Organized by Xin Yi, Uwe Altrock,  Xinru Xie and Wenyue Li, in collaboration with further TG members During 2023, the group was coordinated by Xin Yi



The thematic group, China’s urban transformation, focuses the knowledge exchange between Chinese and European urban expertise on urban transformation processes, especially comparing urban regeneration practice in Europe and China. It was established in April 2019 with the initiative of Xin Yi (Associate Professor, Southeast University, China), Uwe Altrock (Professor, University of Kassel, Germany) and Klaus R. Kunzmann (Professor emeritus, TU Dortmund, Germany)

The aim of the thematic group is to learn from European and Chinese experience, both successes. It will confront European participants with the challenges of urban regeneration in Chinese cities, and it will give Chinese practitioners and academic planners an insight into regeneration practices in the different European countries, such as UK, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Sweden and Austria, etc. Since the beginning of the 21st century China and Europe are getting closer and closer. European enterprises are making more and more business in China, and more and more Chinese enterprises are investing in Europe. Tourists from Europe and China like to explore the respective other region. The one-road-one belt Initiative, driven by the Chinese government is reducing geographic distance and transport time.

Since the foundation in 2019, the Group started to organize different events in relations to urban transformation in Europe and China with cooperation of practitioners, academics, governmental and non-governmental professionals, and further interest groups into the TG’s activities.

Internal organization of the group

A collective made up of group members organizes the activities of the Thematic Group. Some of the tasks of the core group are: to establish the Group’s agenda (working topics, meetings); to prepare meetings and annual reports; to disseminate scientific results; to promote a strong involvement into research and publication affairs; as well as towards a broader audience and the AESOP Secretary General.

The list of members who managed the Group’s activities in 2023 (in alphabetic order):

Qi Huang (Germany), Xinru Xie (China), Ao Sun (China), Jin Duan (China), Yang Wang (China), Davide Ponzini (Italy), Xin Yi (China), Uwe Altrock (Germany) Klaus R. Kunzmann (Germany), Yige Li (China) , Xiaohong Tan (China), Zhiqing Zhao (China), Zhiming Li (China), Hao Lin (China), Zijing Wu (China) and Xinyi Chen (China),

The list of members who (co-)organized meetings in 2023:

Event 1

5th International conference on people-oriented urban design.

– Online & offline conference, 4th - 5th November, Nanjing, China.


Remy Sietchiping (UN Habitat), Klaus Kunzmann (Germany), Jonathan Barnett (USA), Bernhard Müller (Germany), Paulina Schiappacasse (Germany), Corinne Jaquand (French), Christopher Knabe (Germany), Michael Krieger (Germany), Duan Jin (China), Wang Yin (China), Zhan Erpeng (China), Jiang Hong (China), Liu Bomin (China), Zhang Chunyang (China), Wang Chenghui (China), Wang Tianqing (China), Wei Haoyan (China), Yuan Yuan  (China), Chang Jiang (China), Zhao Hongyu (China), Fan Li (China), Liu Yiwei (China), Huang He (China), Chen Xiaodong (China), Hou Xin (China), Tao Tao (China), Zhang Ning (China), Yi Xin (China), Shi Yi (China), Long Yan (China), Song Gang (China)

On 4th - 5th November, 2023, the 5rd International Conference on People-Oriented Urban Design was held in Nanjing. The conference was hosted and organized by Southeast University and co-organized by Urban Transformation in Europe and China Thematic Group (AESOP). The conference was held in mixed way of online and offline meeting, with internationally renowned scholars from the UN Habitat, Germany, United States, France and other countries, as well as Experts from China. The institutions are as following: UN Habitat, Technical University of Dortmund (Germany), The École Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture de Paris-Belleville (France), Technical University of Dresden (Germany), OBERMEYER group (Germany), Pesch Partner Architektur Stadtplanung GmbH (Germany), Dialoge für die Energiewende (Germany) and Chinese universities and institutions, such as Southeast University, Beijing Urban Planning and Design Institute, Qingdao Sino-German Exchange Association, South China University of Technology, Qingdao Urban Planning and Design Institute, Chongqing University, Sun Yat-sen University, China University of Mining and Technology, Jilin Jianzhu University, Tongxin Urban Renewal Education Foundation , Tsinghua University, Tianjin University, Shenzhen Leo Planning and Design Consulting Co., Ltd., Urban Design Center of Hangzhou Planning and Design Institute and other major urban planning authorities and research institutes across the country, Experts, scholars and students from domestic and foreign planning and design units attended the meeting.

In this conference, experts and scholars from various countries shared the latest information and technical research results in the field of international urban design, discussed technology docking and cooperation, and summarized the international experience in the field of urban design success and failure. Multidisciplinary integration is the characteristic of people-oriented urban design. With the development of digital technology, people-oriented urban design is developing in the direction of full-scale, full-element, and full-chain in the historical environment. Therefore, we look forward to the deep integration of digital technology and people-oriented urban design.


Event 2

Digital Protection of Historical Heritage—Five Schools Joint Workshop

17th - 24th July, 2023, Shenyang, China


This workshop was hosted and organized by Shenyang Jianzhu University and co-organized by Urban Transformation in Europe and China Thematic Group (AESOP) in a combination of online and offline methods.

More than 90 teachers and students from Shenyang Jianzhu University, Inner Mongolia University of Technology, Lanzhou University of Technology, Huazhong University of Science and Technology and Southwest University for Nationalities participated in this event. During the workshop, teachers and students who participated in the activity went to the national historical and cultural village of Shifosi in Shenyang to conduct on-site research. They used drone 3D scanning technology to conduct on-site teaching of real-life modeling methods of historical heritage, and carried out on-site teaching on the village situation of Shifosi Village. Maung conducted on-site visits and held 6 special academic reports on the digital protection of historical heritage within the campus, and carried out the conceptual design of the Stone Buddha Temple in groups. During the joint learning process, students from the five schools deeply appreciated the technological charm of digital technology and deeply thought about the relationship between digitalization and professional practice.


Event 3

Annual conference of digital technology research center for historical cities of Chinese Society for Urban Studies (CSUS)

18th - 19th December, 2023, Nanjing, China


Cao Changzhi, Dong Wei, Dang Anrong, Huang Xianfeng, He Jie, Chunqing, Li Yang, Zhang Lihai, Ma Xiaosu, Lu Xu, Yi Xin, Zhai Fei

On 18th - 19th November, 2023, the 2023 Annual Meeting of the Digital Cities Department of the Historical and Cultural Cities Committee of the Chinese Society for Urban Science was held in Shenyang. This conference was hosted and organized by Shenyang Jianzhu University and co-organized by Urban Transformation in Europe and China Thematic Group (AESOP) in a combination of online and offline methods. Experts and scholars gathered at Shenyang Jianzhu University to discuss the protection, renewal, utilization and inheritance of historical cities supported by digital technology in the new era. On November 19, the Digital Protection of Historical Heritage - Five-University Joint Workshop Results Exchange Meeting was held in the lecture hall on the second floor of the Architecture Museum of Shenyang Jianzhu University. Participants came from Shenyang Jianzhu University, Southwest University for Nationalities, Inner Mongolia University of Technology, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, and Lanzhou University of Science and Technology. Teachers and students from the university participated in this workshop.


Future Action Plan in 2024

1. Annual conference of digital technology research center for historical cities of Chinese Society for Urban Studies (CSUS). July 2024, Lanzhou, China.

2. 6th international conference on people-oriented Urban Design. November 2024, Nanjing, China.