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Urban China Initiative


The Initiative aims to find and implement solutions to China's urbanization challenge by establishing a think-tank. It is a collaboration between Columbia University, Tsinghua University's School of Public Policy and Management, and McKinsey & Company.

A new initiative has begun with the aim to establish a think-tank with the express mission of finding and implementing effective solutions to China’s urbanization challenge: The Urban China Initiative (UCI). To fulfill its mission, the UCI has three specific aims:

  • Solutions – Be the source of the best and most innovative solutions to urban development issues in China.

  • Talent – Be a home for China’s leading domestic and international urban thinkers and professionals, and a magnet for the best global thinkers

  • Dialogue – Be the convenor of China’s leading national, provincial and local dialogues on urban issues

By combining these aims, the Initiative will also pursue knowledge initiatives with the goal of developing solutions that can be applied across hundreds of cities in China. The Urban Sustainability Index (USI), the first-ever index for measuring and comparing urban sustainability across China, is an example of the type of research that the Initiative will undertake.

UCI is a joint initiative whose research will be led by three major founding institutions: Columbia University, Tsinghua University’s School of Public Policy and Management, and McKinsey & Company. The Columbia Global Center/Beijing will provide additional support to the Initiative’s operations. The UCI Initiative maintains a strategic partnership with the Chinese Society of Urban Studies, and will be advised and funded by leading domestic and multinational corporations.