On March 21, 2004, Karen Torjesen met and hosted six officials of Administration for Religious
Affairs (SARA) including Qi Xiaofei, vice-minister, Guo Wei, Director of Foreign Affairs at SARA,
Pei Yong, director of Religion Policy at SARA.
l Jan.9, 2005, A group Chinese city planners headed by Mr.Heng Xu, the Mayor of Guiyang, Guozhou province came to the Institute to listen to lectures by Dr. Cobb and Cliff Cobb about Sustainable Urbanization. The title of Cobb’s lecture was “ Toward a Sustainable Urbanization.” In which, Cobb proposed two suggestions to Chinese planners about Chinese urbanization: 1) improve life in the countryside and refuse to move from peasant production to agribusiness. 2) build ecological cities. Cobb strongly encouraged Chinese planners to experiment with Soleri’s ideas about arcologies.
In his lecture entitled “ Rethinking the City”, Cliff challenged Chinese officials not to think of cities as physical structures and forget about the purpose they serve for the people who live in them, but to think cities as spiritual, economic, and political centers that have a life of their own. By observing how those features of cities have developed historically and how they function today, we may be able to rethink city life and come up with innovative ways to solve problems.
Chinese city planners were very attracted to the fresh process approach to urbanization. Mr. Heng Xu cordially invited Dr. Cobb and Cliff Cobb to their city advisors. This event was co-organized by the China Project, Center for Process Studies, and The Institute for Postmodern Development of China.
l November 7, 2005, 19 Chinese local officials visited Claremont and listened to a talk by Dr.Cobb on Sustainable Community.
On August 11, 2005, Meilin Chen, the director of Foreign Affair of China Christian Association visited Claremont and had a conversation with Dr. Cobb.