The Bartlett School of Architecture


City History and Multi-Scale Spatial Masterplanning Research Network

The UK and Chinese Governments have agreed to collaborate through the China-UK Sustainable Development Dialogue on research to help ensure that the way we develop our cities will become sustainable.

This network is evidence of their commitment to this collaboration.

The network is one of a group of related networks funded by the UK's Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and inspired by the Dongtan Eco-city development north of Shanghai. It addresses two related topics: the historical development of Chinese and European cities, and spatial masterplanning at scales ranging from the local place to the whole metropolitan area.

We believe there is much to be gained by bringing these fields together since the lessons of history have much to bring to current design, planning and policy formation so far as urbanisation is concerned. Equally, there is benefit in bridging between European and Asian history and experience of industrialisation and urban expansion.

A central focus for this network will be to investigate the way that urban spatial structure relates to social cultures. At times of rapid change it is often the heritage of social culture that is lost.

This aspect of planning is currently seen to be central to the creation of sustainable communities and is one where the benefit of cross cultural comparison in research is clear. Here we will investigate the use of spatial analysis and modelling methodologies to allow a common basis for cross cultural and historical comparison. In this way we will investigate the application of the latest analytic technologies in urban design, planning and policy formation as well as in heritage and conservation.

We have brought together an international research network comprising all the leading UK research universities in this field with their leading counterparts in China, including the main Chinese professional and coordinating organisations, to discuss common interests and formulate proposals for Anglo-Chinese collaborative research and academic exchange.

The network will complement and build upon other related initiatives rather than duplicate these, and is open to new entrants. We will include international researchers from Australia and the USA to ensure that we draw on relevant expertise wherever in the world that lies, and that our impact is global.

The network will operate through a programme of workshops and exchange visits over the next two years and will deliver an exciting range of collaborative projects. Ultimately it will lead to a powerful international learning network in this important field.

EPSRC Grant Reference: EP/F00222X/1



Prof Alan Penn
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Dr Ruth Conroy Dalton


Dr Peter Hedges
Dr Claire Tansley


Prof Jeremy Watson

Eclipse Research Consultants

Prof Ian Cooper

Urban Planning Society of China

Dr Nan Shi

University of Cambridge

Prof Marcial Echenique
Dr Tony Hargreaves

Architectural Society of China/Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology

Prof Kecheng Liu

University of Tongji

Prof Shiling Zheng
Prof Yi Chen

University of New South Wales

Prof Bill Randolph

China Academy of Urban Planning & Design

Dr Baojun Yang
Mr Luxin Huang
Mr Degao Zheng

London School of Economics

Dr Philipp Rode

University of Tsinghua

Prof Anrong Dang

University of Birmingham

Prof Jeremy Whitehand

University of Tianjin

Prof Tongtong Liu
Dr Yue Zhuang

University of Cardiff

Professor Chris Webster

Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Professor Bin Jiang

University of Chongqing

Professor Xingguo Zhang

Arup Hong Kong

Mr Stanley Yip

Arup Shanghai

Ms Yuan-Yuan (Stephanie) Zhang

Southeast University

Professor Jianguo Wang

University of Nottingham

Prof Brian Ford
Katharina Borsi - contact via Brian Ford
Benson Lau - contact via Brian Ford

University of Peking

Prof Bin Lu

University of Melbourne

Dr Jianfei Zhu

University of Hong Kong

Prof Arlen Ye

Beijing Municipal Commission of Urban Planning

Mr Yajun Wang

Hangzhou Urban Planning Bureau

Dr Zuojun Yang

Space Syntax Ltd

Mr Tim Stonor
Mr Alain Chiaradia
Ms Ji Zhang

sustainability China spatial analysis