Yushu Zhu

Assistant Professor


With a background in human geography and urban studies, Yushu’s research focuses on housing and community issues against the backdrop of urbanization and globalization. Her empirical research examines the spatial and temporal patterns of housing stratification, sense of home, and social relations that constitute urban neighbourhoods. She pays a special attention to communities of immigrants, low-income populations, and ethnic minorities. Her research has appeared in leading peer-reviewed journals, including Urban Studies, Urban Geography, Habitat International, and Environment and Behavior. Yushu teaches courses in housing, urban transformation, public policy, and research methods.

Previously, Yushu worked at the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada and held postdoctoral fellowships at the Institute of Asian Research at UBC and at Brown University. Yushu received her Ph.D. in architecture from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her M.Sc. and B.Sc. (Hons) in geography from Sun Yat-sen University, China.

Research Interests

  • Human Geography, Urban Studies, Housing and Community Issues, Urbanization, Globalization, Urban Transformation, Housing, Public Policy Research Methods

Selected Publications


Qiang Fu, Yufan Zhuang, Yushu Zhu, Xin Guo. Sleeping Lion or Sick Man? Combining Computational Approaches to Deciphering Heterogeneous Images of Chinese in North America, 1978-2019. The Annals of the American Association of Geographers. Forthcoming.

Yushu Zhu, Qiang Fu, Jiaxin Gu, “All boats rise with a rising tide? Marketization, rural migrants and housing inequality in urban China”, in Y. Li & Y. Bian (eds.), Social Inequalities in China, Imperial College Press. Forthcoming.

Hélène Bélanger, Yushu Zhu (equal first authorship). Social housing in comparison: Montreal and Vancouver metropolitan areas. In S. Breux & M. Holden (eds.), Regards croisés sur les études urbaines au Québec et en Colombie-Britannique | Crossing Paths, Crossing Perspectives on Urban Studies in Quebec and British Columbia, Presses de l'Université Laval (Quebec City). Forthcoming.

Yushu Zhu, Yue Yuan, Jiaxin Gu & Qiang Fu (2021) Neoliberalization and inequality: disparities in access to affordable housing in urban Canada 1981–2016, Housing Studies, DOI: 10.1080/02673037.2021.2004093.

Yue Yuan, Jiaxin Gu, Xin Guo, Yushu Zhu, Qiang Fu, 2021, “Detecting Temporal Anomalies with Pseudo Age Groups: Homeownership in Canada, 1981 to 2016”, Population, Space, and Place. DOI: 10.1002/psp.2532.

Gu, Jiaxin, Xin Guo, Gerry Veenstra, Yushu Zhu, and Qiang Fu, 2020. “Adolescent marijuana use in the United States and structural breaks: An age-period-cohort analysis, 1991 to 2018.” American Journal of Epidemiology. DOI: 10.1093/aje/kwaa269.

Yushu Zhu, 2020. “Interests driven or socially mobilized? Place attachment, social capital and neighborhood participation in urban China,” Journal of Urban Affairs. DOI: 10.1080/07352166.2020.1773837.

Qiang Fu, Yanlong Zhang, Yushu Zhu, Ting Li, 2020, “Network centralities, demographic disparities and voluntary participation,” Mathematical Foundations of Computing.doi:10.3934/mfc.2020011.

Qiang Fu, Yufan Zhuang, Jiaxin Gu, Yushu Zhu, Huihui Qin and Xin Guo, 2019, “Search for K: Assessing Five Topic-Modeling Approaches to 120,000 Canadian Articles,” 2019 IEEE International Conference on Big Data (Big Data), Los Angeles, CA, USA, pp. 3640-3647. doi: 10.1109/BigData47090.2019.9006160.

Changdong Ye, Yushu Zhu (corresponding author), Jiangxue Yang, Qiang Fu, 2018, “Spatial equity in accessing secondary education: Evidence from a gravity-based model”, The Canadian Geographer, 62(4), 452-469.

Yushu Zhu, Qiang Fu, 2017. “Deciphering the civic virtue of communal space: Neighborhood attachment, social capital, and neighborhood participation in urban China”, Environment and Behavior, 49(2), 161-191.

Qiang Fu, Yushu Zhu, Qiang Ren, 2015, “The downsides of market transformation: Housing tenure and types in reform-era urban China”, Social Science Research, 49, 126-140.

Yushu Zhu, 2015, “Toward community engagement: Can the built environment help? Grassroots participation and communal space in Chinese urban communities”, Habitat International, 46, 44-53.

Qiang Fu, Shenjing He, Yushu Zhu, Si-ming Li, Yanling He, Huoning Zhou, and Nan Lin, 2015, “Toward a relational account of neighborhood governance: Territory-based networks and residential outcomes in urban China”, American Behavioral Scientist, 59(8), 992-1006.

Yushu Zhu, Qiang Fu, Qiang Ren, 2014, “Cross-city variations in housing outcomes in post-reform China: An analysis of 2005 micro census Data”, Chinese Sociological Review, 46(3), 26-54.

Si-Ming Li, Yushu Zhu (corresponding author), 2014, “Intra-urban residential mobility in Guangzhou, China, 1990-2010: Local residents versus migrants”, Eurasian Geography and Economics, 55(4), 313-332.

Yushu Zhu, 2014, “Spatiality of China’s market-oriented urbanism: The unequal right of rural migrants to city space in urban China”, Territory, Space, Governance, 2(2), 194-217.

Yushu Zhu, Werner Breitung, Si-Ming Li, 2012. “The changing meaning of neighborhood attachment in Chinese commodity housing estates: Evidence from Guangzhou”, Urban Studies, 49(11), 2439-2457.

Si-Ming Li, Yushu Zhu, Limei Li, 2012. “Neighborhood type, gatedness and neighborhood experiences in Chinese cities: A study of Guangzhou”, Urban Geography, 33(2), 237-255.

Qiang Ren, Qiang Fu, Yushu Zhu, 2008. “Returns to education based on household registration system: A re-examination to wage disparity” (in Chinese), Population and Development, 14(3).


Yushu Zhu, Meg Holden, Piao Han, Steve Kim, 2021, Toward a better understanding of housing vulnerability (Year- End Rep. No. 1). Community Housing Canada.

Yushu Zhu, Changdong Ye, 2021, The restructuring of home and sense of home: Examining the socio-spatial outcomes of urban redevelopment in urban China since 2000. Lincoln Institute of Land Policy Working Paper.


John Logan, Yushu Zhu, 2015, Interpreting the challenges of China’s rapid urbanization, Landscape Architecture Frontiers, 3(5), 12-25. 

Yushu Zhu, Si-Ming Li, 2014, A time-series analysis of residential mobility in Guangzhou, 1990-2010 (in Chinese), in Urban transformation, development, restructuring and planning education, edited by Xueqiang Xu, Anthony Li, Chunshan Zhou and Shenjing He, pp. 340-348.

Yushu Zhu, 2014, “The physical and social contexts of community participation: A study of neighborhood public space and civic participation in urban China”, Proceedings of the 45th Annual Conference of the Environmental Design Research Association.


Yushu Zhu, “New study reveals intensified housing inequality in Canada from 1981-2016,” The Conversation. Published on Dec. 23, 2021.

Jeremy Chan, Yushu Zhu, “Despite national polling results, Canadian shouldn’t be dismissive of Asian investment,” The Globe and Mail, Op-ed published on June 12, 2019.

Eva Busza, Yushu Zhu, “Canada’s millennials are ready to engage with Asia,” The Globe and Mail, Op-ed published on Dec. 3, 2017.

Canadians remain skeptical about Asian investment. Radio interview with CBC The Early Edition. June 11, 2019.

Why Canadians are warming to trade with Asia? Radio interview with BIV Today. June 6 2018.

Canadians feel more connected to the Asia Pacific. TV interview with Fairchild TV. June 6, 2018.

Canadian millennial views on Asia. Radio interview with BIV Today. November 28, 2017.


2020-2025 SSHRC Partnership Grant, Project title: “Community Housing Canada: Partners in Resilience

2021-2023 SSHRC Insight Development Grant, Project Title: The Uneven Impact of Neoliberalization and Housing Financialization: A Multilevel Analysis of Housing Inequality in Canada: 1981-2016

2021-2024 SSHRC Insight Grant, Project title: “How to Build a Nation for all Nations? A Mixed Big-data Approach to Social Integration of Immigrants in Canada, 1970 – 2020

2020-2021 SSHRC Partnership Engage GrantProject title: “Housing Vulnerability in the Pandemic: An Evaluation of the COVID-19 Impact on Community Housing Tenant Well-being in B.C.”

2020-2021 Lincoln Institute China Program International Fellowship, Project title: “The Restructuring of Home and Sense of Home: Examining the Socio-Spatial Outcomes of Urban Redevelopment in Urban China since 2000”


Yushu Zhu (Guest Speaker). The landscape and municipal approaches to social housing in Metro Vancouver. Presented at “Crossing paths, crossing perspectives: Urban Studies in Quebec and British Columbia” Seminar Series (Virtual). Apr. 9, 2021.

Panelist. Vancouver urban pandemic panel: What does COVID-19 mean for cities?. May 26, 2020. Expert panel discussion on Covid-19 and urban issues. Simon Fraser University.

Guest speaker. Inclusive cities: Welcoming newcomers. March 12, 2020. Urban Challenges Forum Series. Douglas College.

Panelist. Fewer left behind forum. March 9, 2017. Expert panel discussion on left-behind children. The University of British Columbia.