Zhao, Jianting


I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Urban Planning and Design at the University of Hong Kong

I aspire to build more livable cities through research and public service. Through a mixed-method research design, I study how the pandemic-induced street experiments impact public space use. I have skillsets in landscape design, qualitative study, and urban analytics. Previously, I have researched and published on walkability, bikeability, network connectivity, and TOD travel behavior. 


Doctor of Philosophy in Urban Planning and Design  (Expected 09/2024), University of Hong Kong

Visiting PhD Student, Bartlett School of Planning, University College London

Master of Urban Spatial Analytics, University of Pennsylvania

Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture, Certificate in Business, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Research awards

Research Output Prize 2021 in the Faculty of Architecture, HKU (co-author) 

Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Early Career Award (2021) – Shortlisted and Commendation 

International Association for Chinese Planning (IACP) Student Paper Award (2021)


Working papers

Zhao J., Chang R., and Sun G. Experiential learning and transformative capacity: a case study of co-designed street experiment in Hong Kong. Under review at Journal of Urban Mobility.

Zhao J., and Sun G. Push, pull or network? Governments’ public engagement tactics in pandemic-induced street experiments. Under review at Journal of Urban Design

Zhao, J., & Sun, G. How does experiential learning contribute to the longer-term outcomes of pandemic-induced street experiments? A global multi-case study. Working paper.

Zhao, J., & Sun, G. Does neighbourhood environment matter for people-centric street transition? A study on global pandemic-induced street experiments. Working paper.

Peer-reviewed papers

Zhao J., Sun G., and Webster C., 2024. Global Street Experiment: A Geospatial Database of Pandemic-Induced Street Transitions. Landscape and Urban Planning. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2023.104931

(Zhao et al., 2024) Pandemic-Induced Street Experiment (PISE) Database overview

Zhao J., Sun G., and Webster C., 2022. Does China-Pakistan Economic Corridor improve connectivity in Pakistan? A protocol assessing the planned transport network infrastructure. Journal of Transport Geography 100(March). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2022.103327

(Zhao, et al., 2022) Graphical abstract

Lu, Y., Zhao, J., Wu, X. and Lo, S.M., 2021. Escaping to nature during a pandemic: a natural experiment in Asian cities during the COVID-19 pandemic with big social media data. Science of The Total Environment, 777. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.146092

(Lu, et al., 2021) Graphical abstract

Sun, G., Du, Y., Ni, M.Y., Zhao, J. and Webster, C., 2021. Metro and elderly health in Hong Kong: protocol for a natural experiment study in a high-density city. BMJ Open, 11(3). http://dx.doi.org/10.1136%2Fbmjopen-2020-043983 

(Sun, et al., 2021) Research design

Zhao, J., Sun, G. and Webster, C., 2020. Walkability scoring: Why and how does a 3-dimensional pedestrian network matter? Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science. https://doi.org/10.1177/2399808320977871 

RTPI Early Career Award (2021) – Shortlisted and Commendation 

IACP Student Paper Award (2021)

(Zhao, et al., 2020) Walkability score comparisons

Sun, G., Zhao, J., Webster, C. and Lin, H., 2020. New metro system and active travel: A natural experiment. Environment International, 138. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2020.105605 

Research Output Prize 2021 in the Faculty of Architecture, HKU

(Sun, et al., 2020) Ridership change visualization

Long, Y. and Zhao, J.^, 2020. What Makes a City Bikeable? A Study of Intercity and Intracity Patterns of Bicycle Ridership using Mobike Big Data Records. Built Environment, 46(1), pp.55-75. https://doi.org/10.2148/benv.46.1.55 [^shared first authorship]

(Long and Zhao, 2020) Bikeability measures in Chinese cities

Long, Y., Zhao, J., Li, S., Zhou, Y., & Xu, L., 2018. The Large-Scale Calculation of “Walk Score” of Main Cities in China. New Architecture, 3, 4–8. https://doi.org/10.12069/j.na.201803001 

Conference Presentations

Zhao, J. (2023, November 1). Experiential learning in pandemic-induced street experiments: How do key initiators’ experiential learning contribute to transformative capacity? UCL Urban Design Research Group. London, United Kingdom.

Zhao, J. (2023, September 18-22). Public Engagement Tactics in COVID-19 Pandemic-Related Street Experiments. PLATIAL’X 23. Dortmund, Germany.

Zhao, J. (2023, July 11-15). Does neighbourhood environment matter for people-centric street transition? A study on global pandemic-induced street experiments. 2023 AESOP Congress. Lodz, Poland. 

Zhao, J. (2023, March 23-27). Public-initiator interactions in the tactical approach of street experiments as a pandemic emergency response. 2023 AAG Annual Meeting. Denver, CO, United States.

Zhao, J. (2022, August 12). Transport policy adaptation through pandemic induced street experiments: the contribution of experiential learning. Talk-toranden Doctoral Colloquium, TU Dortmund, Dortmund, Germany. 

Zhao, J. (2021, November 28). Street Experiment: an urban transformation niche - a preliminary literature review. HKU/PKU-SZ Joint Doctoral Colloquium on Smart Cities Analytics. University of Hong Kong / Peking University-Shenzhen. Virtual.

Zhao, J., and Sun, G. (2021, October 7-23). Street experiment in an Asian high-density city: why positive feedback does not promise long-term changes? ACSP 61st Conference. Virtual. 

Zhao, J., Sun, G., and Webster, C. (2021, September 11-12). Walkability scoring: Why and how does a three-dimensional pedestrian network matter? IACP 15th Conference. Virtual.


Teaching Assistant – Urban Analytics Studio

01/2021 – 05/2023 

Bachelor of Urban Studies, Department of Urban Planning and Design, HKU

Cohort size: 25; 4 credit core course, 24 sessions in total: 2 hour/session, twice a week; year-one students

Designed ten tutorials assignments to enhance spatial thinking

Developed 20 tutorial exercises, graded weekly assignments

Consulted and supervised students’ final projects

Received consistently high approval rate of over 90% from students’ course evaluations

Instructor – Communication Studios I   


Bachelor of Urban Studies, Department of Urban Planning and Design, HKU

Developed course syllabus 

Taught communication skills, video shooting techniques, and website creation

Created tutorials and assignments for spatial analysis methods

Marked assignments and provided project comments

Guest Lecturer – Urban Analytics for postgraduate students


Provided demonstration on R language and live data analysis

Lecturer – Big Data and Urban Planning, a massive open online course


Instructed the analysis and statistic methods for urban big data

Recorded video demonstration on SPSS and ArcGIS usage

Section Co-Author – Urban Planning and Big Data Theory and Methods textbook


Wrote chapters for urban big data analysis and case studies

China’s first Urban Big Data textbook

Accreditation and Membership

CETL Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education


Knowles Building, University of Hong Kong