China Planning Network (CPN) was initiated by groups of professors, scholars and students from two American universities: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University, which have devoted substantial resources to the development of china's cities and its urbanization process. Over the years, CPN has grown into an influential communication platform between the East and West in urban development and planning fields and a significant ligament for the world to focus on China's urbanization process.
As commented by Prof. Lawrence J. Vale, head of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Mac Vicar Faculty Fellow at MIT:"These events (organized by CPN) have become a significant way for Western academia and practitioners to engage with the rapid changing development scene in China."
As MIT President Susan Hockfield wrote in a congratulatory letter to CPN in 2006: "Through the efforts of the China Planning Network, MIT and the Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP), continue to lead the world to bring the advanced knowledge on urban planning and development to bear on China 's urbanization challenges."
CPN has successfully held two annual conferences in 2004 and 2005. The first CPN annual conference was held at Graduate School of Design, Harvard University on April 2004. Its topic was "Planning for Continuity and Change in Urban China". The 2nd CPN Annual Conference was held at Department of Urban Studies and Planning, MIT on March 2005. Its topic was "Managing Rapid Growth and Developing Competitive Cities in China". More than four hundred scholars and specialists from about thirty countries attended the conference and conducted discussions and dialogues on significant issues in the fields of Regional Economy and Regional Planning; Transportation and Logistics; Physical Planning; Urban Design; Sustainable Development; Public Housing Policy and Historical Preservation, etc. Both conferences had an extensive influence in the Western planning community.
The China Planning Network 3rd Annual Conference was held in Beijing in June 2006, featuring 116 presentations and discussions in nine parallel tracks. It welcomed over 1000 participants, including 100 scholars, 100 mayors and planning directors, a letter of congratulations from China's Vice-Premier Mr. Zeng Peiyan, and a keynote speech by China Congress Vice-Chair Mr. Jiang Zhenhua.
The CPN 1st World Planning Schools Admissions Open House and Reception gathered over 50 professors, heads and deans of 25 top planning schools from all over the world in Beijing to meet with Chinese students to introduce their faculty, research, education programs and scholarship opportunities. Chinese students and the western schools that seek to enroll them have long suffered from a mutual lack of communication during the admissions process. In most cases, students cannot meet faculty and faculty have to accept and offer financial assistance based on very limited contact. CPN's Admissions Open House was the first effort to improve this situation.
CPN leaders served as editors for the 5th volume of the MIT Journal of Planning: PROJECTIONS. The journal issue was published in June 2006 and is dedicated to exploring critical issues affecting development and planning in China: conservation, transportation and land use, location choices, and growth at the urban fringe. We published a two-volume CPN annual conference proceedings including 50 selected papers, chosen both from the "Call for Papers" and from the invited speakers.
CPN also introduced the CPN China Development and Planning Outstanding Paper Award and the CPN Planning Scholars China Tour and Lecture Series.
2007 has seen China Planning Network open a new chapter in its short but exciting history.
The China Urban Transport Congress was successfully held in Beijing in August 2007 by China Planning Network with the widest support from MIT, TRB, UITP, WCTRS, Elsevier, AGS, World Bank, UNDP, ACSP, APA, TfL, CTA, APTA and four ministries from China: Ministry of Construction, Ministry of Communication, Ministry of Science and Technology, and National Development and Reform Commission. The three day congress brings the best knowledge and experiences from the West collectively through over 80 presentations in the plenary conference and 10 parallel sessions to bear the greatest challenges in China's urban transportation. MIT has been the core part of the CPN and contributed significantly to its development: ten departments, schools and offices have supported this Congress. Beyond MIT, CPN has called for over 20 organizations such as Transportation Research Board, International Association of Public Transportation, World Conference on Transport Research Society, and Alliance of Global Sustainability to come to Beijing and share with China their expertise and experiences. It has become the best quality urban transport conference ever held in China. All the speaker bios and presentations are available online:
CPN assisted Science magazine for its special issue on urbanization Reimagining Cities (Vol. 319. no. 5864). Its Tokyo Bureau chief Mr. Dennis Normile visited Beijing and Shanghai for his survey on China's urbanization process. Science magazine published its special issue on Urbanization Reimagining Cities (Vol. 319. no. 5864) with the article by Mr. Dannis Normile, Science Tokyo News Bureau Chief, China's Living Laboratory in Urbanization, including his interview with China Planning Network, Ministry of Construction of China, Tsinghua University and Tongji University.
CPN Academic Advisory Committee visited Tsinghua University and dialogues with Vice President CHEN Jining from Tsinghua University. Tsinghua University Chancellor Prof. YUAN Si was invited by CPN to host the CPN-Tsinghua Roundtable on Beijing's Urban Transportation and Olympic Games with sixteen world transportation experts.
CPN organized CPN Top Talk series together China Xinhua News Agency, inviting the world top transport experts to share their views on China's urban transport development challenges and opportunities, including Interview with MIT Professor Ralph Gakenheimer on 'China Urban Motorization and Sustainable Urban Transport Development' and Interview with Mr. Wilben Short, Head of Transport for London 2012 Olympic Games on 'General Picture of London 2012 Olympic Games Transport and Collaboration Between London and Beijing'.
China Planning Network is looking at 2008 with an active agenda. The "2008 CPN China Week" will be held in Beijing, July 14-20, 2008, packaging four activities:
，CPN Urban Transportation Congress 2008
，CPN Urban Housing Congress 2008
，CPN Urbanization Roundtable 2008
，CPN Whitepaper: China's Urban Travel Evaluation and Ranking System
The CPN China Week is the 5th year continuation of its effort to fuse western knowledge on urban development with China's unprecedented experience. Along with China's urbanization, the demand for urban transportation and urban housing in China has increased dramatically. China has been facing both issues similar to those encountered during the history of urban development in the West, such as urban congestion and pollution, and those that are new to our era, such as global warming and climate change. Urban transportation and urban housing in China have a direct bearing on all of them. As touched upon in your article, China has the opportunity to be at the forefront in finding solutions to these issues confronting China and the world. The China Planning Network has therefore undertaken to organize the CPN China Week, which aims to
，present to the West: the latest development and challenges in China's urban transportation and housing and the research chances these development has brought to the world's academic community, and the opportunities that technology advances can be experimented and policy innovations can be implemented in China; and
，present to China: the variety of models that urban transportation and housing are managed in world cities and their corresponding implications on urban structure, life style, energy consumption and environment impacts and the cutting edge thinking on transportation research, technology and policies.
China Planning Network (CPN) initiated the China Urban Travel Evaluation and Ranking System, which aims to develop the largest scale public-participating social survey on China's urban travel and publishes CPN Whitepaper: State of China's Urban Transportation in Feb 2008.
We maintain active connections with organizations/institutes concerned with China's development and planning from both overseas and China. Through CPN annual conferences and series of activities, we are committed to making China Planning Network (CPN) the most authoritative and extensive communication platform between East and West development and planning communities, to focusing on critical issues on China's urbanization, to integrating overseas high-end intellectual resources on China's development and planning, and to providing cutting-edge technical and strategic solutions for China's development and planning.
Though still young, CPN has advanced from simply an academic interest group to become an independent voice that can influence the education, research, practices and policies in China's urban development. Though still in the preliminary stage, CPN has moved forward on its mission to systematically introduce western knowledge and experiences to China and more importantly CPN has started pursuing its vision of cultivating China's own discourse on urban development.
For information about CPN, please visit: