Before joining the planning in Manchester, I was an assistant professor at the Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology Chinese Academy of Sciences and a researcher at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
My research interests include spatial development in China and its sustainable challenges in the process of rapid urbanisation and industrialisation. Currently, I am conducting a 3-year Hallsworth Research Fellowship on the project to examine the dynamic interactions between High-speed Rail development and sustainable spatial growth in China.
In general, my research analysis tends to use eastern China as the empirical testbed as it is relatively more developed to allow meaningful analysis of the dynamic process of change. More specifically, my research focuses on three inter-related areas: First, I collect land use change data and social-economic data to detect the spatial restructuring process and its mechanisms in the Yangtze River Delta. Some geographical information system-based statistical methods and spatial modelling are usually employed to perform the analysis. Second, I focus on the governance issues of spatial development, i.e., the challenges and hurdles of implementing urban and regional plans. Both quantitative and qualitative data such as government policies/plans, statistical materials, and stakeholders interviews are collected and analysed. Third, I review the evolution of the spatial planning system against the broader context of China’s transition from the planned economy to the market-oriented economy. I try to find out how the spatial planning system has been restructured to adapt to the changing context of political economy through analysing the evolution of planning discourses and the institutional factors of their production.