To safeguard the overall quality of the development of urban and rural areas, as increasingly addressed in China’s strategic policy documents, there is an urgent need to provide a new vision for planning education, nurturing an interdisciplinary learning environment that can promote critical thinking as a basis for action or intervention. The urban and rural nexus highlights an area of particular tension as it works to house existing villagers alongside the rising middle classes keen for a more suburban/rural aspect (see Sturzacker and Law in this volume). This challenges planners to think beyond the scope of statutory systems and consider planning as an activity that professionals facilitate, rather than own or monopolize. The planning education system should, therefore, equip prospective planners with not only professional knowledge, but the capability to involve a range of stakeholders in more genuinely collaborative ways. On the urban fringe where very diverse social groups and needs meet, this ability to involve the range of stakeholders in decision-making processes is all the more important.