Future Suzhou: Urban planning and operation for Suzhou from an international perspective

Based on the understanding of Suzhou's development, the vision of the future city, and the comparison of the development of important international cities, this book brings together a series of research results of domestic and international experts, covering important issues in future urban development, and developing a forward-looking, diverse and possible thinking. In this critical period of China's urban development, the book explores how Suzhou integrates modern planning and management, design ideas and technical methods to improve and create a leading future city of the future from the perspective of strategy, policy and design.

2021, Publisher: China Architecture & Building Press

Authors: Yunqing Xu and Joon Sik Kim

Food and City: A smarter and greener approach towards urban regeneration - a case of Suzhou Industrial Park, China

This book is a study of smart urban agriculture, which is emerging internationally, with the Suzhou Industrial Park as the carrier in the context of urban regeneration. It includes comprehensive research, assessment, and analysis in terms of policy, market, land, and space. The study proposes a lendable and leading design model as a way to achieve a smart and sustainable lifestyle. The study links the Suzhou Industrial Park from its past (farmland) with its future (technological innovation) and recommends possible actions to the Suzhou Industrial Park government that will potentially create a new model for the transformation and development of industrial parks in China.

2018, Publisher: Academia Press

Authors: Joon Sik Kim, Yunqing Xu, Sheng Zhong, Hyung-Chul Chung, Boliang Li, Cheng Zhang.


Journal: Water

Assessment on the Effectiveness of Urban Stormwater Management

Stormwater management is a key issue in line with global urbanisation and climate change. Effective assessment of stormwater management is crucial to urban resilience to flooding risk. In this study, a method based on a stormwater management model (SWMM) was developed for assessing the control of stormwater runoff volume and the percentage removal of suspended solids by implementing a Sponge City strategy. An interdisciplinary approach was adopted incorporating Low Impact Development (LID) with urban green infrastructure and grey infrastructure paradigms in a typical old residential community in Suzhou, China. Sponge facilities for reducing stormwater runoff included bio-retention cells, permeable pavements, grassed pitches, and stormwater gardens.

Journal: Water

Fecal Contamination and High Nutrient Levels Pollute the Watersheds of Wujiang, China

Freshwaters in China are affected by point and non-point sources of pollution. The Wujiang District (Suzhou City, China) has canals, rivers, and lakes that are currently facing various water quality issues. In this study, four rivers and a lake in Wujiang were assessed to quantify pollution and explore its causes. Seventy-five monthly samples were collected from these water bodies (five locations/samples per area) from August to October 2020 and were compared with nine control samples collected from a water protection area. Fifteen physicochemical, microbiological, and molecular–microbiological parameters were analysed, including nutrients, total and fecal coliforms, and fecal markers. Significant monthly variation was observed for most parameters at all areas.

Journal: Sustainability

Investigating the Relationship between Public Satisfaction and Public Environmental Participation during Government Treatment of Urban Malodorous Black River in China

During China’s rapid economic development and urbanisation, numerous cases of urban malodorous black river (MBR) have occurred. MBR refers to a polluted urban river that smells bad, almost black in colour, with no aquatic plants or animals, causing many social and environmental problems. The Chinese government has sought public participation during the MBR treatment as part of a comprehensive plan to improve residents’ environmental satisfaction. To investigate the influencing factors of public participation and satisfaction, a questionnaire was conducted among residential communities close to an MBR. SPSS 22.0 was employed to analyse the collected data, using factor analysis, correlation analysis, and linear regression analysis.


Global Urban Competitiveness Report 2020-2021 (GUCP)

Case Report: Towards Sustainable Cities: A New practice of Urban Agriculture in China

The report adopts a new perspective of the historical value chain of global cities and analyses the important laws and trends of the rise and fall of the global urban system. Through the establishment of the multi-dimensional matrix to evaluate the economic competitiveness of 1,006 cities with a population of over 500,000.

In the session of “Case Reports”, experts from various countries shared the progress and evaluation tools of cities and regions in Europe, America, Asia, and Africa on the Sustainable Development Goals. Dr. Yunqing Xu’s speech Towards Sustainable Cities: A New practice of Urban Agriculture in China will be included in the report.

Publishers: Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and UN-Habitat

COVID-19 Policy Briefs No. 036

Reopening after Covid-19 Lockdown: Insights from China

Whilst initially at the epicentre of the pandemic, China has avoided successive and painful lockdowns and aborted re-openings and presided over a year of ongoing economic growth. This timely briefing assesses how China emerged from its initial strict lockdown and discusses the challenges for pandemic management in the West. China’s particular political and socio-economic model is playing a key role in ensuring high levels of compliance and institutional buy-in for stringent public restrictions. However, there are some practices which Western governments could potentially adopt, particularly in developing policy practices that may enable temporary restrictions and effective pandemic management. In addition, the briefing discusses the technological implications of China’s lockdown and reopening, including the role of big data, shifts in digital infrastructure and a renewed emphasis from the Chinese government on “high quality” growth.

Authors: Yunqing Xu and Yu Ding

Publisher: Heseltine Institute for Public Policy, Practice and Place

Global Expert Dialogue Series

Urban Topics under the COVID-19 Pandemic

Since February 2020, the UES Research Centre has invited 12 international scholars, experts from organisations and urban management practitioners in Asia, Europe and America to establish dialogues, share views and explore paths in the form of Questions and Answers. The Dialogues cover topics related to healthy city, community governance, smart development, economic recovery, urban resilience and so on. Incorporating varied fields such as the urban planning, spatial design, governance approaches and technological breakthroughs, the future development of the cities is conceived in a diversified and forward-looking way. Facing the common destiny and challenges of mankind, and combining both international and local visions, this global expert dialogue series aims to collide with new thinking and contributes to the development of healthy, livable and sustainable cities.

Editor: Yunqing Xu and Yu Ding

UES Urban and Environmental Reports

The UES 2020 Urban and Environment Report brings together six experts and practitioners from universities, government and industries to share pioneering ideas and practices around ecological green development in the new context. Topics range from shaping the value of green city centres to building eco-friendly villages, from managing water resources to optimising the water space system. The report also includes groundbreaking practices of creating the first national wetland park on sandy land, and constructive reflections on the institutional guarantee of ecological environmental protection. Together, we will explore valuable perspectives and effective ways to build a "clean and beautiful world", so that green ecological development can contribute to new progress in ecological civilisation construction.

Editor: Yunqing Xu and Xue Chen


Successful declaration for 2030 United Nations SDG Good Practices - Zhangjiagang Bay: Practice of Ecological Restoration in China

This project proposed by the UES research team led by Dr. Yunqing Xu has been successfully selected as a Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Good Practice in the second worldwide open call by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA). A UN cross-departmental review panel from over 24 UN organisations approved the project matching as many as nine exemplary goals of the 17 SDGs.

Centred on the national strategy of "Great Protection of the Yangtze River" and riverside ecological restoration, the project has three main goals. First, to convert the industrial land along the river into ecological land while restoring the wetland and purifying the water. Second, to adopt low-impact development, build ecological landscaping, restrict commercial development and recover the ecosystem. Third, combined with the local cultural features and further-improved ecological environment, to guide villages to carry out a variety of green development and enhance public awareness.