Chinese urban planning students visit Denver and CU Denver

Thirteen students and four faculty members from the Urban Planning Department at Southeast University (SEU) in Nanjing, China recently visited Denver as part of a month-long educational trip to the United States.

The College of Architecture and Planning’s Master of Urban Design (MUD) program, led by program director and Department of Planning and Design chair Jeremy Németh, PhD, has collaborated with SEU over the past several years on joint urban design studios. The Aug. 22-24 visit was the latest cooperative exchange between the two planning and design programs.

The studio – a workshop-style course where teams of students collaborate on real projects with real clients – worked on a controversial project on a complex site along the famous city walls of Nanjing, the former capital of China. With the guidance of Professor Yuk Lee, the College of Architecture and Planning has many initiatives with Chinese universities, including a Master of Landscape Architecture dual degree with Shanghai’s Tongji University and a joint internship program with Gensler Shanghai and Denver.

The SEU delegation began their Denver adventure with a three-hour walking tour of downtown Denver, guided by Németh and Department of Planning and Design Instructor Ken Schroeppel. The tour covered Denver’s Civic Center Park and Cultural Complex, the 16th Street Mall and historic buildings along 17th Street, the Colorado Convention Center and Denver Performing Arts Complex, the multi-modal transit hub and developments under construction at Denver Union Station and Lower Downtown and Larimer Square. Following the tour, SEU faculty, led by Jianqiang Yang, PhD, Dean and Professor of SEU’s urban planning department, met with College of Architecture and Planning faculty and leadership to discuss future collaborations, while the students explored downtown Denver on their own. The next day, the group from Nanjing visited Boulder and Rocky Mountain National Park.

The trip concluded with an intensive eight-hour tour around Denver, led by Schroeppel. The tour focused on two key topics important to the SEU faculty and students: industrial adaptive reuse and infill development/urban revitalization. Highlights of the tour includes stops at Coors Field, FireClay Lofts on Blake Street, the TAXI development in RiverNorth, the Prospect district behind Coors Field, the Olinger mixed-use project in Lower Highland, the Highland Gardens Village development in West Highland, Denver’s REI flagship store at Confluence Park, the Cherry Creek area and the Stapleton neighborhood.

The SEU students also visited New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco on their U.S. trip.

(Photo: SEU faculty and students with Ken Schroeppel overlooking downtown Denver.)

CU in the City logo