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UNC-Chapel Hill is expanding its international academic offerings through a consortium on urban and regional planning and management with Peking University, one of the leading universities in China.

The consortium will promote visiting researchers, student exchanges, workshops and academic conferences. It also brings together researchers who are examining the unprecedented migration of hundreds of millions of Chinese from rural to urban areas in the coming decades. They are also examining the environmental, social and ecological impacts of this migration.

The Center for Urban and Regional Studies and the Department of City and Regional Planning in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Urban and Environmental Sciences and the School of Urban Planning and Design at Peking University are the key members of this consortium.

“The rate of urban growth in China is extraordinary,” says William Rohe, director of the UNC Center for Urban and Regional Studies. “In a decade or two, small Chinese towns are literally developing into metropolises.”

Rohe and Ron Strauss, executive associate provost and chief international officer for the University of North Carolina, were in Beijing, China, in late May to sign the consortium agreement and participate in a joint conference of UNC and Peking University scholars.

The consortium grew out of efforts of the Program on Chinese Cities, a new initiative within the Center for Urban and Regional Studies at UNC aimed at better understanding the impacts of rapid urban growth on China’s built and natural environments.

Learn more about the consortium at UNC Global.