The Land Use and Public Participation program provided opportunities for sharing the successes and challenges of the American and Chinese experiences of public participation in land use decisions. Government officials, scholars, and experts in both countries benefited from this timely program. Recently there has been significant support in China for finding more productive ways of managing public participation in issues such as eminent domain, demolition, and relocation. The program sought to achieve its goal through three main phases.

In the first, a delegation of eight Chinese government officials and scholars participated in a two-week study tour of the United States in February 2009. Each stop on the itinerary had a specific focus: in the New York area, it was procedural issues with the delegation sitting in on a public hearing, visiting with relevant municipal government officials, and meeting with individuals in the private sector; in the greater Washington, D.C. area, it was alternative dispute resolution methods and the federal government agencies responsible for land use decisions; and in the San Francisco Bay area, it was community groups and NGOs that work on land use decisions. Along the way, delegation members met with scholars who do relevant research at academic institutions such as Yale, New York University, and Berkeley.

During the second phase, a group of four American experts traveled to Shanghai, Xi'an, and Zhengzhou to give presentations at workshops attended by Chinese government officials and scholars on public participation in land use decisions, as well as to meet with their Chinese counterparts. A total of 83 officials, scholars, and graduate students attended day-long workshops conducted by the American delegation members in the three cities. The American delegation members gained a better understanding of the Chinese land use system through meetings with municipal government officials, law professors, lawyers, and representatives from civil society groups who work on the front lines of land use decisions in China.

In the final phase of the project, Chinese participants wrote two case studies of public participation in land use decisions — one in Shanghai and the other in Xi'an. The case studies, written with participation and feedback from the American experts, focus on the interactions among open government frameworks, land use decisions, and public participation.


Delegation Members

  • Chinese Delegation to the United States
    January 31 – February 12, 2009


    Delegation Members


    Professor DING Wenying (丁文英)


    Inner Mongolia University Law School

    Hohhot, Inner Mongolia


    Mr. GU Changhao (顾长浩)

    Deputy Director

    Legislative Affairs Office

    Shanghai Municipal Government


    Dr. LIN Yan (林彦)

    Assistant Professor

    Jiaotong University Law School



    Professor SHEN Kaiju (沈开举)

    Associate Dean

    Zhengzhou University Law School

    Zhengzhou, Henan Province


    Mr. SUN Yu'an (孙渝安)

    Chief of the Administrative Trial Section Shaanxi Higher People’s Court

    Xi'an, Shaanxi Province


    Professor WANG Zhouhu (王周户)


    School of Administrative Law

    Northwest University of Politics and Law

    Xi'an, Shaanxi Province


    Mr. ZHAO Yang (赵杨)

    Director of the Policy Research Office, Shaanxi Provincial Department of National Land and Resources

    Xi'an, Shaanxi Province


    Professor ZHU Mang (朱芒)


    Constitution and Administrative Law Research Institute

    Jiaotong University Law School



    Staff & Interpreters

    • Mr. Dan Murphy (慕浩然), Program Officer, National Committee on U.S.-China Relations
    • Mr. Gu Weiqun, Interpreter
    • Ms. Shan Young Tsen (郑先容), Interpreter
  • American Delegation to the People's Republic of China

    September 4-16, 2009


    Delegation Members


    Dr. Juliana Birkhoff

    Vice President of Programs and Practice



    Ms. Lisa Bova-Hiatt

    Deputy Chief in charge of Condemnation

    Bankruptcy Litigation Division

    New York City Law Department


    Ms. Arlene Ichien

    Assistant Chief Counsel

    California Energy Commission


    Mr. Antonio Rossmann

    Professor of Water Resources and Land Use Law

    University of California Berkeley Law School


    Scholar-Escort  (9/6-9/11  only)

    Dr. Wu Weiping 吴维平

    Professor of Urban Studies & Planning and International Studies

    Virginia Commonwealth University



    Ms. Shan Young Tsen 郑先容


    Program Escort

    Mr. Dan Murphy 慕浩然

    Program Officer, National Committee on U.S.-China Relations

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