altText copyrightStatement

Shih-yang Kao

Assistant Professor

Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Personal profile

I obtained my Masters degree in Urban Planning from Harvard GSD and Ph.D (Geography) from the University of California at Berkeley. Before joining the UPD at XJTLU in 2018, I was a postdoctoral fellow and a visiting lecturer at the University of Hong Kong.

My research and teaching interrogate the history and theories of urban interventions, urban politics under climate change, and the ongoing urbanisation of Chinas economy, society and culture.I have devoted much of my research endeavour to addressing the question of how aspirations for sustainable urbanism shape state-society relations and create new forms of urban politics. This focus has pervaded my doctoral research at Berkeley, my postdoctoral research at the University of Hong Kong, and my current career at XJTLU, with the latter engaging directly with ongoing debates about urban responses to climate change. My scholarly activities along this line of inquiry have been awarded with competitive research grants and fellowships, and have resulted in publications in top-ranking international peer-reviewed journals including International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. I see these milestones together as a starting point for my long-term research goal of bringing “political ecology” into the study of the contemporary urban processes in the East Asia region. I am currently working on an co-edited book project, tentatively titled Urban Crises and Future Cities, which aims at drawing in new ideas about urban governance responding to perceived global crises such as climate change and infectious disease outbreaks.

Another line of scholarly inquiry, which I find myself increasingly drawn into these days, has to do with the question of how the cultural economy and urban (re)developments intersect and co-evolve. What has been prompting me to engage with debates in the geography of cultural economy was the several superb qualitative dissertation fieldworks conducted by XJTLU master’s and PhD students in Chinese cities, which helped me see the intricate connections between the culture industry and the production of new urban places. In this regard, I have published a research journal article (with Hui Wang) in City, Culture and Society, which examined the peculiar relocation of a film festival from the global-looking metropolis of Beijing to the less-developed city of Xining located on the hard-to-reach Tibetan Plateau.

Current PhD Supervision:

Wang, Hui (2020.12-present). When Film Festivals Arrived in Small Cities: The evolution of Chinese film production geography and urban development in inland China. The University of Liverpool; Postgraduate Research Scholarship.

Guo, Xiaotong (2023.09-present) Culture-led rural revitalisation in China: A case study of Chinese rural theatre festivals. The University of Liverpool; Postgraduate Research Scholarship.

Research interests

Critical urban and regional studies, planning theory, urban governance, economic geography, cultural economy, urban politics under climate change


Visiting Fellow, International Center for China Development Studies, University of Hong Kong (June-August, 2024)

Programme Director, MSc Urban Planning, XJTLU Design School (2021-2024)

Programme Director, MSc Urban Planning (specialisation in Urban Design), XJTLU Design School (2021-2024)


UPD401 Theory and Practice of Urban Regeneration (PG)

UPD301 Planning Law and Governance (UG)

UPD302 Planning Theory (UG)

UPD003 Building a City

UPD409 Dissertation (Urban Planning; PG)

BVN403 Dissertation (Urban Design; PG)

Courses taught at University of Hong Kong:

GEOG7124-Globalization Spatial Economic Transformation in China (PG);

GEOG7101-Chinese Economies: Location, Transformation and Integration (PG);

GEOG4101-Sustainable Urban Transport Planning (UG)

Couses taught at UC Berkeley:

GEOG110-Economic Geography of the Industrial World (UG);

POLECON110-Classical Theories of Political Economy (UG);

GEOG10-World Regions, Peoples, and States (UG)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Education/Academic qualification

Ph.D in Geography, University of California at Berkeley (with Designated Emphasis in Global Metropolitan Studies)

Master in Urban Planning, Harvard University, Graduate School of Design

BA in Economics, National Taiwan University

Person Types

  • Staff


Dive into the research topics where Shih-yang Kao is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or