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Beijing workshop on urban housing

The ESRC Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion|, STICERD|, LSE and Social Policy Research Centre, the China Academy of Social Science, and PRC (CASS) hosted a three day workshop in Beijing this summer.

The workshop was on the Enabling Role of the Public Sector in Urban Housing and Regeneration: converging and diverging experiences in Asia and Europe. The initiators, Professor Anne Power from LSE and Professor Tuan Yang from the China Academy of Social Science, aimed to bridge conversations between researchers and practitioners, to enhance understanding and to identify best practices concerning urbanisation, housing provision and managing renewal.

It proved an exciting event. There were in depth discussions about slum clearance and regeneration, the displacement of the urban poor and social minorities, the issue of replacing low rise but densely occupied streets and dwellings with high rise estates, and environmental limitations on development. 

Presenters and discussants were from 11 European and Asian countries. These included Massimo Bricocoli, Rebecca LH Chiu, Mingzhu Dong, Mark Duda, Ray Forrest, Seong-Kyu Ha, Yosuke Hirayama, Claude Jacquier, Sunil Kumar, Bingqin Li, Costas Theofylactos, Qizhi Mao, Jesper Nygård, Ulrich Pfeiffer, Ir Hugo Priemus, Hyun-Bang Shin, Bingyao Sun, Jun Tang, Jun Wang, Hellmut Wollmann, Fulong Wu, Zan Yang and Shaohua Zhan.

As part of the workshop, there were three study tours in Beijing and Tianjin, during which the participants visited housing regeneration projects of different periods.

Professor Power said: We wanted to learn from the immense challenges of rapid urban growth in Asia, intense building activity and deep social changes under way. We hope our Asian colleagues also learnt from our experiences of urban growth, decay and regeneration.'

The organisers express their appreciation to the Asia-Europe Foundation, the European Alliance for Asian Studies and The British Academy for their generous financial support for the workshop. For further information, see http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/case/iws/participants.htm| 

Comments from the participants:

Massimo Bricocoli (Politecnico di Milano): '...The conference was for me the first chance of directly entering such a qualified international seminar and I really have learned a lot...It has been a great experience...'

Luigi Tomba (Australian National University): '...I believe the workshop was very well organised, focused and fruitful. One of the best I have attended recently....'

Mark Duda (Beijing Normal University): '...Participating in the workshop was a great experience for me. I enjoyed meeting everyone and generally interacting with a group of people interested in the same type of issues...'

Fulong Wu (University of Southampton Southampton): '...it is a great event and organized wonderfully. It is a success, down to every detail, and I enjoy the meeting thoroughly.'

29 September 2004