Urban Transformations: Urban Development, Migration, Segregation and Inequality

Urban Transformations: Urban Development, Migration, Segregation and Inequality


Urbanization and urban transformation in China is one of the most important aspects of global development in the 21st century. The fast speed of changes and the complexity of development in major Chinese cities pose a great challenge to urban researchers in China.

‌This International Centre Partnership brings together researchers from three leading urban research organisations: the Urban Big Data Centre at University of Glasgow, the Applied Quantitative Methods Network (AQMeN) at University of Sheffield, and the CASS Institute of Urban and Environmental Studies in Beijing. It will allow collaborative and comparative research on three important and interrelated urban development issues of migration, segregation and inequality, and will make significant contributions in research findings, new methods, theoretical development and policy impact.

This partnership will fulfil the core aim of the Newton Fund, through the development of close scientific and innovative research collaboration and promoting the economic development and welfare of Chinese people, especially the 250 million migrant workers living in cities and towns.

Aims and Approach

In order to achieve the above aim and project objectives, our partnership activities will include research training through workshops, summer school and international symposium with people mobility in both directions in every year; a series of collaborative and innovative pilot research projects; and several important knowledge exchange and impact events and activities to influence future research agenda and government policy development.

The partnership includes a total of 27, from University of Glasgow, University of Sheffield, and Institute of Urban and Environmental Studies of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. It will involve a large number of other researchers, early careers and PhD students from these institutions and beyond, and government officials, policy makers, and civil society representatives.


  • Ya Ping Wang (Principal Investigator), Urban Studies, University of Glasgow 
  • Yu Chen (Co-Investigator), East Asian Studies, University of Sheffield 
  • Gwilym Pryce (Co-Investigator), Sheffield Methods Institute, University of Sheffield 
  • Piyushimita (Vonu) Thakuriah (Co-Investigator), Urban Big Data Centre, University of Glasgow
  • Guanpeng Dong, Geography and Planning, University of Liverpool
  • Nema Dean, Mathematics & Statistics, University of Glasgow
  • Yeran Sun, Urban Big Data Centre, University of Glasgow
  • Keith Kintrea, Urban Studies, University of Glasgow 

Project Dates

Sep 2015 to Aug 2018


Coming soon...


The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)