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Full-time Academic Staff: Teaching Staff

Professor George C S Lin 林初昇
講座教授 副院長(研究) 英國社會科學院院士


Room 10.06

391 77023

Chair Professor of Geography,
Associate Dean (Research) of Faculty of Social Science,
Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (UK)

PhD (Brit Col); MA (Akron); MSc, BSc (Sun Yat-sen) 




Professor George C.S. Lin received his Ph.D. degree in Human Geography from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, 1994; MA in Urban Geography from the University of Akron, Ohio, USA, 1989; MSc in Economic Geography from Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China, 1984; BSc in City Planning from Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China, 1981. 

He is the author of Red Capitalism in South China: Growth and Development of the Pearl River Delta (University of British Columbia Press, Vancouver, Canada, 1997), Developing China: Land, Politics, and Social Conditions (Routledge, London, 2009), co-author of China's Urban Space: Development under Market Socialism (Routledge, London, 2007), and over 90 articles published in internationally refereed journals and books. 

His research interests include China's urban development and urbanization, land use and land management, the growth of urbanism, rural industrialization and regional development in the Pearl River Delta, transnationalism, cross-border population mobility, and the geography of Chinese diaspora.

Research Interests
  • Urban and Regional Development in China

  • Land Property Rights in China

  • Transnationalism and Chinese Diaspora

  • Social Geography of China

  • Public Policy and Regional Development

  • Economic Geography

  • Hong Kong-Guangdong Integration

Selected Publications


  • Lin, George C.S. (2021) “Drawing up the missing link: State-society interplay and the remaking of urban landscapes in Chinese cities.” Environment and Planning A London: Sage (online first).

  • Jiang, Ronghao and Lin, George C.S. (2021) “Placing China’s land marketization: The state, market and land development in Chinese cities.” Land Use Policy. London: Elsevier (online first).


  • Chao, Heng and Lin, George C.S. (2020) “Spatializing the Project of State Rescaling in a Transitional Socialist Economy: Emerging Geography of National New Areas in Post-reformed China.” Habitat International London: Elsevier (Online first).

  • Hu, Zhiyong and Lin, George C.S. (2020) “Reluctant policy innovation through profit concession and informality tolerance: A strategic relational view of policy entrepreneurship in China’s urban redevelopment.” Public Administration and Development. 40(1): 65-75. Oxford, UK: Wiley.

  • Lin, George C. S. and Kao, S. Y.  (2020)  “Contesting Eco-Urbanism from Below: the Construction of ‘Zero-Waste Neighborhood’ in Chinese cities.” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. 44 (1): 72-89. Oxford, UK: Wiley.


  • Lin, George C. S., Smart, A., Li, X. and Hu, F.Z.Y. (2019) “Financializing Chinese Cities: The state-capital nexus and the uneven geography of housing speculation.” Area Development and Policy. 4 (4)(Nov.): 436-454. London: Routledge.

  • Lin, George C. S. and Xu, Z. (2019) “Remaking China’s Urban Space of the Spectacle: Mega-events, Temporary Growth, and Uneven Spatial Transformation in Shanghai.” Geoforum 102: 126-136. DOI: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2019.03.013 (IF2018=2.926).

  • Zhou, Y., Lin, George C. S. and Zhang, J. (2019) “Urban China through the lens of Neoliberalism: Is a Conceptual Twist Enough?”  Urban Studies 56(1): 33-43. DOI: 10.1177/0042098018775367 (IF2018=3.272).


  • Xu, Z. and Lin, George C. S. (2018) “Participatory Urban Redevelopment in Chinese Cities amidst Accelerated Urbanization: Symbolic Urban Governance in Globalizing Shanghai.” Journal of Urban Affairs 1-20. DOI: 10.1080/07352166.2018.1536420 (IF2018=1.115).

  • Kao, S.Y. and Lin, George C. S. (Corresponding) (2018) “The Political Economy of Debris Dumping in Post-Mao Beijing.”  Modern China 44(3): 285-312. DOI: 10.1177/0097700417745013 (IF2018=1.100).

  • Lin, George C. S. He, C., Li, X. and Wu, Y.  (2018)  “Empowering Regional Economy with a Spectacular Space: Mega-events, Over-drafted Capital and Momentary Growth in China’s Metropolises.”  Area Development and Policy 3(1): 24-41. DOI: 10.1080/23792949.2017.1349543

  • Wang, C. C. and Lin, George C. S. (2018) “Geography of Knowledge Sourcing, Heterogeneity of Knowledge Carriers and Innovation of Clustering Firms: Evidence from China's Software Enterprises.” Habitat International 71(1): 60-69. DOI: 10.1016/j.habitatint.2017.10.012 (IF2018=3.846).


  • Lin, George C. S. and Zhang, Amy Y. M. (2017) “China’s Metropolises in Transformation: Neoliberalizing Politics, Land Commodification, and Uneven Development in Beijing.” Urban Geography 38(5): 643-665. DOI: 10.1080/02723638.2016.1139407 (IF2018=3.567).

  • He, S. J., Kong, L. and Lin, George C. S. (2017) “Interpreting China’s New Urban Spaces: State, Market, and Society in action.”  Urban Geography 38(5): 635-642. DOI: 10.1080/02723638.2016.1139404 (IF2018=3.567).

  • Lin, George C. S. (2017) “Water, Technology, Society and the Environment: Interpreting the Technopolitics of China’s South-North Water Transfer Project.” Regional Studies 51(3): 383-388. DOI: 10.1080/00343404.2016.1267339 (IF2018=3.074).

  • Lin, George C. S. (2017) “Making sense of the uneven Geography of Urban and Regional Growth in the era of Financialization: Financial Intermediation, Institutions and Markets.” Area Development and Policy 2(3): 245-250. DOI: 10.1080/23792949.2017.1347049


  • Wu, Y., Li, X. and Lin, George C. S. (2016) “Reproducing the city of the Spectacle: Mega-events, Local Debts, and Infrastructure-led Urbanization in China.” Cities 53: 51-60. DOI: 10.1016/j.cities.2016.01.004 (IF2018=3.853).


  • Lin, George C. S. (2015) “Redevelopment of China’s Construction Land: Practicing Property Rights in Cities through Renewals.” China Quarterly 224: 865-887 (Lead Article). DOI: 10.1017/S0305741015001228 (IF2018=2.236).

  • Lin, George C. S. and Zhang, Amy Y. M. (2015) “Emerging Space of Neoliberal Urbanism in China: Land Commodification, Municipal Finance, and Local Economic Growth in prefecture-level cities.” Urban Studies, 52(15): 2774-2798. DOI: 10.1177/0042098014528549 (IF2018=3.272).

  • Lin, George C. S., Yang, F. F., Li, X. and Hu, F. X. Y. (2015) “Strategizing Urbanism in the era of Neoliberalization: Power Reshuffling, Land Development, and Municipal Finance in Urbanizing China.” Urban Studies 52(11): 1962-1982. DOI: 10.1177/0042098013513644 (IF2018=3.272).

  • He, S. and Lin, George C. S. (2015) “Producing and Consuming China's New Urban Space: State, Market and Society.” Urban Studies 52(15): 2757-2773. DOI: 10.1177/0042098015604810 (IF2018=3.272).


  • Lin, George C. S. (2014) “China’s Landed Urbanization: State Power Reshuffling, Land Commodification, and Municipal Finance in the Growth of Metropolises.” Environment and Planning A 46(8): 1814-1835. DOI: 10.1068/a130016p (IF2018=2.459).

  • Liu, T. and Lin, George C. S. (2014) “New Geography of Land Commodification in Chinese cities: Uneven Landscape of Urban Land Development under Market Reforms and Globalization.” Applied Geography 51: 118-130. DOI: 10.1016/j.apgeog.2014.04.005 (IF 2018=3.068).

Last Update: September 2019

Distinctions, Prizes and Awards
  • One of the Top 50 most cited economic geographers over the past half-century ranked by age-weighted Scopus hindex (ranked No. 26) in Journal of Economic Geography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 10 (1), p.152, January 2010).

  • One of the Top 1% Scholars ranked according to ISI’s Essential Science Indicators, June 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014) <;>.

  • 2011 China Geography Outstanding Service Award, China Geography Specialty Group, Association of American Geographers, 26 April 2012, New York City, USA.

  • Zijiang Chair Professor awarded by East China Normal University, Shanghai, China, 24th March 2010.

  • Qiushi Chair Professor awarded by Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China, January 2014.

  • Outstanding Young Researcher Award 2001-2002 by The University of Hong Kong, 4 November 2002.

  • University Teaching Fellow 1997-98 by The University of Hong Kong, 1 December 1998.

​Competitive Research Grants
  • Competitive Earmarked Research Grants (GRF) awarded by the Hong Kong Research Grants Council, 30 June 2013, Principal Investigator, “China’s urbanization in question: Mega events, overdrawn capital, and uneven urban transformation in the Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou city-regions” (HK$908,868), 1 January 2014-31 December 2016.

  • National Science Foundation of China (NSFC), Principal Investigator, “Redevelopment of State-owned enterprise occupied land and urban spatial restructuring: A comparative study of Beijing, Shenyang, and Guangzhou” (RMB$800,000+RMB250,000 matching from Shenzhen Municipality), 1 January 2013-31 December 2016.

  • Australian Research Grants Council (ARC), awarded 31 October 2011, Co-Investigator, Collaborated with Carolyn Cartier, Liu Junde, Wing Shing Tang, and Hu De, “The Geography of power in China: Urban expansion and administrative empire.” (AU$183,000), 1 July 2012-30 June 2014.

  • Competitive Research Grants Awarded by National Science Foundation of China, 22 August 2011, Co-Investigator, “Technological Innovation in China’s ICT Industry: A multi-scalar perspective.” (RMB 243,000), 1 January 2012-31 December 2014.

  • Competitive Earmarked Research Grants Award by Hong Kong Research Grants Council, 30 June 2009, Principal Investigator, “China’s new dynamics of urbanization: land development and municipal finance in the Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou city-regions” (HK$932,434), 1 January 2010-31 December 2012.

  • Competitive Research Grant by Lincoln Institute of Land Policy (Cambridge, MA, USA) China Programme International Fellowship, 10 September 2008, Principal Investigator, “Land development, municipal finance, and urban expansion in globalizing China: a study of the Guangzhou metropolis” (US$27,800), 1 January-31 December 2009 (the top proposal with the highest score and one of three proposals awarded out of a pool of 48 international submissions).

Editorship of Scholarly Journals
  ISI-Listed International Journals  
  • Editorial Board Member, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers (One of the top three journals in geography, flagship journal of the Institute of British Geographers/Royal Geographical Society of the UK), 1 January 2010-31 December 2012.

  • Editorial Board Member, Annals of the Association of American Geographers (flagship journal of the Association of American Geographers), 1 January 2007-31 December 2015.

  • Editorial Board Member, The Canadian Geographer (flagship journal of the Canadian Association of Geographers), 1 January 2006 to 31 December 2008 renewed to 31 December 2015.

  • Editorial Board Member, Urban Geography (a top journal in urban geography), 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2015.

  • Editorial Board Member, Chinese Geographical Science (the only ISI-listed geographical journal published in China), 1 January 2010-31 December 2015.

  • Associate Editor, Eurasian Geography and Economics (No. 1 journal in Area Studies by impact factor 2007) January 2006 to present.

  • Guest-editor (with Dennis Wei) for two theme issues on “China’s Restless Urban Landscapes” for the journal Environment and Planning A, one of the top ten internationally refereed journals in geography, Vol. 34, No. 9 and No. 10 published by Pion in London, UK, Sep and Oct. 2002.

  • Guest-editor (with Henry Yeung) for a theme issue on “Economic geographies of Asia” for the journal Economic Geography, one of the most prestigious journals in the field with the 6th highest impact factor in Geography, Vol. 79, No. 2, published by Clark University in April 2003.

  • Guest-editor (with Roger Chan) for a theme issue on “Hong Kong: Ten Years after the Handover” for the journal China Review: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Greater China, Vol. 8, No. 1, March 2008.

  • Guest-editor for a theme issue on “Planning for China’s Great Cities” for the journal Progress in Planning Vol. 61, No. 3, June 2004 published by Elsevier in London.

  • Associate Editor, Asian Geographer (an international refereed journal on Asian Geography).

Plenary, Guest Speaker, and Invited Presentations
  • 1 February 2021:
    Invited Webinar titled “Muddling on Pathways of Urban Redevelopment: Same Rhyme, Different Tones, and Diverse Trajectories of Chinese Urbanism.” MIT/Harvard/BU Urban China Zoom Series, MIT Sustainable Urbanization Lab.

  • 8 March 2019:
    Plenary titled “Advancing Urbanism Inside-Out: State, Society and Space in the Making of Chinese Urban Landscape.” International Conference on Comparative Urbanism: Global Perspectives, Urban Studies Institute, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia.

  • 4 March 2019:
    Public Lecture titled “Remaking urban landscape in China’s large cities: State-society nexus and the reproduction of space amidst accelerate urbanization. University of California at Berkeley, Center for Chinese Studies. Berkeley, USA.

  • 5 September 2018:
    Panelist speech titled “World Cities 2050: New Challenges and Opportunities for World Philanthropy.” The World Philanthropy Forum 2018, Shanghai: Xi Jiao State Guest House.

  • 14 October 2017:
    Plenary titled “Myths and puzzles in China’s land developments and urbanization: New research frontiers and horizons?”  Peking University Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Beijing, China.

  • 9 March 2017:  
    Invited presentation “‘Profiting without Producing’ in Urban China? Hypermobile housing markets in Chinese cities amidst economic downturn and sluggish industrial production.”  Berkeley Workshop on Financialization of Cities, 9-10 March 2017, Center of Chinese Studies, UC Berkeley.

  • 13 October 2015:
    Plenary titled “Growth and Spatiality of Urbanism in Contemporary China” International Symposium Latsis 2015: The Horizontal Metropolis: A Radical Project. 12-14 October 2015. EPFL Lausanne, Switzerland.

  • 19 June 2015:
    Invited presentation titled “Land redevelopment in Chinese cities bottom up and inside out: Practicing land property rights over villages in the city amidst accelerated urbanization” International Symposium on “Land and Development” held in The University of Chicago Center in Beijing, 19-20 June, 2015. Beijing, China.

  • 17 December 2014: 
    Distinguish Public Lecture titled “China’s continuing urban transformation” University of Amsterdam, The Netherland.

  • 7 October 2014: 
    Plenary speech titled “Sustaining China’s landed urbanization: Political economy of urban expansion in China’s 2nd and 3rd-tier cities” International Conference on Urbanization in China: China’s 2nd and 3rd-tier Cities: The new Eldorado?” French Institute of International Relations, Paris, France.

  • 12 July 2014: 
    Plenary speech titled “Land, Power, and Finance: Political Economy of Land Development in Urbanizing China” International Symposium on Urban Land Use, Transport, Environment, and Finance, Peking University-Lincoln Institute Center for Urban Development and Land Policy, July 12-13, 2014. Beijing: Peking University.

  • 8 March 2014: 
    Invited Presentation titled “Land, Power, and Finance: Political economy of land grabbing in urbanizing China.” International Symposium: Why we care about land grabbing in China?  Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University.

  • 30 November 2013: 
    Plenary speech titled “Decentering geography and its new challenges to Chinese geographers” at The 2013 Annual Conference of the Geographical Society of China (South China), 30 November-2 December 2013, Guangzhou: Geographical Research Institute of Guangzhou.

  • 16 November 2013: 
    Plenary speech titled “Ideology, explanation, and knowledge production in critical geographic research” at National Conference for Post-doctoral Fellows in Geography, 16-17 November 2013, Guangzhou: Sun Yat-sen University.

  • 14 July 2013: 
    Plenary speech titled “Changing theoretical perspectives in human geography” at International Workshop of China Social and Cultural Geography, 12-16 July 2013, Guangzhou: South China Normal University.

  • 25 June 2012: 
    Plenary speech titled “Landed regional development in China under neoliberalization: state power reshuffling, land commodification, and local public finance in the Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou city-regions” at Global Conference 2012: Sustaining Regional Future organized by Regional Studies Association of the UK, 24-27 June 2012, Beijing, China.

  • 17 March 2012: 
    Plenary speech titled “Strategizing urbanism in the era of neoliberalization: power reshuffling, land development, and municipal finance in urbanizing China” at the International Conference of Urban Revolution in the Age of Global Urbanism, organized by 16-20 March 2012, Jakarta, Indonesia. 

  • 17 December 2011: 
    Plenary speech titled “The rise of China and its new challenges to the studies of human geography” at The Fifth National Scholarly Salon on Human Geography, Guangzhou, China, 17-18 December 2011.

  • 24 August 2010: 
    Invited jointly by Sun Yat-sen University and University of Oregon as one of the four plenary speakers to deliver a plenary speech titled “Changing perspectives in economic geography” at an International Advanced Training Workshop on Progress in Human Geography held in Guangzhou, 23-25 August 2010.

  • 25 September 2009:
    Invited by the University of British Columbia, Department of Geography, as one of the six distinguished alumni to deliver a plenary speech titled “Decentering geography in the globalizing world: celebrating UBC area studies tradition over fifty years.” UBC Geography at Fifty, Vancouver, Canada, 25 September 2009.

  • 1 July 2009:
    Invited by East China Normal University, Shanghai, China to deliver my Zijiang Chair Professor Inauguration Speech titled “The rise of China: challenges and opportunities for the study of economic geography”, Shanghai, China, 1 July 2009.

  • 7 January 2009:
    Invited by the Urban China Research Network to give a plenary speech titled “Understanding China’s urban land development” at the International Conference on Contemporary Urban China Research, Guangzhou, China, 6-8 January 2009.

  • 19 December 2008:
    Invited by the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS)’s Institute of Geographical Research to give a plenaryspeech titled “Playing with words or playing with numbers? The art and science of research in economic geography” at The Fourth National Scholarly Salon on Human Geography, Beijing, China, 19-20 December 2008.

  • 23 April 2005: 
    Plenary paper titled “Evolving urbanism and suburbanism in globalizing China: convergence or divergence?” at the International Conference on China’s Urban Development and Transformation in the 21st Century, Shanghai, China, 23-24 April 2005.

  • 4-6 June 2001:
    Invited presentation titled “Chinese cities in transition: dual-track urbanization in a transitional socialist economy.” At the International Conference on Urbanizing World and UN Human Habitat II, New York: Columbia University.

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