Introduction to Center for Urban and Regional Studies (CURS), the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Sun Yat-Sen University
The predecessor Center for Urban and Regional Studies (CURS), the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Sun Yat-sen University was the Economic Geography Teaching and Research Group in the Department of Geography established in 1956. After the 1970s, adapting to the needs of the national development, the Economic Geography Teaching and Research Group continuously expanded its research areas to develop new research directions, and established the Urban and Regional Research Center for the first time in 1985. The present Center for Urban and Regional Studies (CURS), was founded in October 2002 when the School of Geography and Planning at Sun Yat-sen University was established, incorporating some faculty members from the previous three organizations, namely the Center for Urban and Regional Studies (CURS), the Economic Geography Teaching Research Group at the Department of Geography, and the Research Center for Earth and Environmental Sciences Application..
1 Research Orientations
The center was authorized to offer Human geography doctorate degree in 1990, and was named the key discipline of Guangdong Province in 2000; in the same year was authorized to offer doctorate degree in geography as the first class discipline. In 2002, Human Geography was awarded national key discipline, and passed the national key discipline assessment in 2007; in the same year was awarded the "Higher Education Specialty Major Construction point." by the Ministry of Education. It is now one of the only three national key disciplines. Based on the development of national key discipline, the urban and regional planning center is nationally and internationally renowned for its integration of training, research and development functions.
Over a long period of time, the CURS bases in Lingnan, while serves the country and the world, actively applies geographical expertise to carry out academic research and services the local society. The CURS has achieved a number of research accomplishments in the areas of urban geography and urban planning, tourism geography and planning, regional development and planning, cultural and political geography.
The Urban Geography and Urban Planning research group actively applies western theories to understand the reality of China, especially the Pearl River Delta. It has made breakthroughs and innovation in theoretical and methodological, development, and applications in the studies of urban development, urban internal spatial structure, urban agglomeration, urban communities, urban land use and other aspects of the world's cities. The Tourism Geography and Planning research group has also made significant progress and has developed its own research characteristics in the areas of urban tourism, theme parks, tourism system dynamics, recreation studies and tourism impact studies, world cultural heritage tourism etc.. Meanwhile, the Regional Development and Planning research group carries out theoretical innovation and practices in the areas of land use planning, urban and rural planning, so as to broaden the channels to serve local government. Last but not the least, the cultural and political geography research group launches a series of research in the areas of regional cultural geography, urban and cultural geography, regional cultural integration, and has achieved remarkable accomplishments.
2 Research accomplishments
Since 2001 the CURS has successively carried out several important national research projects, including one National Outstanding Youth Fund, two key projects and more than 30 standard and youth research grants offered by the National Natural Science Foundation, more than 30 national ministries and provincial research projects, and more than 400 other research projects. The center also received numerous achievement awards, published more than 1,000 articles in domestic/foreign journals and published more than 40 academic works, thus has a strong academic influence.
The CURS has also made remarkable achievements at the national and local economic and social services. Since 2001, the members of the center has completed a large number of projects commissioned by the local government and enterprises concerning urban and regional planning, management, strategic planning etc., received over hundred million research funding, and has made an important contribution to local development.
3 Personnel training and team building
The CURS has a strong teaching and research team comprising 31 teachers, including 12 professors (one German teacher), 8 associate professors, and one part-time German professor. 22 teachers hold doctorate degrees The team contains one awarder of the National Outstanding Youth Fund, two awardees of key National Foundation projects, one member of the Evaluation Group of the State Council Degree Committee, members of the Urban Commission Group of the International Human Dimensions Programmer on Global Environmental Change (IHDP), the urbanization professional committee of “tracking tomorrow’s cities” affiliated to the International Geographical Union (IGU), the international Geographical Union (IGU) mega-cities professional Committee, the International human Dimensions Programmer on global Environmental Change, China National Committee (CNC-IHDP) urban working group (2005- ) and the Urban China Research Networks (UCRN, USA), and one winner of “new Century Excellent Talents” awarded by the Ministry of Education.
The center has formed a strong echelon, with high education levels, wide professional coverage and strong technical forces, and academic development potential. Leader of the team have solid theoretical foundation, deep expertise and strong sense of responsibility; have obtained many achievements in relevant fields of study. The team thus has great advantage in the scientific research and social practice, and has made impressive accomplishments.
The CURS has got 1 doctoral program of Human Geography and 11 doctoral supervisors. The center annually enrolls nearly one hundred master and doctoral students in recent years. It has one Master program in Geography recruiting human geography and urban and Regional Planning students, and 23 full time and 5 part-time Master Instructor; the bachelor degree in the center including economic geography and urban planning . The center has cultivated a large number of high-level talents in human geography for the local community, and many of them have become the business backbone and the key members of professional management teams.
4 Openness and communication
The CURS has also established an increasingly wide range of international academic communication networks. It has successively carried out cooperation projects with dozens of research institutions in the United States, Canada, Germany, Japan, Australia, Switzerland and other countries, as well as Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan and other regions; has hosted dozens of international conferences; has established long-term, stable academic links with Hong Kong University, through a series of activities such as exchange of scholars, holding international academic conferences, jointed research projects, jointed overseas investigation and training projects . Overall, the international influence of the center has been increasingly widened.
The center will continue to adhere to the three strategies: international exchanges, theoretical development, and servicing local community, to promote the progress of the discipline, to train better and more talents of various levels for the local community, and make more contribution to the construction of a first-class, advanced human geography scientific research center and academic exchange center, to build a domestic high-level personnel training base and an influencing service center providing decision-making consultation for local governments. We warmly welcome domestic and overseas experts and scholars interested in urban and regional research visiting and carrying out cooperative research in the center.