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Programme 2019-2020

In view of implementing UN Habitat's New Urban Agenda, the Urban Design programme in the academic year 2019-20 focuses on creating more inclusive, socially just, livable and healthy cities. The key theme of the coming academic year is the design of inclusive infrastructure. The first studio will analyse and redesign public spaces along the MTR Central-Tsuen Wan Line ("red line"), which connects the center for finance and tourism on Hong Kong Island, with low income neighborhood Sham Shui Po and the former industrial area Tsuen Wan in the north-west of the New Territories. Building on the investigation of infrastructure and public space in the first Studio, the second Studio gives students the opportunity to work at a variety of urban scales. The studio will focus on Hong Kong’s New Territories, examining the potentials of an integrated design approach towards transport nodes, new urban areas, and social infrastructure. 

The learning activities in the MSUD programme are co-organized with international partners and offer a range of opportunities to experience various urban conditions and interact with students and teachers from different backgrounds. The first studio will include a "Public Space Boot Camp" co-organized with Stanford University, HKDI and THEi. The second studio will kick-off with a Winter School of the International Forum on Urbanism (IFoU.org), a network of 26 urban programmes in Asia, Europe, and South America. This event will be hosted by CUHK. Another International Summer Workshop will be held in Italy in context of the 17th International Architecture Biennale in Venice and is part of the programs long-term collaboration with City Space Architecture, a partner organization of UN-Habitat promoting better public space.

Term 1:

East Kowloon

Designing Infrastructures of Inclusion

The Urban Design Studio in Term I focuses on communities and public spaces along the MTR Central-Tsuen Wan Line (red line), which connects the financial center on Hong Kong Island, with Sham Shui Po and Tsuen Wan in the north-western part of the territory. Sham Shui Po and Tsuen Wan, have long been at urban periphery, but are now experiencing rapid urban change. The studio will investigate practices and processes of production and appropriation of public spaces around the public transport hubs. Students will develop strategies and scenarios for street spaces and neighborhood plazas while addressing the dynamic socio-spatial change in the two sites. As places for living and working on Hong Kong Island and Kowloon have become unaffordable, more and more of these functions are relocated along the MTR line towards the north, transforming old grass-roots and industrial areas. The redesign of street spaces and plazas is seen as a way to connect old and new residents and regenerate the surrounding neighborhoods, with particular focus on children and elderly, which are highly represented in these areas. Students will learn through the comparison of different approaches and management of public space in the central and more peripheral locations and the different communities they serve. They also will understand the deeper connections between these dynamically transforming spaces. During the semester, students will work with different community organizations and engage with local stakeholders and residents. 

Instructor: Associate Professor Hendrik Tieben, Adjunct Assistant Professor Casey Wang

(Read the course description here as PDF)

Term 2:

New Territories Tomorrow:
Inclusive infrastructures

In recent years Hong Kong has struggled to generate consensus around a vision for the New Territories. This has prompted several ambitious responses, including a proposal to construct a new CBD on artificial islands in the eastern waters of Lantau Island. Yet there has been little meaningful progress in the absence of a shared vision for the region. In June 2019, as part of the World Urban Campaign, CUHK hosted an Urban Thinkers Campus, bringing together a diverse group of local stakeholders to discuss the future of the New Territories. The forum identified opportunities to unlock complex planning and ownership arrangements enabling a variety of strategically located sites at scales suited to the production of inclusive and participatory urban space. 

The studio will kick off with a collaborative workshop, as part of the International Forum on Urbanism (IFoU) winter school 2020 at CUHK. The workshop will bring together students and researchers to engage further with the community, and develop a series of visionary scenarios and pilot schemes to reframe the New Territories. The collaborative frameworks developed through the winter school will form the basis of group and individual studio projects. Reflecting on the new town model, students will be challenged to envision a more human centric approach based on a wider understanding of infrastructure, enabling a more equitable city that promotes social mobility. Projects will critically explore different organizational principles and design approaches to the massing and infrastructure planning of a new urban area, facilitating diverse social and cultural conditions.

Instructor: Assistant Professor Jeroen van Ameijde, Adjunct Associate Professor Darren Snow


Mr. Polar Lee
Project Coordinator
Tel. +852 3943 1309
Fax. +852 3942 0982