Dr Yueming Zhang PhD

Dr Yueming Zhang

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Lecturer in Human Geography

Contact details

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Yueming Zhang works in areas of urban, economic, and cultural geography, with interests in political economy of urban land and built environment, geographies of global art worlds, theorizations of place and space, urbanization and urban politics of China, and postcolonial theories and decolonization, particularly in Asia.


  • PhD, Geography, Clark University, 2016
  • MPhil, Geography, The University of Hong Kong, 2011
  • BA, Urban and Regional Management, Peking University, 2009


Yueming joined the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences as Lecturer in Human Geography in 2017. She received her PhD in Geography (2016) from the Graduate School of Geography at Clark University. Her doctoral research, funded by the Foundation for Urban and Regional Studies (FURS), examined the processes and impacts of derelict industrial compounds being turned into studio and gallery spaces and being institutionalized as official arts districts in Chinese cities. Yueming also completed a MPhil in Geography (2011) at The University of Hong Kong with a research project on commodification of urban land in Beijing, China.


  • Contemporary Human Geography
  • Year 1 Tutorial

Postgraduate supervision

Yueming would be happy to hear from potential PhD students with interests in the following areas and topics: 

  • Political economy of urban land and built environment
  • Politics of urban regeneration in the “creative” and “smart” era
  • Policy mobilities and production of urban knowledge
  • Place-making
  • Aesthetics and materialities of post-industrial urban landscape
  • The intersection of art and cities / the urban
  • Postcolonial and comparative urban research
  • Asian cities
  • Innovative and critical qualitative research methods


Yueming’s research focuses mainly on four areas:

  1. Political economy of urban land and built environment, particularly political economic dynamics underlying post-industrial urban redevelopment and the roles played by historical and material elements in such processes.
  2. Urban configurations of art worlds: urban places produced by/for arts; arts’ and artists’ roles in producing knowledge and understandings of the “urban everyday”.
  3. Policy mobilities, particularly in Asia: how policies initiated in other contexts are brought to, learned by, altered, and adopted in Asian cities; manifestations and effects of intra-Asia learning and policy mobilities.
  4. Relational understandings of places: the power relations and negotiations in producing, framing, consuming, and contesting urban places.

ORCID: 0000-0002-7098-5197 

Scopus Author ID: 56918994700

Other activities

Conference organization:

  • 2017, co-organizer and co-chair, two sessions on “China as Methods”, American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting, with Yimin Zhao (LSE) and Yang Yang (University of Colorado – Boulder)
  • 2016, co-organizer and co-chair, three sessions on “Global Art Worlds and a World of Cities”, American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting, with Murray McKenzie (University College London) 


  • 2014 - Peer Review: Urban Studies
  • 2014-2015 Graduate student representative, China Geography Specialty Group, Association of American Geographers


Lin, G. C. S., and A. Y. Zhang. forthcoming. China’s metropolises in transformation: Neoliberalizing politics, land commodification, and uneven development in Beijing. Urban Geography, DOI: 10.1080/02723638.2016.1139407

A. Y. Zhang. 2016. Arts districts or art-themed parks: Arts districts repurposed by/for Chinese governments. In J. Wang, T. Oakes, and Y. Yang (eds.) Making Culture Cities in Asia: Mobility, Assemblage and the Politics of Aspirational Urbanism. London: Routledge, 69-79.

Lin, G. C. S., and A. Y. Zhang. 2015. Emerging spaces of neoliberal urbanism in China: Land commodification, municipal finance, and local economic growth in prefecture-level cities. Urban Studies, 52(15) 2774-2798.

View all publications in research portal