The Bartlett School of Planning


Xuewei Chen

Thesis title: Including the logic of trust in shaping cities – understanding the interrelationship between place-shaping and trust-building

Research subject

Primary supervisor: Professor Matthew Carmona
Secondary supervisor: Dr Pablo Sendra
Starting date: September 2020
Projected completion date: September 2024
Email: xuewei.chen.20@ucl.ac.uk

Through the lens of Shanghai, within the top-down Chinese context, this study aims to analyse how modes of public space governance can help to build trust amongst the public and strengthen trust more widely in society. The study first examines the conflictual nature of public space, logics of trust and control in dealing with such conflict, and ongoing place-shaping processes as set against activities designed to build trust. Then, based on a framework which represents different levels of top-down intervention and bottom-up participation, it will use four in depth cases in Shanghai to examine the interrelationship between place-shaping and trust-building. Finally, the research will theorise shaping processes in different settings to interrogate how the trusting relationships help with ongoing shaping process, and how social trust can be strengthened through collectively shaping the cities. 

Xuewei is a PhD student at The Bartlett School of Planning, UCL. Before pursuing her PhD study, Xuewei completed her dual master's degrees in urban planning and urban design at the University of Michigan. Her research interest includes: public space, urban design, public participation, urban governance.

  • Zhu J and Chen X* (Accepted) From Reactive to Proactive Participation: A case study on micro-regeneration in Shanghai, China, in Thomas Kollen [Eds] Diversity and Inclusion Research [In press]
  • Zha J, Chen X, and Huang S. Last Mile Urban Renovation, Assess The Urban Renewal Around The Shanghai Railway Station. China Architecture Publishing & Media Co., Ltd. 2022. Print. (In Chinese)
Conference Presentations

From private to public: redeveloping private space as the way to reframe publicness of everyday life. Investigating build-by-people trials in Shanghai. Presented at 16th AESOP Young Academics Conference, Istanbul, Turkey, 2022