Yue Zhang is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She received her Ph.D. in Politics from Princeton University. Her principal research interest is comparative urban politics and policies with a focus on urban governance, politics of land development, urbanization in developing countries, and globalization. Professor Zhang received the Norton Long Young Scholar Award in 2009 and the Stone Scholar Award in 2010, both from the American Political Science Association's Urban Politics Section. She is the author of The Fragmented Politics of Urban Preservation: Beijing, Chicago, and Paris (University of Minnesota Press, 2013). Her other published work has appeared in Urban Affairs Review, Town Planning Review, The China Quarterly, among others. She has been consultant to UNESCO, the European Commission, and the municipal governments of Paris, São Paulo, and Guangzhou on issues related to historic preservation, sustainable urban development, and municipal reform.

Project Summary

This project investigates the expansion and governance of megacities in China, India, and Brazil by examining the various informal housing practices in these countries. Rapid urbanization in the Global South is a defining phenomenon of the 21st century. One of the most important and common characteristics of urban expansion in southern metropolises is the development of informal housing that falls outside of government control or regulation. How well policy makers are able to respond to the challenges posed by informal housing will have significant impact on the lives of billions of urban dwellers as well as affect the urban future of the world. By identifying and comparing the major forms of informal housing production in the three large developing countries, the project seeks to unpack their complex urban political process and illuminate the policy decisions on how to promote inclusive and livable cities.

Major Publications

The Fragmented Politics of Urban Preservation: Beijing, Chicago, and Paris. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

"Governing Art Districts: State Control and Cultural Production in Contemporary China." The China Quarterly, vol. 219, pp. 827-848.

"Boundaries of Power: Politics of Urban Preservation in Two Chicago Neighborhoods." Urban Affairs Review, vol. 47, no. 4, pp. 511-540.