I earned my Masters and PhD in urban planning at Tongji University. In 1998, I wrote Preservation Theory and Preservation Planning of Well-Known Historic Cultural Cities, the most widely used text book on this subject in Chinese universities. From 1998–2003, I was directly involved in the Shanghai Master Plan. I also researched suburbanization strategies for Shanghai and organized the redevelopment planning of waterfront areas. As Deputy Director for Administration Department of Historical Areas (2004–2008), I was a leading advocate in China for preserving culturally important buildings and city districts. Under my leadership, my department surveyed Shanghai’s historic and cultural relics, established 44 historic areas totalling 41 square km, and finalized planning for those areas. This plan won a national urban planning award. I also organized the renovation of the Bund, the most significant historic landmark of Shanghai. This project won acclaim for its expanded public open space and improved relationship to the downtown.
The Fellowship opened my mind, changed my way of thinking, and encouraged me to feel confident in facing future challenges.
It enhanced my career by giving me the opportunity to meet and learn from great urban studies academics and professionals. It gave me the time and resources to learn whatever I wanted to know in my field. I would also like to say that Chinese urbanization is progressing at a staggering speed and scale. It is imperative for future Loeb Fellows to focus on contemporary China.