China and the Urbanism of Ambition

China is in the throes of the greatest building boom the world has ever seen. Its population is urbanizing faster than any in history, and its cities are expanding like supernovae across the landscape. In this lecture, urbanist and author Thomas J. Campanella will explore multiple dimensions of this urban revolution; probe its extraordinary physical and societal impacts; and speculate on what 30 years of wholesale urbanization might mean for both China and the world.


Thomas J. Campanella is associate professor of urban planning and design at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He holds a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MLA from Cornell University. Campanella has taught at MIT, Nanjing University, and the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and was a Fulbright fellow at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. His books include The Concrete Dragon: China’s Urban Revolution and What it Means for the World (Princeton Architectural Press, 2008); Republic of Shade: New England and the American Elm (Yale University Press, 2003); and Cities From the Sky: An Aerial Portrait of America (Princeton Architectural Press, 2001). He is also co-editor, with Lawrence Vale, of The Resilient City: How Modern Cities Recover from Disaster (Oxford University Press, 2005).


This lecture will be delivered by Thomas J. Campanella on Thursday, March 12 at 7:00 pm at SFU Harbour Centre, located at 515 West Hastings Street in Vancouver. Admission is free, but reservations are required: e-mail or call 778.782.5100.


This event is co-sponsored by the School of Community and Regional Planning at the University of British Columbia and the SFU City Program.