Lincoln Institute marks 10th anniversary of Center for Urban Development and Land Policy in Beijing
The Lincoln Institute on October 14 marked the 10th anniversary of the Peking University-Lincoln Institute Center for Urban Development and Land Policy in Beijing, a dynamic hub of research and dialogue providing practical applications to housing, tax policy, urbanization, and environmental sustainability in China.
“This is a significant milestone for us,” said Zhi Liu, director of the Lincoln Institute’s China program, and executive director of the Center, located on the campus of Peking University in Beijing. “Taking the opportunity of celebrating the 10th anniversary, we organized an international symposium on China’s urban development and land policy. We invite those who have worked with us over the last 10 years to reflect on what China has accomplished in land policy reform, and what the Center has accomplished over the last 10 years – and to discuss the prospects of urbanization and land policy and the directions of the Center in the next 10 years.”
At the 10th anniversary celebration and banquet October 14 in Beijing, Lincoln Institute President George W. “Mac” McCarthy presented keynote remarks, "From Henry George to Jane Jacobs: Planning and Financing the New Urban Agenda," along with Baoxing Qiu, Advisor to The State Council, President of the Chinese Society for Urban Studies, and former Vice Minister of Housing and Urban and Rural Development, who presented “Towards the Better Quality of Urbanization.” They were introduced by Canfei He, Dean of the College of Urban and Environmental Sciences at Peking University, and Associate Director of the Peking University-Lincoln Institute Center for Urban Development and Land Policy.
Jianhua Lin, President of Peking University, and Lincoln Institute Board Chair and Chief Investment Officer Kathryn J. Lincoln opened the gathering, which included remarks and presentations by Xiuwen Liu, Vice Chair of the Budget Affairs Commission, Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress; Shanda Xu, President of the SEEC Research Institute, and former Vice Minister, State Administration of Taxation; Kegu Liu, Vice Chairman, Academic Committee, China Center for International Economic Exchange, and former Vice President, China Development Bank; Shouzhi Wang, Advisor at the Advisory Center of the Ministry of Land and Resources and former Director General, Department of Policy and Regulation; and Joyce Ma, Chief Representative of The Nature Conservancy, China.
Following the formal establishment of the China program in 2003, the Peking University-Lincoln Institute Center for Urban Development and Land Policy in Beijing was established in 2007, with a mission to develop institutional capacity in China to address the many challenges of rapid growth. The goal was to strengthen expertise in land policy and planning for urban development, through education and training, academic research, and policy advisory and pilot programs. The activities have ranged from research on the role of a property tax system to support the delivery of services in China’s fast-growing cities, to land conservation and resilience by integrating natural systems in urban settings.
“The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy is tremendously proud of the work of the PLC,” McCarthy wrote in his Message from the President in the October 2017 special issue of the Lincoln Institute’s quarterly magazine Land Lines, devoted to a range of land policy issues in China. “The enormous role that land and land policy have played in China’s unprecedented transformation over the last decade has fascinated, daunted, challenged, and sometimes overwhelmed us. We are honored and humbled to have the opportunity to work with Peking University and its visionary leadership. We look forward to future decades of collective efforts to find the answers to some of our most vexing social, economic, and environmental problems in land.”
Gregory K. Ingram, former president of the Lincoln Institute, who established the Center and nurtured its early years, also wrote in Land Lines that the Center “has done a very credible job in meeting its original objectives and it has proven to be a sustainable institution, enduring through the many changes in China and the world that have occurred since its founding,” adding that “land-related issues in China have proven to be extremely challenging, not amenable to simple and quick solutions, and often linked to other policy issues.”
Ingram and Joyce Man, the original executive director of the Center, both participated in panels at the October 14 event. Other presentations included “Land Reform in China: What has been Accomplished, and What Needs to be Done,” by Shouying Liu, Professor, Renmin University of China; “Myths and Puzzles of China's Urban Development and Land Management,” by George Lin, Professor, University of Hong Kong; and “Urban Debt Financing: A Global Perspective,” by Lourdes German, Director of International and Institute-Wide Initiatives at the Lincoln Institute.
The event concluded with two dialogues. The first was the "Future Direction of Urban and Land Policy Reforms,” moderated by Joyce Man, now a professor at Peking University Graduate School in Shenzhen, with Peiyong Gao, Director General, Institute of Economics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; Kang Jia, Member of China's National Political Consultative Committee, and former President, China Academy of Fiscal Science, Ministry of Finance; Kegu Liu, Vice Chairman, Academic Committee, China Center for International Economic Exchange; and Shouzhi Wang, Adviser to the Ministry of Land and Resources. That panel was followed by “Future Directions of Academic Research on Urban Development and Land Policy,” with Changchun Feng, Professor, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University; Jiabin Lin, Inspector and Research Fellow, Development Research Center of the State Council; former Lincoln Institute President Gregory K. Ingram; Lincoln Institute Fellow Andrew Reschovsky; and Tao Ran, Professor at the Renmin University of China.
A premiere screening of two original short videos, produced for the 10th anniversary, was also part of the celebration. One featured the work of the Center, and the other featured a number of interviews about the Center. The special issue of Land Lines was available – translated, for the occasion, to Mandarin. Land Lines is available in English and Spanish.