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Dr Chen Zhong joined the Department of Geography in September 2016 as Lecturer in Spatial Analysis. Prior to this, she was a Research Associate at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA), University College London (2014-2016).

From 2011-2014, Chen was a Research Assistant and PhD student at the Future Cities Laboratory at the ETH Zurich Centre in Singapore. In 2010, she was a Research Assistant at Cerma, Ecole Centrale de Nantes, and later at AVIZ, INRIA, Saclay-Île-de- France, France.

Chen is trained as a Geographic Information System (GIS) engineer. She obtained a BEng (2008), MEng (2010) both from Wuhan University, China, and a PhD from Architecture Department, ETH Zurich (2014).


  • Urban mobility (focusing on travel behaviour and urban activity patterns)
  • Transport geography (urban form, spatial structure, spatial interaction, spatial network, accessibility analysis)
  • Spatial analysis and modelling (focusing on the use of automatic generated human mobility data such as smart card data and social media data)
  • Geo-visualisation (spatiotemporal visualisation and web mapping)
  • Urban planning and transport planning (data-informed planning methods)

Chen’s research interests include spatial data mining, spatiotemporal visualisation, complex network analysis, and the use of such analytical techniques for urban and transport planning. She is particularly interested in urban mobility analysis and modelling using new data sets such as smart-card data and social media data and looking into various urban contexts. Her research is in the direction of big data-informed urban planning and policymaking.

Related mobility data mining projects include her PhD research project on detecting functional urban changes from urban movement patterns in Singapore; postdoctoral research on travel behaviour analysis and modelling using Oyster card data in London; and comparative studies of regularities in London and Beijing; ongoing projects about web mapping of tweets data, and accessibility and segregation analysis in London and Sao Paulo. Recently, she has initiated new collaboration on data-informed urban planning methods in China.


PhD supervision

Chen welcomes expressions of interest from potential PhD students in any of the following subject areas (but not limited to):

  • Urban mobility pattern analysis using automatic data
  • Urban spatial structure, especially polycentricity
  • Measuring and modelling of urban flows
  • Accessibility analysis and spatial interaction model
  • Socioeconomic impact of public policy and transport policy
  • Big data-informed transport and land use planning methods and tools

Further details

See Chen's research profile