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Department of
Geography & Environment


Houghton Street

London WC2A 2AE


Yimin Zhao

PhD candidate in Human Geography & Urban Studies


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Room: STC 5.04, St Clement Building, Houghton Street, London, WC2A 2AE, UK

Yimin Zhao is a PhD candidate in Human Geography and Urban Studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), where he has studied and worked since 2012. 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 just finished fieldwork for thesis writing in Beijing from July to December 2014, 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 is now in the writing-up stage of his thesis project, and is teaching GY302 Urban Development: Politics, Policy and Planning in this academic year (Lent Term section).

Research Interests

Thesis Title: In the Name of “Greenbelt:” Planning, Land and Modernity in Making Beijing’s Local State Space.

Yimin's thesis project examines the building of “Greenbelt” in Beijing (from 1994 onward) to investigate China’s modernity in evolution and its articulation with the urban space/ planning institutions. It also aims to uncover the political economic pattern of local states' endeavours in making “local state space” in China’s urban process. Aiming to contribute to the literature on comparative urbanism and state theories, his research employs an “extended case method” to do ethnography in a reflexive way, by attending adequately to temporal and spatial contexts beyond specific cases.

Other research interests: 

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

Academic Supervisors


Yimin Zhao
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