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Dreams and Pursuits of PKU-Lincoln Institute Center for Urban Development and Land Policy

MAR . 31 2009

Peking University, Beijing, Mar. 31st, 2009: It has been set up in October, 2007 at Peking University (PKU) with the dream of serving and promoting the process of urbanization in China.


It has committed itself to promote the economic and social development by its academic achievements, and create a new research mechanism which can cross the disciplines, institutes, and countries.

It has attached importance to provide unique ideas and views for China’s process of urbanization, and provide international developing space for China’s scholars and research teams.


It is PKU-Lincoln Institute Center for Urban Development and Land Policy, which is a non-profit policy research center based on the disciplinary advantage of PKU.  It has also learned from the success model of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, and aimed at developing China.


In this early spring, we have an interview with Dr. Gregory K.Ingram, President and CEO of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Prof. Joyce Yanyun Man, Director of PKU-Lincoln Institute Center for Urban Development and Land Policy, and Mr. John Whitehead, Research Analyst of the center in room 508 of Leo KoGuan Building


“It is an academic consideration to choose PKU as cooperator.”

Dr. Ingram has known China very well.  He said that China has a rapid development in the past thirty years and has the achievements which many countries need at least one hundred year to get.  It can only be described by “massive changes”.  He also stressed that the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy is a policy research institute, so it is an academic consideration to choose PKU as a cooperator.  When talked about the intention of establishing the PKU-Lincoln center, Dr. Ingram said that the urbanization and land will become an important research area for China because of the fast development of China’s economy and the rapid urbanization.  It is expected to have achievements in this area so China needs to attach importance to it in a long time.


Founded in 1974, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy is a leading international and non-profit education and research institute on land policy.  Its aim is to improve the quality of land policy demonstration, spread the knowledge of land policy, and exchange research achievements in order to understand and grasp the complex land and tax policy by combination of theory and practice.  Its research fields include land taxation, land market, land management and related law, land ownership, and land income and redistribution. 


Dr. Ingram hoped that through the establishment of PKU-Lincoln Institute Center, it can deepen people’s cognition of the urbanization in developing countries to face the challenges in land police and financial reform brought by the fast development of cities, and strengthen the professional knowledge by research and training.  He also expressed that they will help China to seek more optimal solutions to settle the problems in the urbanization through research, exports exchange, and training.


When the reporter asked him his attitude towards China’s rural land circulation, he heartily smiled: “There is no unique answer.  However, there are still some international experiences, such as some Latin American countries.”  He expressed that if the farmers have specific property rights, they will be willing to invest on the land and improve the efficiency of land using; if not, their loss of security will affect the mechanization process of agriculture.  Thus, it is necessary to concern both the situation of China and other countries’ ways on the land policy research.


“This is a cross-discipline, cross-institute, and cross-country public research platform.”

The essential of the center’s establishment is to spread and develop the “Lincoln Model” in China.  Prof. Joyce Yanyun Man said that the “Lincoln Model” is the theoretical framework and research model on land, city and finance policy research which has been gradually formed based on the rich practical experience of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.  It has a set of research procedures and projects organizing models based on international experts, financial support of the Lincoln institute, researching ways on the data, detailed investigative conclusions, and interdisciplinary research subjects.  Currently, “Lincoln Model” has been widely recognized by scholars.  Thus, the center will do its best to spread the “Lincoln Model” in China, provide high-quality and unique analysis to China’s land, city and finance policy, promote the public’s understanding of the urbanization, land policy, and property tax policy in both China and the world.


In order to promote the academic exchange and international communication, the center has organized a series of lectures and meetings, in which they have invited some well-known professors, such as Prof. Maxine Griffith, Vice-President of Columbia University, Prof. Kurt Zorn from Indiana University, and Prof. Peter Murphy from the University of New South Wales, to communicate with teachers and students of this field in China.  Additionally, the center has also held two round table meeting to provide chances and platform for the scholars to communicate with each other.  In the summer holiday of 2008, the center set up the “Training the trainer” project which had two classes to give professional trainings to the teachers from different universities in China and researchers of related institutes freely.  Similarly, the center also has provided professional trainings to government officials with the help of State Administration of Taxation and Ministry of Finance for several times.


“Through these activities, we have provided a platform for the scholars, the officials, and the policy makers and implementers to research, discuss, and exchange information on their policies.  We have always been an active organizer.”  Prof. Joyce Yanyun Man told us that the researchers of the center have distributed in the research institutes of universities and governments who are all well-known experts in this field both inside and outside.  Under the research direction of the center, these researchers make up teams in the form of project to start their policy research with the financial support from the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy independently.  This kind of way can greatly increase the research efficiency, exert the researchers’ superiorities, and promote the comprehensive strength of the center ultimately.


“We want to introduce our top scholars to the world.”

Since the establishment of the center in 2007, it has thirty senior researchers now.  When talked about the talents construction of the center, Prof. Joyce Yanyun Man said that in addition to the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy’s influence and stable financial support, it is the center’s unique superiority of cross-discipline, cross-institute, and cross-country which has attracted many experts.    Prof. John Whitehead also said that the different research backgrounds and directions of there experts can largely improve the flexibility and applicability in answering the questions.


The center has set up fellowship program including funding for graduate dissertation and thesis work and larger research proposals for professional scholars.  Through these programs, the center endeavors to bring policy research opportunities to China’s up and coming professionals in the field.  Currently, the scholars supported by the center has distributed in many well-known universities of China.  Through many research and interdisciplinary cooperation, every project has made remarkable achievements that there will be a lot of papers and discussion collections being published in the coming year.


“We want to introduce our top scholars to the world, and share China’s reform experience and research achievements with the international academe.” said Prof. Joyce Yanyun Man.  In the past year, the center has already funded several scholars to attend the world-level academic conference.  Prof. Joyce Yanyun Man hoped that they can introduce more and more China’s academic achievements and scholars to the world in the mean time of introducing into foreign experience and scholars.


As a cross-disciplinary research institutions and a platform of international cooperation, the center has gained the support form PKU.  Prof. Lin Jianhua, Vice-President of PKU said that he appreciates the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy for its foresight to see China’s academic requirement during its development.  He also hoped that the center can become a platform for the scholars to share experience, and deepen people’s understanding to the global urbanization, land, and finance policy both in China and the world.  He believed that it can increase the education and research level in this field, and will play an active role in the development of China’s cities.

In the past one year, they have stabilized the center, and in the coming three to five years, they plan to make the center as the best professional research institute of this field in China.  There is no end to the research fields of the land, city, and finance so that there are new chances for the center to grasp in the future.

Edited by: Cai Ying

Translated by: Su Juan

Source: Beida news (Chinese)