Yimin  Zhao

Yimin Zhao

PhD in Human Geography & Urban Studies

Department of Geography and Environment

Room No
STC 5.04
Connect with me

About me

Yimin Zhao did his PhD in Human Geography and Urban Studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science from 2012 to 2017. He holds a BA in Urban Management (2009) and an MSc in Urban and Regional Economics (2011), both from Peking University in Beijing, China. Yimin finished two spells of fieldwork for thesis writing in Beijing from 2014 to 2015, funded by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) and the Great Britain-China Centre. He was a visiting research student at Peking University when in the field, supported by the LSE-PKU Partnership PhD Mobility Scheme. Yimin passed his viva voce with no corrections in September 2017 and obtained the certificate of PhD degree in October 2017.

View Yimin's CV.

Research interests

Space and power
Urban planning and urban policies
Land politics and social justice
Comparative urban studies
Urban ethnography
China, East Asia and Global South

Thesis title and abstract

Title: The hegemony of urbanisation: Questioning the production of space by the state in Beijing’s green belts

Abstract: This thesis investigates the state question in the context of China’s urban metamorphosis, with Beijing’s green belts as the study site. Formerly a place of realising the socialist-modernist vision, the imaginary green belts in Beijing have been rendered the centre of state-led and land-based accumulation strategies in the last two decades’ transition of that city. By investigating power dynamics associated with the deformed green belts, this thesis shows both the agency and agents of the urban metamorphosis and uncovers the underlying logic of the state that puts into use various governmental techniques to reproduce its relations of production in and by the urban space. It concludes that the green belts have become the new urban frontier in which the hegemony of urbanisation is consolidated in the course of the state’s reconfiguration of governmental techniques. And it is this hegemony that conveys the reproduction of the “socialist” relations of production and, in the end, the persistence of the Party-state regime.


• GY140 Methods in Spatial and Social Analysis (undergraduate course; 2016)
• GY302 Urban Development: Politics, Policy and Planning (undergraduate course; 2015 and 2016)
• LPS-GY201 Speculative Urbanisation in Asia (2015 and 2016, for LSE-PKU Summer School in Beijing)
• LSE-IR203 An Urbanising World: The Future of Global Cities (2016, for LSE Summer School in London)


  • Zhao, Yimin. 2017. “Space as method: Field sites and encounters in Beijing’s green belts.City 21(2), 190-206. DOI: 10.1080/13604813.2017.1353342
  • Liu, Xingjian and Yimin Zhao. (forthcoming; expected in November 2017). “Regional Development.” In A. M. Orum (ed.) The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Urban and Regional Studies, Wiley-Blackwell
  • Shin, Hyun Bang and Yimin Zhao. (forthcoming; expected in January 2018). “Official urbanism as a state project: Lessons from Beijing’s green belts.” In M. Jayne (ed.) Chinese Urbanism: Everyday Critical Perspectives, Routledge

Academic Supervisors

Dr Hyun Bang Shin
Dr Alan Mace