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Department of Architecture



Tianren Yang is a Research Associate at the Martin Centre for Architectural and Urban Studies, University of Cambridge. He is interested in developing advanced urban analytics and modelling to provide an all-round understanding of how cities evolve, particularly in relation to technology, policy and human behaviour. His current research explores integrated policy perspectives to measure and predict how to maximise economic, environmental and social benefits through the spatial coordination of various urban developments (e.g. housing, jobs and transport).

As a chartered urban planner, Tianren consults widely for industry in real estate and city development, endeavouring to apply research insights to practical decision-making. He has worked for the China Development Bank, Boston Consulting Group, and EPSRC Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction on analysing and modelling large-scale urban changes. So far, he has taken part in the development of computer models for several dominant city regions in the UK (Greater London and Cambridge), the USA (Chicago Metropolitan Area) and China (Greater Shanghai and Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei), which was recently acknowledged by the PhD Student Award from the Cambridge Society for the Application of Research.


Applied urban modelling; urban analytics; urban spatial structure


Key publications: 

Yang, T. (2020). Understanding commuting patterns and changes: Counterfactual analysis in a planning-support framework. Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science, 47(8), 1440-1455.

Pan, H., Yang, T.*, Jin, Y., Dall’Erba, S., & Hewings, G. (2020). Understanding heterogeneous spatial production externalities as a missing link between land use planning and urban economic futures. Regional Studies. DOI: 10.1080/00343404.2019.1701186. 

Hu, L., Yang, J., Yang, T., Tu, Y., & Zhu, J. (2020). Urban spatial structure and travel in ChinaJournal of Planning Literature, 35(1), 6-24.

Yang, T., Jin, Y., Yan, L., & Pei, P. (2019). Aspirations and realities of polycentric development: Insights from multi-source data into the emerging urban form of ShanghaiEnvironment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science, 46(7), 1264-1280. 

Yang, T., Pan, H., Hewings, G., & Jin, Y. (2019). Understanding urban sub-centers with heterogeneity in agglomeration economies—Where do emerging commercial establishments locate? Cities, 86, 25-36. 

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Architecture
Research Fellow, Clare Hall