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Prof Le-Yin Zhang
34 Tavistock Square
Tel: 020 7679 5809
Fax: 020 7679 1112
Prof Le-Yin Zhang profile picture
  • Professor of Urban Economic Development
  • Development Planning Unit
  • Faculty of the Built Environment

Le-Yin Zhang is Professor of Urban Economic Development at the Development Planning Unit (DPU), UCL

She has a first degree (BSc in Geography) from the Beijing Normal University and a PhD (in Planning Studies) from the University of London.  

Before joining UCL in 1997, Le-Yin had previously worked on full-time basis for: Zhejiang Institute of Education, PRC; Constance University, Germany; University of Greenwich, UK.  She has also served as a consultant for a variety of international organisations and national and local governments (see Achievements for details).

She is a development economist specialised in economic development and management of cities.  Her publications range from inward foreign direct investment, industrialisation and clustering; Chinese economic reform, the central-local fiscal relationship and economic development in Shanghai; relationships between climate change,
industrialisation, the green economy, low-carbon transitions and city development strategies (for a full publications list, go to the tab Publications above).  She is the author of Managing the City Economy: Challenges and Strategies in Developing Countries (Routledge, 2015) and a co-editor of Finance for City Leaders Handbook (UN-Habitat, 2016).

She has teaching, research and consultancy experiences in mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Germany, Egypt, Iran, Ghana, Uganda, Ethiopia, as well as the UK.

Research Summary

 Le-Yin has wide-ranging research interests, covering urbanisation, globalisation, climate change and macro-economic reform and their effects on cities; the role of the state in economic development and global/world city formation; climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies in developing countries in general and their cities in particular.

Her current research activities focus on the low-carbon transition in China and governmentality. 

Her research also investigates: 

1). The role of the state in urban low-carbon transitions 
2). Economic development strategies for cities
3). Municipal finance and green finance

Teaching Summary
MSc level teaching: DEVP0018: Managing the City Economy (a core module of MSc Urban Economic Development)

PhD projects under her primary supervision:
  • 'Evaluating the Effects of Halal Standards and their Implementation on the Development of Halal Agro-food Businesses in the Context of Islamic Governance in Brunei'
  • 'Back to the City Movement in Latin America: Assessing the economic impact of densification through repopulation of inner cities at the local level'
  • 'Policy Learning at Work: Investigating the Development of Ethiopia's Industrial Zones Programme with Engagements from China'

Applications from prospective PhD students in the following research areas are welcome:
  1. Low-carbon transition
  2. Urban economic development strategies
  3. Urban sustainability
  4. Green finance or municipal finance

01-OCT-2017 Professor of Urban Economic Development Development Planning Unit University College London, United Kingdom
01-SEP-2008 – 30-SEP-2017 Senior Lecturer Department Planning Unit University College London, United Kingdom
01-SEP-1997 – 31-AUG-2008 Lecturer Development Planning Unit University College London, United Kingdom
1994 – 31-AUG-1997 Research Fellow School of Humanities University of Greenwich, United Kingdom
1993 – 1994 Research Associate Department of Economics and Statistics University of Constance, Germany
SEP-1983 – AUG-1985 Research Officer Office of Teaching Studies Education Commission of Zhejiang Provincial Government, China
SEP-1983 – AUG-1985 Assistant lecturer Geography Zhejiang Institute of Education, China
Academic Background
1991   Doctor of Philosophy University of London
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