Wednesday, June 26, 2013

China to Build 400 New Cities by 2030

By Zhongjie Lin
Under the current massive urbanization in China that has been regarded as the largest mass migration ever seen in human history, the Chinese government has taken bold steps to build hundreds of new cities to accommodate the swelling urban population and sustain economic development.
These top-down governmental initiatives represent a wholesale introduction of emerging ideas of planning and cutting-edge building technologies to address social and environmental issues during a period of unprecedented economic growth.
China’s national development agenda has a goal of 60 percent urbanization by 2030, which means that each year about 16 million rural inhabitants are moving into cities. In 1985, less than 20 percent of Chinese people were urban residents. Since then, the urban population has grown at a rate of about 1 percent each year and exceeded 50 percent of the national population in 2011.
I have studied China’s massive urbanization and emerging new towns since 2011. This project falls within one of the research themes of the Woodrow Wilson International Center of Scholars, namely “urbanization, migration and immigration.” I received a Wilson Center fellowship to conduct research in Washington, D.C. from November 2012 through May 2013 and am currently the only scholar of architecture and urban design at the center.
The Wilson Center is dedicated to fostering international relations to inform policy-making and to seeking solutions for significant global issues in political and social spheres. Fellows from different regions and academic backgrounds gather here. Although each focuses on an individual topic of international studies, the center provides great resources and opportunities for scholars to develop and share their work through symposia, talks and other public events. Fellows also make weekly work-in-process presentations that serve as productive opportunities to provide updates on their research, receive feedback and discuss common interests.
 My presentation of China’s ongoing new town movement drew a lot of interest among scholars in Chinese urbanism, as it addresses several issues equally important to other regions in the world, including environmental challenges to human habitats, infrastructure for rapidly expanding cities and the economic and political implications of China’s growing urban society. The experience at the center has continued to broaden my perspective of the research project, which will help me in developing a book manuscript on China’s new town movement.
The Chinese government has announced it will build 20 new cities each year for 20 years. At least 400 new cities are expected to emerge by 2030. Whether and to what extent these new towns can succeed, however, is still to be seen. They face both technical challenges and, more importantly, barriers existing in China’s current socio-economic system, such as land and energy policies.

In any case, the rise of hundreds of new towns in the next decade will be a significant phenomenon to observe in China and will surely influence the rest of the world.
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Zhongjie Lin is an associate professor of architecture in the College of Arts + Architecture

Charlotte 49ers Bid Farewell to Atlantic 10

By Tom Whitestone

On July 1, the Charlotte 49ers will complete their move to Conference USA, a league that they were members of for a 10-year stint from 1995-96 through 2004-05.  The 49ers will bid farewell to the Atlantic 10 Conference, of which they were member for eight years, from 2005-06 through 2012-13.

In the eight years in the Atlantic 10, Charlotte put up some stout numbers:
50 Atlantic 10 Conference Championships
18 NCAA Team trips and another 10 NIT appearances
40 NCAA Individual appearances
45 Atlantic 10 Players of the Year
29 Atlantic 10 Individual Sport Student-Athletes of the Year
7 Atlantic 10 Male or Female Scholar-Athletes of the Year

To put it in perspective, in the 49ers’ eight years in the league, the conference, which included up to 16 teams, awarded 204 league championships in the sports Charlotte sponsors. Charlotte won 25% of them, more than any other school in the league.

The A-10 awarded 230 Player of the Year Awards over that span. Charlotte won 20% of those, more than any other school in the league.

In the six years that they awarded individual sport student-athletes of the year, 94 such honors were distributed. Charlotte won over 31% of them, more than any other school in the league.

In the six years that they awarded a Male and Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year, 12 such individuals earned honors.  Seven were 49ers. No other school had more than two.

The 49ers won an average of six league titles per year, including a high of eight in 2007-08 when baseball and women’s soccer swept regular-season and tournament titles and in 2008-09 when women’s soccer enjoyed another sweep and women’s basketball claimed the tournament title in Halton Arena. In 2005-06 and in 2008-09, a high of seven different 49ers programs won league titles.

Men’s Golf, Women’s Indoor Track and Women’s Outdoor Track each won seven of a possible eight league titles during the 49ers stay in the A-10.  In fact, after just eight years in the league, the 49ers own conference records for most league titles in each of those sports: golf, women’s indoor track and women’s outdoor track. The 49ers men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field programs combined to win an incredible 23 of a possible 32 league championships.

Overall, 11 different 49ers programs won an A-10 league title; 13 sports boasted an A-10 Player of the Year and 11 had a sport Student-Athlete of the Year.

Along the way, Charlotte reached the NCAA National Championship game in men’s soccer in 2011 and boasted back-to-back top 10 finishes at the NCAA Golf Championships, including a third-place finish in 2007. Additional NCAA tournament victories, Top 25 W’s and a slew of all-America performances vaulted the 49ers program to the top of the league.

Charlotte battled with the likes of Xavier and Dayton, Richmond and George Washington, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, Fordham and St. Bonaventure, Temple and La Salle, Saint Joseph’s and Saint Louis and ultimately VCU and Butler.

On June 30, the 49ers eight-year membership in the Atlantic 10 Conference ends. For Charlotte, it was an era marked by excellence.

NUMBERS OVER LAST 8 YEARS (in the 16 sports Charlotte participates):
A-10 Championships: 
1.)    Charlotte                     50
2.)    Dayton                         32
3.)    Saint Louis/Xavier    20
(Charlotte won those 50 titles in 11 sports; Dayton was 2nd with 8 sports winning titles)
A-10 Players of the Year:
1.)    Charlotte                     45
2.)    Dayton                         28
3.)    Rhode Island              22
(Charlotte won those 45 awards in 13 sports; Temple was 2nd with 16 awards in 10 sports)
A-10 Sport Student-Athletes of the Year: (awarded for six years from 2005-06 to 2010-11):
1.)    Charlotte                                                     29
2.)    Dayton                                                         10
3.)    George Washington/Saint Louis        8
(Charlotte won those 29 awards in 11 sports; Dayton; GW and SLU won awards in 6 sports each)
A-10 Male and Female Scholar-Athletes of the Year: (awarded for six years from 2005-06 to 2010-11)
(re-instituted for 2012-13 – award winners to be announced)
1.)    Charlotte                     7
2.)    Saint Louis                   2
3.)    Xavier; Saint Bonaventure; Massachusetts   1

(Charlotte won its 7 awards in 5 sports; SLU won its awards in 2 sports)

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Tom Whitestone is associate athletic director for media relations

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Charlotte 49ers Benefit from Richardson Tradition

By Paul Nowell

Tradition. Legacy. Heritage.
Big words that are not just abstract concepts for UNC Charlotte’s football program.
On Tuesday, the program got a huge infusion of financial support from Jerry Richardson – a self-made man who started out as a student-athlete at a small Southern college and went on to catch a touchdown pass from Johnny Unitas in the 1959  NFL Championship game. After a brief but successful NFL career, he became a prosperous businessman, and subsequently the majority owner  of the Carolina Panthers.
At a festive news conference, the Panthers owner donated $10 million to the Charlotte 49ers for their football stadium, which will be called Jerry Richardson Stadium.
To some of the younger people in the crowd, it might come as a surprise to learn Richardson had to overcome some rather large odds when he brought the NFL to Charlotte in the early 1990s.  After years of hard work by Richardson and his staff,  the long shot Panthers were one of two expansion teams accepted into the league in 1995, along with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Panthers finished the season with a 7–9 record, the best from a first-year expansion team in league history.
In 1996, they posted a 12-4 regular season record  and won the NFC West. The upstart Panthers beat the Dallas Cowboys in the divisional round before losing the NFC Champion Game to the  Green Bay Packers, who went on to win the Super Bowl. It started a tradition of winning for the Panthers that lasted for many years and brought them to the Super Bowl in 2003.
Richardson is the kind of person who does not forget his roots, and he made it clear at the podium on Tuesday he wanted to make the donation so others like him also can have the opportunity to succeed. Along with his $10 million gift to name the stadium in perpetuity,  he and his wife Rosalind endowed a football scholarship in honor of their son Jon.
“Jerry Richardson staked his claim to UNC Charlotte 10 million times,” said UNC Charlotte Chancellor Philip L. Dubois. “He knows that football can bring the students and the city of Charlotte together, and he understands how athletics can advance the connections between a university and its community. As an institution, UNC Charlotte is on the rise, and this gift will give us escape velocity to take our place among other great universities. Jerry recognizes what UNC Charlotte can do for the city, and what a city can do for its University.”
Richardson said, “The role UNC Charlotte plays in our community cannot be underestimated, and its profile will only continue to grow. The addition of football is another step in that growth, and it is important that our community supports the school and its programs. The potential of both the University and its athletic department is unlimited, and I am pleased to be able to participate in their development. My personal experiences from football have been very beneficial, and this is a way to support both the future of the game and the University. We’re excited to be part of your program. We’re team players, and we hope to have many years together.”
The Charlotte 49ers completed construction on the stadium in October 2012. The football team began practice in the 15,300-seat stadium at that time. It is located across from Grigg and Duke Centennial halls, near the campus entrance off Highway 29.
For her part, Charlotte 49ers Athletics Director Judy Rose said Richardson did not have to make the gift to enhance his standing in the community.
“Jerry Richardson, by no means, needed to make this donation. His legacy in this community and around the country is firmly established,” she said. “Jerry Richardson wanted to be among the first to stand up and state, ‘This program is important to me.’ As a former college athlete, he wanted to make this donation because of all that college athletics has done for him. As an owner of our region’s NFL franchise, he wanted to make this donation to support the region’s largest university.”
In fact, it was Richardson’s idea to make the donation.
 “Nobody asked us to do this,”  he said. “Charlotte is our home (and) I think athletics plays a key role in any university or college experience.
“In fact, I don’t do well when people ask me for money. I’d rather give it because I want to give it.”
Paul Nowell works in University Communications.