Chiu-Shee, Colleen

BArch ZJU; MArch, MUrbanDesign & MSc WUSTL; PhD MIT

Colleen Chiu-Shee is Assistant Professor in HKU’s Department of Urban Planning and Design. She is also an associate at National University of Singapore’s Asia Research Institute (Urbanisms Cluster). Colleen practiced architecture and urban design in China and the U.S. and holds a Ph.D. in Urban and Environmental Planning and Design from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is interested in innovative spatial and sociopolitical interventions that seek to transcend preexisting paradigms to promote environmental sustainability and social justice. Her dissertation, titled Ecological City Design and Planning: How China Expands Urban Ecology, Institutional Learning, and Cultural Shifts through the Evolving Eco-Developments, examines how developing countries forge adaptive capacity under the pressure of environmental degradation and urbanization through the lens of eco-city experiments in China. Colleen has collaborated to develop research projects that connect scholarship in North America with practice in Asia. These projects have examined a range of topics, including ecologies of land reclamation, masterplanned new cities, urban informality and land politics, collective governance and urban resilience, housing development and management, public housing and affordability, climate adaptation in vulnerable communities, and digital technologies for pandemic management. Her current research concerns green and smart urban futures, the global mobility of policy innovation, and cross-cultural research and education.

Colleen has taught design studios and creative courses that generate environmental and social visions as well as core and seminar courses in city design and development. Her teaching crosscuts local, national, and international practices and emphasizes real-world case studies. She favors a comparative approach to design and planning pedagogy to promote globally informed reflective practice.

Fields of interest

  • City design and development
  • Environment planning and design
  • Urban sustainability and resilience
  • Urban policy and governance
  • Housing and community development
  • International development and global comparative urbanisms

Current Courses

  • MUDP1030 Morphologies and Urban Design Theories
  • URBS2005 Research Methods in Urban Studies

Selected Publications

  • Chiu-Shee, Colleen, Brent Ryan, and Lawrence Vale. Ending Gated Communities: the Rationales for Resistance in China. Housing Studies, DOI: 10.1080/02673037.2021.1950645
  • Tan, Shin Bin, Colleen Chiu-Shee, and Duarte Fabio. From SARS to COVID-19: Digital infrastructures of surveillance and segregation in exceptional times. Cities, DOI: 10.1016/j.cities.2021.103486
  • Chiu-Shee, Colleen, Ningdi Wei, and Siqi Zheng. “Chapter 6. Zhengdong: the “Metabolic” and “Eco-Smart” Approaches to Long-Term Vibrancy.” In S. Zheng, J. Wu and Z. Tan (eds.), Towards Urban Economic Vibrancy: Patterns and Practices in Asia’s New Cities. Cambridge: MIT Press, 109-132.
  • Chiu-Shee, Colleen, and Siqi Zheng. A Burden or A Tool? Rationalizing Public Housing Provision in Chinese Cities. Housing Studies, 36:4, 500-543. DOI: 10.1080/02673037.2019.1667490 (Op-ed)
  • Chiu-Shee, Colleen. Reinventing the Collective for Ethical Design: The Theoretical Confluences of Fumihiko Maki’s Collective Form and Thom Mayne’s Combinatory Urbanism. Architecture Research/ Arhitektura, Raziskave (Vol. Confluences/Stekanja): 209-241. (Link)
  • Shi, Linda, Zachary Lamb, Xi (Colleen) Qiu, Hongru Cai, and Lawrence Vale. “Promises and Perils of Collective Land Tenure in Promoting Urban Resilience: Learning from China’s Urban Villages.” Habitat International 77 (July): 1–11. DOI: 10.1016/j.habitatint.2018.04.006