Prof. Pengyu ZHU

PhD in Policy, Planning and Development, University of Southern California

Associate Professor, Division of Public Policy
Co-Director, Master of Public Policy Program
Associate Director, Center for Applied Social and Economic Research

Research Interests

Big data and urban planning
Sustainable transportation
Economic development policy
Housing and land use policy
Migration and employment


Dr. Pengyu Zhu is an Associate Professor in the Division of Public Policy at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). He is the Co-Director of the Master of Public Policy Program at HKUST. Prior to joining HKUST, Dr. Zhu has been a faculty member in the Department of Community and Regional Planning at Boise State University, USA (2011-2016) and in the Department of Geography at University of Hong Kong (2017-2019). Dr. Zhu received his Ph.D. in Policy, Planning and Development from the Sol Price School of Public Policy at University of Southern California in 2011. He has taught courses on transportation and land use, transportation economics, economics applications to planning and policy, urban economics, urban geography, quantitative research methods, and urban design and site planning studios.

Dr. Zhu’s research focuses on the Transportation--Land Use--Economic Development Policy nexus, including: 1) Travel Behavior (including automobile, transit, non-motorized transportation modes, and telecommuting), Location Choice, and Associated Implications for Economic and Environmental Issues; 2) Links between Transportation Infrastructure, Housing Market, and Economic Development (e.g. residential segregation, mobility, accessibility and labor market success; transportation finance; and the economic impact of transportation infrastructure); 3) Using Spatio-temporal Big Data Analytics to Inform Urban Planning and Policy Decisions.

To date, his work has been published in major academic journals such as Landscape and Urban Planning, Urban Studies, Annals of Regional Sciences, Transportation, Transportation Research Part D, Urban Geography, Cities, Regional Science and Urban Economics, and International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology. Moreover, his instrumental work has been highlighted in an array of major scientific media such as Wall Street Journal, Slate Magazine, CityLab, Per Square Mile, and Reason Foundation. In January and February 2017, Dr. Zhu was ranked the top 5% and 3% of researchers on Academia.edu by 30-day views of his research articles. In the past few years, Dr. Zhu have received over USD $200,000 (equivalent) in research grants. Due to his exceptional work in the field of Regional Science, Dr. Zhu was awarded the 25th Charles M. Tiebout Prize in Regional Science in 2011 and the Regional Science Springer Prize in 2014.

Highlighted Publications

Pengyu Zhu and Yuqing Guo (2021). The role of high-speed rail and air travel in the spread of COVID-19 in China. Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease Volume 42 July–August 2021, 102097

Pengyu Zhu, Shuk Nuen Ho, Yanpeng Jiang, Xinying Tan. Built environment, commuting behaviour and job accessibility in a rail-based dense urban context, Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, Volume 87, 2020.
102438, ISSN 1361-9209.

Zhu, Pengyu (2016). Residential Segregation and Employment Outcomes of Rural Migrant Workers in China. Urban Studies. 53(8), 1635–1656. (Springer Prize Winning Paper)

Zhu, Pengyu and Jeffrey Brown (2013). Donor States and Donee States: An Investigation of Geographic Redistribution in the U.S. Federal Highway Program 1974-2008. Transportation. 40(1), 203-227. 

Zhu, Pengyu (2012). Are Telecommuting and Personal Travel Complements or Substitutes? Annals of Regional Science. 48(2), 619-639. (Charles M. Tiebout Prize Winning Paper)