Department of Geography and Resource Management (GRM), The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Prof. SHEN Jianfa

Faculty Member

Prof. SHEN Jianfa


BSc, MSc (East China Normal)
PhD (London)

(852) 3943-6469 Download CV >


RGC Senior Research Fellow Award, “Modelling and Simulating Regional Migration Systems”, Principal Investigator (01/21-12/25, HK$7,798,380).

Public Policy Research (PPR) Funding Scheme, “Hong Kong’s Logistics Industry Development: Development Strategies in the New Spatial Context of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area”, Principal Investigator (09/19-12/20, HK$ 552,424).

RGC GRF Grant, “Analyzing the Process and Determinants of Uneven Dual-Track Urbanization in China: The Case of Fujian”, Principal Investigator (01/16-12/18, HK$558,265)

RGC GRF Grant, ” A Comparative Analysis of Skilled and Unskilled Interregional Migration in China 2000-2005″, Principal Investigator (01/14-06/16, HK$518,000)

ESRC Grant (UK), “ Impact of Urban-rural Return Migration on Rural Economic Development in China–with Implications for Vietnam”, Co-Investigator (with Winnie Wang, University of Bristol; Qiang Ren, Peking University and Yu Zhu, Fujian Normal University), (04/14-03/17, £414,608)

NSFC Grant (China), “Spatial-Temporal Analysis of Intraprovincial Inequality in China: Economic Transition, Industrial Restructuring, and Spatial Agglomeration”, Co-Investigator (with Yehua Wei, University of Utah, et. al),(01/14-12/17, RMB 2 million)

RGC GRF Grant, “Modeling Interregional Migration in China 2000-2005: Analyzing the Modeling Error of Regional Attributes and Spatial Interaction”, Principal Investigator (01/13-06/15, HK$351,956)

Federation of Hong Kong Industries, Consultancy Study on “Challenges, Opportunities and Strategic Responses of Logistics SMEs under the National 12th Five-Year Plan”, Principal Investigator (with Yue-man Yeung and Gordon Kee), (11/12-11/13, HK$800,000)

RGC Earmarked Research Grant, “Decomposing Interprovincial Migration in China 1995-2000: The Role of Spatial Structure and Areal Attributes”, Principal Investigator (09/07-08/10, $257,856)

RGC Public Policy Research Grant, “Inter-city Competition and Cooperation between Hong Kong and Shenzhen in the 11th Five-year Plan Period”, Principal Investigator (09/07-11/09, $584,000)

Bauhinia Foundation Research Centre, “China’s 11th Five-Year Plan: Opportunities and Challenges for Hong Kong”, Principal Investigator (with Yue Man Yeung, Li Zhang), (04/06 – 10/06, $400,000)

RGC Earmarked Grant, “Urbanization and Governance in Zhujiang Delta: Analysis and Policy Implications”, Co-investigator (with Kwan Yiu Wong and David Chu), (10/98-03/02, HK$923,000).


SHEN Jianfa, GU Hengyu and CHU Jun (2023), “Unravelling intercity mobility patterns in China using multi-year LBS data: A city classification based on monthly fluctuations and year-round trends”, Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, vol. 102, 101954.

GU Hengyu, SHEN Jianfa and CHU Jun (2023), “Understanding intercity mobility patterns in rapidly urbanizing China, 2015–2019: Evidence from longitudinal Poisson gravity modeling”, Annals of the American Association of Geographers, vol. 113, no. 1, pp. 307-330.

WANG Chenglong and SHEN Jianfa (2023), “How subjective economic status matters: The reference-group effect on migrants’ settlement intention in urban China”, Asian Population Studies, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 105-123.

ZHANG Xianchun, SHEN Jianfa, SUN Yi, ZHOU Changchang and YANG Yu (2023), “Formation of city regions from bottom-up initiatives: investigating coalitional developmentalism in the Pearl River Delta”, Annals of the American Association of Geographers, vol. 113, no. 3, pp. 700-716.

SHEN Jianfa (2022), “Globalization, population flow and the spatial diffusion of COVID-19”, Asian Geographer, vol. 39, no. 2, pp. 209-217.

LUO Yiling and SHEN Jianfa (2022), “Urban entrepreneurialism, metagovernance and ‘space of innovation’: Evidence from buildings for innovative industries in Shenzhen”, Cities, vol. 131, 104067.

SHEN Jianfa (2021),” What roles do population and migration flows play in the spatial diffusion of COVID-19 from Wuhan city to provincial regions in China?”, China Review, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 189-219.

SHEN Jianfa (2021),”Measuring the impact of mitigation measures on infection risk of COVID-19 in Hong Kong since February 2020”, Cities, vol. 114, 103192, pp. 1-3.

SHEN Jianfa and LIN Lijie (2021), “The different effects of the determinants of urbanisation on state-sponsored and spontaneous urbanisation in Fujian Province of China”, Population Space Place, vol. 27, no.2, e2364, pp. 1-13.

LIN Lijie and SHEN Jianfa (2019), “Spatial patterns and driving forces of uneven dual-track urbanization in Fujian province: an approach based on employment sectors”, Urban Studies, vol. 56, no. 12, pp. 2568-2584.

SHEN Jianfa (2018), Urbanization, Regional Development and Governance in China, 184pags. Oxford: Routledge.

SHEN Mingrui and SHEN Jianfa (2018),” Governing the countryside through state-led programmes: A case study of Jiangning District in Nanjing, China”, Urban Studies, vol. 55, no. 7, pp. 1439-1459.

SHEN Jianfa and Gordon KEE (2017), Development and Planning in Seven Major Coastal Cities in Southern and Eastern China, 254pgs. Berlin: Springer.

SHEN Jianfa and LIN Lijie (2017), “State-sponsored and spontaneous urbanization in Fujian province of China, 1982-2010”, Cities, vol. 60, Part B, pp. 420-427.

LIU Ye, SHEN Jianfa, XU Wei, and WANG Guixin (2017), “From school to university to work: migration of highly educated youths in China”, The Annals of Regional Science, Vol. 59, no. 3, pp. 651–676.

SHEN Jianfa (2016), “Error analysis of regional migration modeling”, Annals of the American Association of Geographers, vol. 105, no. 6, pp. 1253-1267.

SHEN Jianfa and LIU Ye (2016), “Skilled and less-skilled interregional migration in China: A comparative analysis of spatial patterns and the decision to migrate in 2000-2005”, Habitat International, vol. 57, pp. 1-10.

SHEN Jianfa (2015), “Explaining interregional migration changes in China 1985-2000 using a decomposition approach”. Regional Studies, vol. 49, no. 7, pp. 1176-1192.

SHEN Jianfa (2014),” Not quite a twin city: Cross-boundary integration in Hong Kong and Shenzhen”, Habitat International, vol. 42, pp. 138-146.

SHEN Jianfa and YANG Xiaolan (2014), “Analyzing urban competitiveness changes in major Chinese cities 1995-2008″, Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy, vol. 7, no. 4, pp. 361-379.

SHEN Jianfa and LUO Xiaolong (2013),”From fortress Hong Kong to Hong Kong-Shenzhen metropolis: The emergence of government-led strategy for regional integration in Hong Kong”, Journal of Contemporary China, vol. 22, no. 84, pp. 944-965.

YEUNG Yue-man and SHEN Jianfa (eds) (2008), The Pan-Pearl River Delta: An Emerging Regional Economy in a Globalizing China, 618pgs. Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press.

SHEN Jianfa (2007), “Scale, state and the city: urban transformation in post reform China”. Habitat International, vol. 31, no. 3-4, pp. 303-316.

SHEN Jianfa (2005). “Counting Urban Population in Chinese Censuses 1953-2000: Changing Definitions, Problems and Solutions”. Population, Space and Place, vol. 11, no. 5, pp. 381-400.

SHEN Jianfa, WONG Kwan-Yiu and FENG Zhiqiang (2002), “State sponsored and spontaneous urbanization in the Pearl River Delta of south China, 1980-1998”. Urban Geography, vol. 23, no. 7, pp. 674-694.

WONG Kwan Yiu and SHEN Jianfa (eds) (2002), Resource Management, Urbanization and Governance in Hong Kong and the Zhujiang Delta, 307pgs. Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press.

SHEN Jianfa (1999) “Modelling regional migration in China: estimation and decomposition”. Environment and Planning A, vol. 31, pp. 1223-1238.

Teaching Fields

  • Population and Migration
  • Urban Geography
  • Geography of China

Research interests

  • Urbanization and migration analysis
  • Spatial population modeling
  • Inter-city competition and cooperation
  • Urban and regional development
  • Pearl River Delta and China

Services/ Posts

Director, Research Centre for Urban and Regional Development, Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies

Associate Director, Shanghai-Hong Kong Development Institute
Advisory Professor, East China Normal University, Shanghai

Member of Steering Committee, Urban China Research Network (based at the University at Albany, State University of New York)
Deputy Director, Specialty Committee on Population Geography, Geographical Association of China
Deputy Director, Specialty Committee on Urban and Rural Governance and Policy, Urban Planning Society of China
Honorary Member of Steering Committee, Commission on Population Geography, International Geographical Union
Executive Member of the Editorial Board, China Review: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Greater China
Member of International Advisory Board, Population, Space and Place
Member of International Advisory Board, Asian Population Studies
Member of Editorial Committee, Asian Geographer
Member of Editorial Advisory Board, Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy
Member of Editorial Board, Geographical Research
Member of Editorial Committee, Journal of Subtropical Environment and Resources


Inter-regional migration

Urbanization and urban development