Andrew Stokols writes on global urbanization and international development with a focus on China and Asia. In China, he has worked as a Princeton-in-Asia Fellow at a rural development NGO and was a Fulbright Scholar studying urbanization in western China. His work has been featured in The Atlantic, The New York Times, and Foreign Policy. He is currently a Masters in Urban Planning candidate at Harvard GSD.
Religion
The First “Urban Pope”

The First “Urban Pope”

A Brazilian slum, or favela, and a cross. Pope Francis’s Encyclical addresses urban poverty and inequality as well as climate change. Photo by Chico Ferreira/Flickr Pope Francis is proving to be the first “environmentalist pope.” It turns out he also may be the first urbanist pope–not counting the aptly named Pope Urban of the 3rd Century....
From Harvard to Seoul

From Harvard to Seoul

BY ANDREW STOKOLS A renowned Harvard University professor of Chinese history ended his summer class at Kyung Hee University in an unlikely way: with an apology. “My generation has utterly failed to solve the world’s most pressing problems,” he said ominously. Then he closed on a more hopeful note: “This is unfortunate for you [younger...
The Environmental Downsides of Urbanizing Western China

The Environmental Downsides of Urbanizing Western China

  By: Andrew Stokols One of the goals of relocating Qinghai nomads and farmers to urban housing is to improve the environment and preserve local culture, but the effect is often the opposite. The changes in western China are transforming an entire cultural landscape (Image:marc bono) From the top of a towering pagoda just outside...
Urbanizing China's Ethnic Minorities

Urbanizing China’s Ethnic Minorities

China’s urbanization push has been in the headlines recently.  Of course after 30 years, China’s urbanization is not exactly fresh news.  But recent reports of opposition to China’s urbanization plan underscore just how integral urbanization is to the most pressing issues facing China now: 1. Maintaining economic growth through consumer spending, 2. Reducing the income disparity between urban...