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2004 Field Studio: Quanzhou, China

The UW Community Planning and Urban Design Field Studio in China was a 4-week, 8-credit course that brought students in urban planning, landscape architecture, architecture and related fields such as China Studies, Geography and Anthropology, to deal directly with issues that confront urban design, planning and management in China and many other developing countries. The central focus of the studio was to explore how design could help to articulate diverging stakeholder interests in development at the community level, to help municipal policy-makers acknowledge this diversity of interests, and to explore ways that the urban planning decision-making process could become more inclusive of community.

In this field studio, UW students teamed up with local Chinese students to work directly with two communities in the coastal city of Quanzhou, in the southeastern province of Fujian. One community is a neighborhood designated for preservation in an economically and demographically declining corner of the city’s historic center; the other is a burgeoning village at the city’s expanding and increasingly industrial periphery. Each presents a typical set of urban problems in China. The student teams worked with these different sets of problems, by conducting surveys and proposing design and development strategies in collaboration with local residents, authorities, scholars, and professionals. Their ultimate goal was to establish a public discussion on appropriate development goals for the city’s diverse communities.

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