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13 - 14 October 2022


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Australia & China (Virtual)


Australian Government
National Foundation for Australia-China Relations
Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University

Key dates

  1. 15-31 March 2022 Call for Abstracts/Papers (deadline submission extended to 7 April 2022)
  2. 15 April 2022 acknowledgment of the accepted abstracts/papers
  3. 15 August 2022, submission of full papers 
  4. 13-14 October 2022, international symposium event (webinar) via MTeams
  5. 1 December 2022, submission reviewed papers for edited book
  6. June 2023, publication of the edited book

Outline of the event

The symposium is organized as 2-days international on-line event (webinar) by the School of Built Environment at The University at New South Wales (UNSW Sydney) and the Design School at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU) in Suzhou, China.

The symposium aims to provide a formal platform where participants can share their research, experience and up-to-date knowledge of urban regeneration and rural revitalization strategies, and where they can critically compare and outline the dynamic tension and multiple design, environmental and socio-economic challenges in Australia and China.

The event is open to scholars, practitioners and academics from Australia, China and overseas. Invited speakers will present a series of the status of art of the urban regeneration and rural revitalization practices and models in Australia and China.

It is expected the symposium will be an occasion for fruitful exchange and effective dialogue on themes related to urban-rural destruction and regeneration techniques, the sustainable reconversion of the natural landscapes, eco-urban design approach that can cope with climate change, and issues related to environmental disruption and urban/rural economic and spatial regeneration.

  • Despite several obvious social, political, economic, and cultural differences as national entities, legacy of their own history and cultural background, Australia and China share relevant analogies when it comes to other factors and general trends in terms of urbanization and potentiality for their future development. Both countries have vast lands full of natural resources and are set in the Asia Pacific region and recent decades have seen a clear communal pattern regarding urban growth models and planning strategies, with the state-driven efforts to privilege the expansion of urban centres over the more rural zones.

    In terms of regional and urban planning, in Australia most urbanization have been absorbed by the few large metropolises in the state capitals in the East coast mainly set along the axis connecting Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, and Melbourne. In China the central government policies have reiterated the strategic importance of the East seaboard concentrating the economic power and growth engines in the sprawling megacities forming an integrated urban network stretching from Beijing/Tianjin, through Nanjing/Shanghai, and to Shenzhen-Hong Kong conurbations.

    A pivotal shift is currently unfolding in both countries, and it focuses on the importance to revert the process of continuous growth of the large cities and move toward a progressive modernization of small cities and rural towns (China) and the regional centres (Australia), as alternative poles of immigration and new cores of economic growth and prosperity for the nation and the people.

    In the last few years in Australia this process has been fuelled by an emerging new wave of movement of people driven by the pandemic and supported by ad-hoc national and local development policies. Large numbers of professionals and skilled labourers willing to leave behind the constraints of the urban life have been drawn to regional areas by the benefits of a healthier and more personally stratifying regional lifestyle in smaller towns.

    In China, the main task of new-type urbanization has been transferred from ‘new town development’ to ‘urban regeneration’ since 2017, when the central government initiated the plan of ‘ecological restoration, urban renaissance’. Following the national ‘Strategic Plan on Rural Revitalization 2018-2022’, the newly established Ministry of Natural Resource intends to facilitate the integrated development of urban and rural areas by considering the ecological capacity of a given area from a more comprehensive perspective.

    Among other factors, the outbreak of COVID-19, and subsequent lockdowns and widespread remote working, also forced planners and designers in both Australia and China to rethink everything they do from a broader sense of sustainability and attention to long-term development based among others on environmental considerations and the use of strategies to promote a more effective socio-economic regeneration of the local communities.

    1. Urban Design Theory and Practice

      Looking at new city paradigms as ‘alternative’ or ‘adjusted’ models of urbanization beyond the conventional forms of city building, this theme invites authors to present papers which might be able to elaborate on the form of alternative future visions and suggest innovative strategies for the development of the built environment of urban and rural communities in Australia and China. Case studies, innovative research, analytical studies focussing on the following issues are especially welcome:
      • (Re)design of resilient communities in urban and rural contexts
      • Urban design strategies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and post-disaster reconstruction
      • Planning and design strategies to achieve carbon neutral cities
      • Innovative urban design for climate change adaptation and social change in urban/rural areas.
      • “Design with Nature”: theory and practice of landscape/ecological urbanism in Australia and/or China
    2. City Planning Strategies

      Papers are invited to explore and discuss a variety of issues which show a special affinity or interest in relation to:
      • Governance and growth management in rural settlements and/or regional towns
      • Urban regeneration/rural revitalization and the transport infrastructure development
      • New/old city paradigms and scenarios for urban and rural development in the 21st century Australia and China (e.g. Polycentric cites, new towns, regional satellites, etc.)
      • Planning for growing population in regional centres and rural towns
      • Age-friendly cities/neighborhood (e.g. ageing/children friendly cities/neighborhood)
    3. Rural Revitalization

      This theme mainly looks at issues and practice arising in the transformation process of the countryside. Specifically:
      • Urban-rural integrated development model
      • Rural revitalization and shrinking cities
      • Innovative rural revitalization approaches and strategies
      • New construction techniques that can support rural revitalization
    4. Architecture

      This mainly looks at emerging issues and innovative practice that intends to cope with the challenges on sustainable building design and construction nowadays. Specifically,
      • Green architecture
      • Building retrofit for energy saving and carbon reductions
      • Lifetime homes
      • Innovative typo-morphological examples of buildings
      • Community development and the built environment
    5. Technology and Engineering

      This theme focuses on the cross-disciplinary exchange of ideas related to the engineering and construction challenges and opportunities occurring in urban regeneration and rural revitalization projects in Australia and China. Specific subjects of interest might include, for instance:
      • adaptability and transformation of rural buildings to improve community identity;
      • the conservation of industrial, rural and urban heritage as critical assets within regeneration strategies;
      • technical approaches to increase resilience against climate change threats such as bushfires or flooding;
      • data-driven design approaches for environmental comfort in urban regeneration.

    Beyond the list above we welcome papers presenting knowledge created and practice-based experience in recent case studies in Australia and China.


Program and Participants


Morning Session
(10:30-13:30 Sydney time/ 7.30-10.30 Beijing Time)

Welcome and introduction

Whither the New Town in Contemporary Australian Planning?

  • Robert Freestone & Nicola Pullan
  • UNSW School of Built Environment

Sustainable Urban Strategies in China: A Case Study of Urban Redevelopment in Shanghai’s Pudong and Taipingqiao Areas

  • Melis Isil Simsek
  • Shanghai Jiao Tong University

The Evolution of Urbanization and Planning Practice: A Comparative Study between the UK and China

  • Tianjie Jiang, Bing Chen, Thomas Moore, John Sturzaker
  • Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University & University of Liverpool & University of Hertfordshire

Second-chance cities? Understanding the economic relationship between primary and secondary cities in an Australian urban context.

  • Hyung Min Kim & Anthony Kent
  • University of Melbourne & RMIT University

Afternoon Session
(15:00-17:30 Sydney time/12:00-14:30 Beijing Time)

Rural revitalization or dystopia? Australia's intensive livestock production and processing landscapes.

  • Joshua Zeunert
  • UNSW School of Built Environment

The Urbanization of Rural China and Regional Australia: Visions, Strategies and Urban Paradigms in the Context of Asia Pacific Region.

  • Dan Gui, Raffaele Pernice
  • UNSW School of Built Environment

Country Park and Ecological Restoration in Shanghai’s Rural Revitalization

  • Nannan Dong; Yongnan Wang; Zhiwei Liu
  • Tongji University

Culture-led Revitalisation in Chinese Intermediary Cities: Challenges and Opportunities under the Pandemic.

  • Giulio Verdini, Xin Shengxi
  • University of Westminster & University College London


Morning Session
(11:00-13:30 Sydney time/ 8:00-10:30 Beijing Time)

Impact Factors of Authenticity Experience and Renewal Strategies of Sojourn Space in Historic District Based on Grounded Theory: A case study of Daxinqiao Lane in Suzhou Pingjiang Road

  • Leilei Sun,Zehua Xu,Liang Zhang
  • Soochow University & Suzhou Research Institute of Chinese Historical and Cultural Cities

Transportation transformation towards urban renaissance: A case study in Hangzhou

  • Xiaohe Zhang, Xia Hua, Haixiao Pan
  • Tongji University

Former industrial waterfronts as laboratories for sustainable urban planning: comparing recent efforts in Shanghai with cases in New York and Rotterdam

  • Harry Den Hartog
  • Tongji University

Study on the Linkage Mechanism of the Integration of Planning, Construction, Management and Service of Indemnificatory Rental Housing in Shanghai.

  • Boshen Wu
  • Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Afternoon Session
(15:00-18:00 Sydney time/12:00-15:00 Beijing Time)

ULTRA SQUARE – Corbusier symbolism in design through the lens of El Lissitzky 

  • Sanaz Hosseinabadi
  • UNSW School of Built Environment

Thermal comfort in rural houses in China: a review

  • Jinhao Zhang; Jun Lu; Wu Deng; and Paolo Beccarelli
  • The University of Nottingham Ningbo China & The University of Nottingham

Soundscape preferences of different companion types in urban public spaces—the cases in Suzhou, China

  • Jingwen Cao, Jian Kang
  • University of Sheffield & University of College London

The Role of Water bodies in the Placemaking of Kunming City, Southwest China

  • Yun Gao, Adrian Pitts
  • University of Huddersfield
Wrap up and Conclusive Remarks

Zoom meeting

NFACR symposium day 1 & 2, 


Format and submission

  • This two-day symposium will take place as online (webinar) event. Presentations will be via Microsoft Teams (in person or pre-recorded) and there will be no registration fee. The event will be live stream for registered audience.

    A typical presentation session will be 20 minutes.

    The format of the day will include enough time for formal and informal discussion. Therefore, the number of abstracts accepted will be limited to max 18 and assessed on their quality, and on achieving a balance of topics and approaches.

    • A 300-word abstract;
    • A brief biography of not more than 200 words including current university affiliation.

    The number of abstracts and papers accepted for presentation will be limited to 18 and assessed on their quality, and on achieving a balance of topics and approaches.

    Send abstracts to: Dr. Raffaele Pernice,

  • Upon acceptance of the abstract: submission of a full paper of 6000 words max inclusive of notes and bibliography (use Chicago style; tentatively consider using no more than 5 pics or charts in the paper); provision of high resolution pictures (1 M or larger).

    The various contributions presented at the symposium will be further revised and the compilation of essays will be collated into a final edited book to be published in the following year (tentative names of the publishers: Routledge, Wiley & Sons, Edward Elgar, Springer, Cambridge Scholars Publishing).

Presentation will be via Microsoft Teams either in person or pre-recorded. Abstract are accepted until 31 March 2022.

The document must be in Microsoft Word. Please download the abstract template from here: ABSTRACT FORM.
Subject line for emails: Abstract Submission NFACR 2022
File name for attachment: Name_Surname_Summary Title_Abstract_NFACR_2022
Example file name: Name_Surname_Title Paper_Abstract_ NFACR_2022


Instruction for Authors of the Paper of Accepted Abstracts

Accepted papers for the symposium will be submitted in MS Word format. While each author has the autonomy to develop their own arguments, in order to achieve consistency with all other contributions (and maximize the fit with the planned edited book) it will be opportune to adhere as much as possible to the following general essay structure.

All authors should give appropriate titles to section 2,3 and 4 and add subheading as suitable:

Basic structure/outline of the essay

  1. Background/Introduction
  2. Key historical framework or context and question/problem/issue/topic of inquiry to address
  3. Designer/Planner (some biographical information and key concepts regarding the themes of the symposium)
  4. Project(s) (overview and analysis/discussion of specific or some aspects of the particular project/case study where identified concepts are included)
  5. Conclusion (summarizing the key points discussed and main lessons for contemporary design, practice and/or research)
  6. References & Bibliography

The final essay for the edited book should be 6000 words max (but a shortened version of 3000+ words is also fine for the presentation at the symposium), including notes/references and bibliography (Chicago style). If possible, keep the number of the images/pictures and charts to 5 max.

Please note that each author is responsible for obtaining the copyright/permission for the reproduction of the images in the essay contributed.

The document must be in Microsoft Word.

Subject line for emails: Paper Submission NFACR 2022
File name for attachment: Name_Surname_Summary Title_Paper_NFACR_2022
Example file name: Name_Surname_Title Paper_Paper_ NFACR_2022

Organizers and sponsors

UNSW Sydney – School of Built Environment / History and Theory of the Built Environment Research Cluster
XJTLU – Design School

Symposium Organizing Committee:

Dr. Raffaele Pernice (UNSW Sydney, School of Built Environment)
Dr. Bing Chen (XJTLU, Design School)
Dr. Luciano Cardellicchio (UNSW Sydney, School of Built Environment)

Symposium Scientific Committee:

Prof. Jian Kang (UCL, Faculty of Built Environment)
Prof. Simon Pinnegar (UNSW Sydney, School of Built Environment)
Prof. Robert Freestone (UNSW Sydney, School of Built Environment)
Dr. Yun Gao (University of Huddersfield, Dept. of Architecture)
Dr. Kostantinos Papadikis (XJTLU, Design School)
Prof. Joon Sik Kim (XJTLU, Design School)


The event has been supported with funds from UNSW Sydney – School of Built Environment, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU) – Design School, and by the National Foundation for Australia-China Relationships 2021 grant (Ref: NFACR21/220476)


Dr. Raffaele Pernice, UNSW Sydney,
Dr. Bing Chen, XJTLU,