Xiaowen Xu

Xiaowen holds a degree in city planning and urban design from China. Her focus lies on the possibilities of urban renewal and sustainable developments. This also brought her to Hamburg. As a new resident of Rothenburgsort, she oversees JES projects based in Hamburg’s east.


From early age, Xiaowen Xu showed an interest in designing urban spaces and the development of sustainability. She wrote her Master’s thesis in the interdisciplinary course Urban Design, where she addressed the transformations in China’s harbour areas. Currently, she looks into Hamburg’s city development projects, focussing on sustainable construction, innovation methods and temporary forms of occupation. At JES, Xiaowen contributes her expertise in analysis, structuring and documentation.


For me, Socialtecture means developing a new perspective on architecture and urban planning: people rather than financial capital are placed at the heart of our projects. Here, not only experts and investors meet, but also users, who can contribute their own unique perspectives. Material and space are given a human touch.


What is your vision of urban planning?

A great city should offer opportunities to lead sustainable and diverse lifestyles. Such as city should be a complete social-economic system that can answer quickly to new needs that arise among its inhabitants. That’s how a city can help people discover their own potential.


What makes co-creative work at JES so special?

As a young urban planner and researcher, I find working at JES very meaningful. Working with a team of people from different backgrounds helps me develop a more in-depth notion of cities and urban development. That’s quite different from how it works at conventional planning offices. Here, we develop new perspectives on architecture and on new forms of work. This, in turn, stimulates ideas for a sustainable, environment- and people-friendly world.