Center for Cultural Studies on Science and Technology in China

Two Open Positions at URA

We are currently looking for two new colleagues at the Habitat Unit, Department for International Urbanism and Design at TU Berlin who would fill open positions in the framework of the BMBF-funded Sino-German research project Urban-Rural Assembly (URA) (2019-2024).

Position 1 - Reference Number VI-693/20 Senior Researcher, 60% (Post-doc, or advanced pre-doc) Deadline for Applications: December 18, 2020 English Version: German Version:

Position 2 - Reference Number VI-692/20 Researcher, 60% (pre-doc, Chinese speaking) Deadline for Applications: December 18, 2020 English Version: German Version:

URA Periodical first issue

First issue of the URA Periodical series, which will regularly discuss ongoing research and development results throughout the project period. This first issue addresses the notion of 'interfaces', related to both the multi-disciplinary conception of the URA project and its trans-disciplinary R&D approaches at the urban-rural interface of Huangyan-Taizhou region, China. Edited by Xiaoxue Gao, Hannes Langguth, Ava Lynam, Philipp Misselwitz (TU Berlin).

Visit to China Academy of Urban Planning and Design (CAUPD), Shanghai


At 10.30 in the morning, WP1,2,5 and 6 of the URA team were warmly welcomed by Director LIU from CAUPD, whose team has been engaging in building up a development plan for the Central Innovation Zone in the Jiaojiang District, Taizhou. URA’s visit was aimed at further understanding the research area, by meeting with planning professionals who are deeply involved in the development of Taizhou. Dr. Xiaoxue GAO of WP 1 from TUB, representing all of the URA team, briefly introduced the whole URA-project including the overall aim, framework, networks, research methodology, as well as the project schedule. Afterwards, Director LIU reflected on the introduction in relation to his long-term investigation in the area and working experiences on other similar projects. A discussion followed in which members from different WPs exchanged their understanding of the points of interest that had been raised in the meeting from different perspectives. Overall, the meeting was a very fruitful knowledge exchange between the different partners.

Workshop at Tongji University, Shanghai


Members of the URA team, including those from WPs 1, 2, 5 and 6, arrived at the Center for Ecological Wisdom and Practice Research, College of Architecture and Urban Planning in the afternoon for an internal workshop. Alongside his doctoral candidate, Prof. Wentao YAN, co-PI of WP5, began with a presentation focusing on the concept of ‘Eco-phronesis’. Following this, Dr. Suili XIAO presented WP5’s progress in terms of the fieldwork conducted over the previous ten days. In the discussion that followed, members from various WPs began finding possible overlaps and thus it was a great opportunity for knowledge exchange. Following the meeting, members from URA and their partners decided on their next meeting in the coming week.




Workshop at Shanghai University, Shanghai


This internal workshop at Shanghai University began at 2 pm, with the Chinese partners of WP6, as well as German researchers from WPs 1, 2, 5 and 6. Prof. Min ZHAO from Tongji University was invited as an external adviser and participant in the discussion. The Chinese PI of WP6, Prof. Yong LIU, began with a brief welcome speech, followed by an introduction from Dr. Xiaoxue GAO and Hannes Langguth from WP1 and 2, as well as a brief update of the URA project as a whole. Dr. Fengqing LI began with an overview of an understanding of Taizhou from a regional perspective, while Prof. Xiulin SUN described his project looking into demographic structures in Shanghai through a household social investigation. Afterwards, Dr. Huang HUANG gave an update on the progress of WP6, looking into working and living patterns in the research region regarding floating population and mobility. Each presentation was followed by a short discussion, as well as an open exchange regarding the working framework of the joint research, which provided some innovative suggestions. Several ideas were given from the German PI of WP6, Dr. Sigrun Abels. The input from all members was enlightening, and the event was very productive and encouraging, lasting until 5pm.

Workshop at Taizhou Academy, Taizhou


At 8.30 in the morning, the URA team visited Taizhou Academy (TA), a rising local research institute directly supported by the local government with strong local networks. Led by the directors Han and Zhou from TA, the team were invited on a tour of the school laboratories for Life Science and Pharmaceutical, Chemical and Material Engineering. Afterwards, professors and researchers from these schools, along with the Business School and the School of Civil Engineering & Architecture, joined the meeting with the URA team. To commence the meeting, the vice president of TA, Xiaoming ZHAO, welcomed the visiting team, while Prof. Hanbing KONG, visiting scholar of TUB, briefly introduced the team and thanked TA on URA’s behalf, with an exchange of gifts from both sides. Following this, Dr. Xiaoxue GAO and Hannes Langguth, representing the URA project, briefly introduced the working framework and overall aims as well as their work for WP2 in terms of research priorities and methods regarding urban-rural socio-spatial practices in the research region. Afterward, Oliver Larson introduced WP3, looking into possible approaches of analyzing material flows, and Dr. Suili XIAO succinctly introduced WP5 regarding eco-system service and biodiversity analyses. During the final informal Q&A session, members from both sides enjoyed productive discussions within smaller groups with similar research interests.



Beginning of field work in China


After the kick-off meeting in the field (Huangyan District, Taizhou City, China) earlier this year in May, the first field investigation of URA officially started on the 09.10.2019. The field investigation began with a meeting of researchers from Working Packages (WPs) 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 in Shatan Village from 2.00 pm to 6.00 pm. Since new researchers became involved, the meeting started with a round of brief introductions of each working package and its respective researchers. The general idea of URA and the main milestones were emphasized by the managing team while the researchers from each WP shared the work that has been done and the objectives for this field research in October 2019, as well as for the following stage. After that, every WP presented their research in detail, including their main research questions, working theories, methodologies and the required support. A brief discussion followed each presentation focusing on further clarification and potential cooperations between different WPs in terms of field investigations as well as interdisciplinary overlaps in content.