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Meet Professor Yiping Fang
Meet Professor Yiping Fang

Assosciate Professor of Urban Studies and Planning

Bridging local and global planning practice

Ph.D. Design and Planning, University of Colorado at Denver
M.A. Urban Planning, Tsinghua University, Beijing
B.A. Architecture, Tsinghua University, Beijing


  • Assosciate Professor of Urban Studies and Planning
  • PSU-China Innovations in Urbanization Program
  • Student Advisor

Housing and inequality in Chinese cities; international planning;


  • USP 399 GIS for Community Development
  • USP 531 GIS for Planners
  • USP 547 Planning in Developing Countries

Residential Satisfaction Conceptual Framework Revisited: A Study on Redeveloped Neighborhoods in Inner City Beijing, 2005.



Office: URBN 370U
Phone: (503) 725-8263

Professor Yiping Fang brings international planning expertise with a focus on China, public housing, and equity issues. Integral to the PSU-China Innovations in Urbanization Program, Dr. Fang develops academic exchange opportunities between her home country of China, Portland, and the Toulan School. Her research focuses on social and spatial inequality in Chinese cities between local and migrant households as well as international planning. She teaches courses in GIS, international planning, and planning in developing countries. Dr. Fang facilitates a weekly seminar on China related topics and issues. 

Prior to joining PSU in 2011, Professor Fang taught at the Erasmus University in the Netherlands. As part of the Institute for Urban Housing and Urban Development she worked in a Master of Urban Management Program with international students as an academic faculty. Her research and teaching there mostly involved capacity building for urban management professionals from developing countries. Portland’s bike culture reminds her of aspects of her time in the Netherlands.  

As a research associate in the Sociology Department at Brown University in 2006-2007, Professor Fang studied the impact of housing reforms in urban China. She examined the urban and rural divide of housing policies, where rural Chinese migrants to the city receive second class treatment with limited access to housing. China’s historic institutional discrimination and inequitable distribution of services to its residents remains a primary focus of her research. She has co-authored several articles on the social impacts of China’s housing reform in Housing Studies, Espace Populations Sociétés, and International Journal of Urban and Regional Research.

Professor Fang sees tremendous opportunity in the exchange of ideas, practice, and learning between China and Portland. With China’s rampant urban growth and Portland’s reputation for successful planning, she acts as a bridge linking cultures, communities, and academic institutions. She envisions broadening the Toulan School’s international program to include more comparative research and exchange with other countries and cultures. In the classroom, Professor Fang sees herself as a facilitator in teaching and believes students are here “to learn how to learn.” She enjoys the interaction with students and thinks “learning by doing” and critical thinking are important for planning students. 

What Professor Fang has to say...

BEST PARTS OF JOB: The reward of teaching and the freedom of exploring questions that fascinate me.

VISION FOR THE TOULAN SCHOOL: I would like to see the China program develop and broaden into an international program that brings in other countries. I would also like to promote diversity in the School. Diversity feeds more discussion, more interaction, and more understanding.

HOW I FIT INTO THAT VISION? I have a research interest in China and want to support that exchange through conducting comparative research between Portland and Chinese cities. China has such a high rate of urban development and Portland is known for urban planning success. I see opportunities for dialogue and learning between both sides. I can be a bridge to help make this process happen.

ON INTERACTING WITH STUDENTS: I approach students as a friend and many of them did become friends after they left university. I feel the best way to solve problems is to be open and that only frank and honest discussions can resolve misunderstandings and misconceptions. Because I’m a foreigner, I have many things I need to learn from students. In a recent class I learned what a veterinarian was...see I’m still learning myself!

Development as Freedom, by Amartya Sen

PREFERRED GRADING APPARATUS: I avoid red because growing up I was graded in red and hated it. But I don’t use pencil, instead I use something with ink.

TRAVEL PLANS: Beijing, China for my own research and to Hong Kong and India this winter.