Profile picture of Yizhao Yang

Yizhao Yang

SCI-China Program Director
Phone: 541-346-0833
Office: 115 Hendricks Hall


2007     Ph.D., Cornell University (major: Urban Planning, minor: Development Sociology)

2001     M.R.P. (Master of Regional Planning), Cornell University

1998     M.S. Building Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing, P. R. China

1995     B.Arch. Architecture, Tianjin University, Tianjin, P. R. China

My interdisciplinary research examines the interplay among "Place, Policy, and People" in the context of fostering sustainable urban development and creating livable communities. My scholarship focuses primarily on two key domains: the intricate relationship between policy and place, and the dynamic interaction between place and people. In the realm of policy and place, I investigate how cultural and institutional factors shape sustainable planning policies, examining the transferability of place-based policies across diverse urban contexts. My research extends across various Asian countries, analyzing the formulation and implementation of sustainable urban development policies. Presently, I'm studying Voluntary Local Reviews in Japanese cities to identify adaptable, effective strategies for global application. Within the domain of place and people, my research explores how individuals' environments impact their behaviors and overall well-being, taking into account personal traits such as attitudes and preferences. The overarching goal of this aspect of my research is to identify effective placemaking strategies that foster the creation of inclusive, livable communities. My research has received support from prestigious funding agencies, including the US-Japan Fulbright Commission, US National Institute for Transportation and Communities, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

Journal Articles

Meng, S*., Y. Yang, & R. Lewis, Subjective vs. Objective: The Divergence between Perceived Walkability and Walk Score during the Pandemic'. Transp Res Rec. Published online 2023 Apr 22. doi: 10.1177/03611981231165023 *Ph.D. student advisee

Yang, Y., Lewis, R., & Parker, R. (2022). How Accessibility and Transportation Options Affect Neighborhood Livability: Evidence from the 2017 Oregon Livability Survey. Planning Practice & Research, 1–23.

Wu, Hong, Yizhao Yang, and Jie Hu. “Nurturing Nature in a Mega-City: A Decadal Assessment of the Beijing Olympic Forest Park.” Socio-Ecological Practice Research 3, no. 2 (2021): 91–108. (Editor’s Choice)

Yang, Y., Lei Zhang, Yumin Ye, and Zhifang Wang. “Curbing Sprawl with Development-Limiting Boundaries in Urban China: A Review of Literature.” Journal of Planning Literature 35, no. 1 (February 1, 2020): 25–40.

Rollings, K.A., Wells, N.M., Evans, G.W., Bednarz, A., & Yang, Y.  Housing and neighborhood physical quality: children 's mental health and learned helplessness.  Journal of Environmental Psychology. Volume 50, June 2017, Pages 17-23

Yang, Y. and Jie Hu. Sustainable Urban Design with Chinese Characteristics: Inspiration from the Shan-Shui City Idea. Articulo – Journal of Urban Research. 2016 (14): Ecourbanism Worldwide.

Wei, D., L. Chen, and Y. Yang. Experience and Implications of Livable City Construction Practice in Portland, Oregon, the USA. Urban Planning International, 2016 Issue 5. DOI:10.22217/upi.2016.325 (in Chinese)

Kim, J., R. Steiner, and Y. Yang. The evolution of transportation concurrency and urban development pattern in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Urban Affairs Review.  2015, Vol. 50 No. 5. 672-701.

McDonald, N. R. Steiner, C. Lee, T. Smith, X. Zhu, and Y. Yang. Impact of the Safe Routes to School Program on Walking and Bicycling, Journal of American Planning Association. Vol 80, No.2, 2014 pp153-167.

Yang, Y., and K. O'Neill*. Understanding factors affecting people’s attitude toward living in compact and mixed-use environments, a case study of a New Urbanist Project in Eugene, OR. Journal of Urbanism. Volume 7, Issue 1, 2014. Pp1-22 *: Master student advisee

Yang, Y., and J. Stockard. 2013. Do smart-growth environments benefit single mothers? Evidence from 30 MSAs using the American Housing Survey Data. Journal of Planning Education and Research 33 (4):411-426.

McDonald, N., Y. Yang, S. Abbott, and A. Bullock. 2013. Impact of the Safe Routs to School program on walking and biking: Eugene, Oregon study. Transport Policy 29:243-248.

Chen, L.*, W. Zhang, Y. Yang, and J. Yu. 2013. Disparities in residential environment and satisfaction among urban residents in Dalian, China. Habitat International 40:100-108. *: Visiting Ph.D. student

Yang, Y., S. Abbott, and M. Schlossberg. 2012. The influence of school choice policy on active school commuting: A case study of a middle-sized school district in Oregon. Environment and Planning: A 44 (8):1856-1874.

Yang, Y., and W. Markowitz.* 2012. Integrating parental attitudes in research on children’s school travel. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board (2318):116-127. *: Ph.D. student advisee

Wells, N., G. Evans, and Y. Yang. 2010. Planning decisions as public health decisions. Journal of Architectural and Planning Research 27 (2):124-143.

Yang, Y. 2008. A tale of two cities: physical form and neighborhood satisfaction in metropolitan Portland and Charlotte. Journal of the American Planning Association 74 (3):307-323.

Wells, N., and Y. Yang. 2008. Neighborhood design and physical activity: A quasi-experimental longitudinal study of low-income southern women moving to neotraditional or suburban neighborhoods. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 34 (4):313-319.

Wells, N., M. Ashdown, E. Davies, and F. Cowett. 2007. Environment, design, and obesity: Opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborative research. Environment and Behavior 39 (1):6-33.

Esnard, Ann-Margaret and Yang, Y 2002. “Descriptive and comparative studies of 1990 urban extent data for the New York metropolitan region”, Journal of the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association, 14(1):57-62.

Books and Book Chapters

Padgett Kjaersgaard, S., A. Taufen, C. Evans, and Y. Yang Urban-rural linkages and their port city waterfronts: Asia Pacific Region, in SDGs in the Asia and Pacific Region, Springer (forthcoming)

Yang, Y., and Taufen, A. (Eds.). (2022). The Routledge handbook of sustainable cities and landscapes in the Pacific Rim. Routledge, Taylor Francis Group.…;

Yang, Y., A. Taufen and R. Tochen, “Learning spaces of policy mobility for sustainable cities and landscapes: the role of researchers and educators”. Chapter 3 in Yang, Y., & Taufen, A. (Eds.). (2022). The Routledge handbook of sustainable cities and landscapes in the Pacific Rim. Routledge, Taylor Francis Group.

Taufen, A. and Y. Yang, “Sustainable Cities and Landscapes: Cultivating Infrastructures of Health”. Chapter 1 in Yang, Y., & Taufen, A. (Eds.). (2022). The Routledge handbook of sustainable cities and landscapes in the Pacific Rim. Routledge, Taylor Francis Group.

Padgett Kjaersgaard, S. and Y. Yang,* “Evaluating the United Nations Habitat guiding principles for urban-rural linkages: A case study of Chengdu”. Chapter 61 in Yang, Y., & Taufen, A. (Eds.). (2022). The Routledge handbook of sustainable cities and landscapes in the Pacific Rim. Routledge, Taylor Francis Group. *: Equal authorship

Yang, Y., Liang, C., & Hu, J. (2020). Understanding the Modern Shan-Shui Urbanism in China through a Historical Review of the Western Ecological Practices in Placemaking. In J. Hu (Ed.), Shan-Shui City, Ideal Human Habitat: Exploration of Sustainable Urban Development in China. China Architecture & Building Press. (Invited book chapter, in Chinese)

Yang, Y., B. Johnson, S. Fukahori, B. Parker, and M. Schlossberg. 2011. Where to live and how to get to school: connecting residential location choice and school travel mode choice. In School Siting and Healthy Communities: Why Where We Invest in School Facilities Matters, edited by E. Miles and M. Gibson. pp165-183. East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Press.

Professional Reports

Yang, Y. and R. Lewis. "Sustaining multimodal choices: examining travel behaviors beyond COVID-19". Final report prepared for National Institute for Transportation and Communities. July 2023, NITC-RR-1504.

Lewis, R. Y. Yang, L. Price, S. Hodges, J. Skov, S. Rhodes, K. Grove, M. Kezer, G. Haley. “Moving Eugene Sustainably After COVID-19”. Report on the University of Oregon Resilience Initiative Pilot Grant collaborative research project with the City of Eugene. May 2021.

Yang, Y. and P. Tang “Does Portland-style Urban Growth Boundary work for Chinese cities?” Report prepared for Urban China Initiative. August 2016

Yang, Y. William Harbaugh, and Noreen McDonald “Encourage active school travel by making it ‘cool’: a Quasi-experimental study using Boltage”. Final report prepared for National Institute for Transportation and Communities. May 2015, NITC-RR-550

Yang, Y. and L. Yao, “Using residential satisfaction methodology to evaluate housing policy reform in urban China”, Report prepared for Lincoln Land Institute, Peking University-Lincoln Institute Center for Urban Development and Land Policy (PLC). December, 2012

Yang, Y. and D. Chisholm, “Sustainable Urbanization Indicators: A review of International Experience and A Suggested Methodology”. Report prepared for National Development and Reform Commission, People’s Republic of China, commissioned by Unban China Initiative. June, 2012.

Greene, J. N. Larco, Y. Yang, and M. Schlossberg “Travel Behavior, Residential Preference, and Urban Design: A Multi-Disciplinary National Analysis, Final report, Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium. OTREC-RR-11-04.

Yang, Y. M. Schlossberg, R. Parker, B. Johnson, Understanding school travel: how location choice and the built environment affect trips to school. Final report, Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium. OTREC-RR-10-01.

Working Paper

Yang, Y., H. Wu, D. Li and J. Hu “Understanding the Direct and Indirect Health Effects of Urban Greenspaces: A green infrastructure approach to healthy behavior and outcome”. Working paper submitted to the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, output from the 2022-2023 Lincoln International China Research Fellowship project.…. 

Hu, J. Y. Yang and J. Rodenbiker, “Shan-Shui City Shan-shui City: LvShun New Harbor City Landscape Planning and Design.” Conference proceedings of the 2012 International Federation of  Landscape Architects Asia-Pacific Region Conference.  Shanghai, China. October 22-24, 2012.

Yang, Y. W. Zhang, & Z. Liu, “Does Market-based Housing offer Higher Housing Satisfaction to Urban Residents than other Housing Access in China? Evidence from the 2005 Beijing Livable City Evaluation Survey”. Working Paper, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, 2012.

Yang, Y. The Built Environment, Social Justice and Gender, A study of the housing conditions of single-mother headed households in the Portland Metropolitan Region using 1995 and 2002 American Housing Survey Data”. Research Matters, Fall 2010, Center for the Studies of Women in Society, University of Oregon.