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2014 Beijing Low Carbon Urban Design Joint Studio Successfully Held
Co-sponsored by the Seed Funding of the Tsinghua-Cambridge-MIT Low Carbon Energy University Alliance (LCEUA), and the Energy Foundation (EF), the School of Architecture of Tsinghua University has successfully organized the 2014 Beijing Low Carbon Urban Design Joint Studio from Jun. 1 to 29.

Since the summer semester in 1985, almost thirty years ago, when the School of Architecture of Tsinghua University and the Department of Urban Studies and Planning of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) first co-organized the Beijing Biennial Urban Design Joint Studio, there have been over 400 students who participated in the joint studio. It is known as one of “the most enduring and successful” cooperation projects between the US and China in the field of urban planning and design education. The studio focuses on such urban design issues as historical, cultural, and environmental protection, urban renewal and redevelopment in Beijing and other Chinese cities. Since 2010, the studio has shifted the subject to low carbon urban design, and funded projects including Low Carbon Urban Design: From Options Assessment to Policy Implementation (LCEUA) and Making Clean Energy in China (EF).

In addition to Tsinghua and MIT, it was the first time for the University of Cambridge, the Technical University of Munich, and Chongqing University to participate in the 2014 Studio, which now included a total of 14 faculty members and 38 graduate students from the five universities. The subject was named as “Urban Village Low Carbon Upgrading Design,” a case study on the Wucheng Village at Xiaodian District in Taiyuan City, Shanxi Province. It was started with a five-day field survey in Taiyuan and its surroundings, for low carbon community transformation research, and ended after acquiring the knowledge of urban community forms, energy consumption characteristics analysis, and the status quo of urban villages, course lectures, and discussions on the program. The research results of the studio were exhibited for one week at the Architecture Building of Tsinghua University from Jun. 27.

On Jun. 28, the studio held an International Symposium on Low Carbon Urban Design, and more than 50 faculty members and students from the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and China attended. Professor Weimin ZHUANG, Dean of the School of Architecture, Tsinghua University; Professor Wanmin ZHAO, Dean of the School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Chongqing University; and Professor Qiang YAO, Acting Director of the LCEUA office and the Lab of Low Carbon Energy at Tsinghua University delivered speeches at the opening ceremony. Seventeen faculty members and students, domestic as well as international representatives presented their research outputs at the symposium. The studio participants, divided in seven groups, presented their design works. People from the Department of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of Shanxi Province, the Taiyuan Urban Planning Bureau, the Energy Foundation, the Mercator Foundation, and other institutions joined the symposium and expressed their high regards towards the project. (By Qizhi MAO)

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