Zhongjie Lin, associate professor of architecture at UNC Charlotte, has been awarded a 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship. Since 1925, the Guggenheim Fellowship has recognized "impressive achievement in the past and exceptional promise for future accomplishment" in scholarship and the creative arts. Of nearly 4000 applicants, 173 were chosen. Lin is one of only three recipients this year from North Carolina.
Lin, who earned a fellowship at the Woodrow Wilson International Center of Scholars in Washington, D.C. for the 2012-2013 academic year, studies China's massive urbanization and the emerging new town movement. Every year, 16 million Chinese leave the country’s rural areas and move to the cities in what is the largest mass migration in human history. In response, the Chinese government is building towns to house the growing urban population and integrate it into the country’s fast-paced economic development.
"The rise of hundreds of new towns in the next couple of decades will be a significant phenomenon to observe in China and will surely influence the rest of the world," Lin said. His research, which began in 2011, "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."
Upon completion of his fellowship at the Wilson Center, Lin will return to UNC Charlotte’s School of Architecture to resume teaching and complete a manuscript, Constructing Utopias: China’s Emerging New Town Movement.
"The Guggenheim Fellowship is an exceptional award, recognizing scholarly achievement of the highest caliber," said Chris Jarrett, director of the UNC Charlotte School of Architecture. "Zhongjie is the embodiment of a scholar-teacher. His research is engaged with some of the most provocative and influential ideas of 21st-century urbanism, informed through the work he does in the design studio and classroom."