The sustainable urbanization research field draws upon scholarly attempts from multiple academic corners, e.g. to rethink the interactions between nature and society, between the global and the local, and between technology and management, etc. Inherently heterogeneous, if not fragmented, in scope and practice, the kaleidoscope nature of the “field” of sustainable urbanization discipline worries academic researchers and practitioners in the past decades. In particular, developing countries such as China are experiencing an evolving, highly intertwined confluence of slowing-down growth, social polarization, aggravating pollution and resource drain, and spatial desolation from city to city, all of which speaks of the loom of an social-economic impasse, a barrier to sustainability. Moreover, the rapid growth of China is not only a dramatic implosion-explosion of society, economy and technology within China but also profoundly reshapes the political economy and ecology of the planet.
It is therefore important to raise the fundamental questions regarding what the field of sustainable urbanization is meant, how it is practiced, and how it should be pursued in future. Moreover, in light of the notable gap between rhetoric and practice in sustainable urbanization field, I may ask:
About the Speaker:
Dr. Xiaoling Zhang, Associate Professor (Tenured), Urban Research Group, Department of Public Policy, City University of Hong Kong. She has a longstanding and interdisciplinary interest in remaking sustainability science as well as sustainable urbanism. She has also engaged in environmental studies, particularly in the developers’ behavior/ actions in contributing to social responsibility/sustainable development, land use study, energy policy and renewable & sustainable energy use as well as the mechanisms of changes in built environment. This has led to more than 120 SCI/SSCI publications including “Urban studies”, “Land Use Policy”, “Cities” etc. She has organized a session on “Social-environmental justice and sustainability” in the 2015 AAG Conference at Chicago and another one on “Urban inequality and unjust sustainability in China” at 2016 AAG in San Francisco. She has worked as the Subject Editor of ‘Journal of Cleaner Production’ (Theme: Regional Sustainable Development Initiatives and Transformations) during the period of 2015-2017. She has also led a good number of competitive research projects including two RGC grants and two NSFC grants and several invited keynote presentations at international conferences. Dr Zhang was also the winner of the Outstanding Researcher Award for Junior Faculty 2017 and the President Awards 2016. Her current book in planning is titled ‘Remaking sustainable urbanism: space, scale, governance in the new urban era?’, which will come out soon in 2019.
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