a specific expertise in issues of migration, housing, and infrastructure of Chinese cities. Her publications include eight books, as well as many articles in top international journals. Dr. Wu’s published works have gained an increasing public presence, particularly her recent book, The Chinese City (Routledge, 2012). It offers a critical understanding of China’s urbanization, exploring how the complexity of Chinese cities both conforms to and defies conventional urban theories and experiences of cities elsewhere around the world.