Research Staff / Student
Xi Qiu (Colleen)

Qiu, Xi (裘熹, Colleen) is a PhD student in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP). Colleen’s research is focused on City Design and Development, intersecting with areas such as Housing Community and Economic Development, Environmental Policy and Planning, and International Development. Colleen examines the theory and praxis of shaping the built environment in both developed and developing context, mainly the United States and China. For her doctoral studies, Colleen uses emerging patterns of Chinese urbanization as a lens to examine attempts at urban innovation in an era challenged by the impacts of globalization, climate change, informational capitalism, and mass surveillance.

At MIT, Colleen has engaged in several research projects on China's urban development, sponsored by the Sam Tak Lee Real Estate Entrepreneurship Lab and based at the Resilient Cities Housing Initiative and the Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism. These projects entail new towns and community development, resilience and governance in urban village redevelopment in China, the end of gated communities in Chinese cities, land reclamation and coastal development in China, and relocation and sea level rise in metropolitan Boston. Colleen has joined the MIT China Future City Lab (MIT-CFC) to investigate innovative approaches to “Green Urbanization in China” – a pilot project of MIT-CFC in collaboration with the Development Research Center (DRC) of China’s State Council, sponsored by China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED). At DUSP, she also assists in teaching a few graduate courses, such as Introduction to Urban Design and Development and Urban Design Studio: Re-working Waterfronts in Long Island City.

Prior to MIT, Colleen received her bachelor’s degree in architecture from Zhejiang University. She graduated with honors from Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL), where she received master’s degrees in architecture, urban design, and advanced architectural studies. At WUSTL, her urban design work addressed urban sprawl and social segregation in American cities, as well as sustainable development in several global cities and megacities in the United States, East Asia, and Northern Europe. She also conducted historical research on urban design theory and pedagogy. She has practiced architecture, urban design, and community planning in China and the United States. 

Areas of Interest
Climate Change, Globalization, Housing, International Development, Sustainability, Theory of Urbanism, Urban Design