Dr Eric Chu PhD

Dr Eric Chu

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

Contact details

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

Dr Eric Chu’s research and teaching focuses on climate change adaptation and resilience, urban politics and governance, and development planning in cities across the global North and South. His work features in highly cited peer-review journals as well as foundational books in the fields of urban planning, environmental geography, urban justice and equity, and global development.


  • PhD in Environmental Policy and Planning (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2015)
  • MUP in Urban and Regional Planning (University of Michigan, 2010)
  • MSc in Environmental Policy and Planning (University of Michigan, 2010)
  • BSc in Natural Resources (Cornell University, 2007)


Dr Eric Chu joined the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Birmingham as Lecturer in Planning and Human Geography in July 2017. Prior to Birmingham, he was Assistant Professor of Urban Studies in the Department of Geography, Planning and International Development Studies at the University of Amsterdam. He holds a PhD from the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2015), where he was a Presidential Fellow, a David L. Boren Fellow in national security, and a Martin Fellow in environmental sustainability.

Postgraduate supervision

Potential students interested in areas of urban sustainability, climate change policy, city/town planning, comparative urban theory, international development and environmental geography can contact Dr Chu directly, or visit his FindAPhD page for available opportunities.


ORCID, 0000-0002-5648-6615
ResearchID, O-6464-2015
Google Scholar

Research Interests 

  • Climate change adaptation and resilience
  • Environment and society
  • Urban planning and governance
  • Urbanisation and development
  • Governance reform and policy change in cities

Other activities

Dr Chu recently served as a chapter scientist for Chapter 14 in Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report (2014), as well as a contributing author to the US National Climate Assessment’s Urban Technical Report (2014) and the US Global Change Research Program (2017).

Dr Chu also previously worked at the World Resources Institute in Washington DC, and held consultancy positions at the World Bank, the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and other multilateral institutions.


Chu, E. (2017) Urban Climate Adaptation and the Reshaping of State-Society Relations: The Politics of Community Knowledge and Mobilization in Indore, India. Urban Studies

Chu, E., I. Anguelovski, and D. Roberts (2017) Climate Adaptation as Strategic Urbanism: Assessing Opportunities and Uncertainties for Equity and Inclusive Development in Cities. Cities, 60: 378-387. 

Harris, L., E. Chu, and G. Ziervogel (2017) Negotiated Resilience. Resilience: International Policies, Practices and Discourses. 

Chu, E. and T. Schenk. (2017) Communicating About Climate Change With Urban Populations and Decision-Makers. In: The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Climate Science [M. Nisbet (ed.)]. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. 

Ziervogel, G., M. Pelling, A. Cartwright, E. Chu, T. Deshpande, L. Harris, K. Hyams, J. Kaunda, B. Klaus, K. Michael, L. Pasquini, R. Pharoah, L. Rodina, D. Scott, and P. Zweig. (2017) Inserting Rights and Justice into Urban Resilience: A Focus on Everyday Risk. Environment and Urbanization, 29(1): 123-138. 

Chu, E., I. Anguelovski, and D. Roberts (2017) Urban Climate Adaptation in the Global South: Justice and Inclusive Development in a New Planning Domain. In: The Routledge Companion to Planning in the Global South [G. Bhan, S. Srinivas, and V. Watson (eds)]. Routledge. 

Anguelovski, I., A.L. Brand, E. Chu, and K. Goh (2017) Urban Planning, Community (Re)development, and Environmental Gentrification: Emerging Challenges for Green and Equitable Neighborhoods. In: The Routledge Handbook of Environmental Justice [R. Holifield, J. Chakraborty, and G. Walker (eds.)]. Routledge. 

Gupta, J, E. Chu, K. Bos, and T. Kuijten (2017) The Geo-Ecological Risks of Oil Investments by China and the Global South: The Right to Development Revisited. In: The Transnationalization of China’s Oil Industry [M.P. Amineh and Y. Guang (eds.)]. Brill: Leiden, Netherlands. 

Chu, E. (2016) The Governance of Climate Change Adaptation through Urban Policy Experiments. Environmental Policy and Governance, 26(6): 439-451. 

Chu, E. (2016) The Political Economy of Urban Climate Adaptation and Development Planning in Surat, India.  Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 34(2): 281-298. 

Anguelovski, I., L. Shi, E. Chu, D. Gallagher, K. Goh, Z. Lamb, K. Reeve, and H. Teicher (2016) Equity Impacts of Urban Land Use Planning for Climate Adaptation: Critical Perspectives from the Global North and South. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 36(3): 333-348. 

Chu, E. (2016) Mobilising Adaptation: Community Knowledge and Urban Governance Innovations in Indore, India. In:  Urban Poverty and Climate Change: Life in the Slums of Asia, Africa and Latin America [M. Roy, S. Cawood, M. Hordijk, and D. Hulme (eds.)]. Routledge. Pp. 238-254. 

Shi, L., E. Chu, and J. Carmin (2016) Global Patterns of Adaptation Planning: Results from a Global Survey. In: The Routledge Handbook of Urbanization and Global Environmental Change [K.C. Seto, W.D. Solecki, and C.A. Griffith (eds.)]. Routledge. Pp. 336-349. 

Shi, L., E. Chu, I. Anguelovski, A. Aylett, J. Debats, D. Dodman, K. Goh, D. Roberts, J.T. Roberts, T. Schenk, K.C. Seto, and S.A. VanDeveer (2016) Roadmap towards Justice in Urban Climate Adaptation Research.  Nature Climate Change, 6: 131-137. 

Chu, E., I. Anguelovski, and J. Carmin (2016) Inclusive Approaches to Urban Climate Change Adaptation Planning and Implementation in the Global South.  Climate Policy, 16(3): 372-392. 

Shi, L., E. Chu, and J. Debats (2015) Explaining Progress in Climate Adaptation Planning across 156 U.S. Municipalities.  Journal of the American Planning Association, 81(3): 191-202. 

Carmin, J., K. Tierney, E. Chu, L. Hunter, L. Shi, and J.T. Roberts (2015) Adaptation to Climate Change. In:  Climate Change and Society: Sociological Perspectives [R.E. Dunlap and R.J. Brulle (eds.)]. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. Pp. 249-303. 

Chu, E. (2015) Urban Development and Climate Adaptation: Implications for Policymaking and Governance in Indian Cities. In:  Urban Opportunities: Perspectives on Climate Change, Resilience, Inclusion, and the Informal Economy [A. Garland (ed.)]. Washington, DC: The Woodrow Wilson Center Press. Pp. 6-29. 

Anguelovski, I., E. Chu, and J. Carmin (2014) Variations in Approaches to Urban Climate Adaptation: Experiences and Experimentation from the Global South.  Global Environmental Change, 27: 156-167. 

Nay, J.J., M. Abkowitz, E. Chu, D. Gallagher, and H. Wright (2014) A Review of Decision-Support Models for Adaptation to Climate Change in the Context of Development.  Climate and Development, 6(4): 357-367. 

Noble, I., S. Huq, et al. (2014) Chapter 14: Adaptation Needs and Options. In: Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Working Group II Contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC. [C. Field, V. Barros, et al. (eds.)]. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. Pp. 833-868. 

Carmin, J., D. Dodman, and E. Chu (2013) Urban Climate Adaptation and Leadership: From Conceptual to Practical Understanding. OECD Regional Development Working Paper 2013/26. Paris, France: Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD). 

Carmin, J., D. Dodman, and E. Chu (2013) Engaging Stakeholders in Urban Climate Adaptation: Early Lessons from Early Adaptors.  UGEC Viewpoints, 6: 8-10. 

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