Dr. Yanliu Lin

Vening Meineszgebouw A
Princetonlaan 8a
3584 CB Utrecht

Dr. Yanliu Lin

Associate Professor
Spatial Planning

I am an associate professor in spatial planning and digitalization at the Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Utrecht University.  I have a long-standing interest in conducting interdisciplinary and innovative research to address complex governance problems, conflicts of interest in planning, and challenges to sustainability. My current interests include collaborative planning/governance, digital planning, and planning support science for inclusive and sustainable development. I have conducted research on the application of new digital technologies (e.g., planning support systems, social media, smart platforms, artificial intelligence, and digital twins) in assisting citizen participation and stakeholder collaboration in urban regeneration, water management, nature-based solutions, infrastructure projects, and other planning domains.  I have explored the extent to which digital technologies reshape power relations and under which conditions they add value or pose new risks to planning and governance processes.  I have developed innovative mixed methods approaches such as combining qualitative methods with data mining, social media data analytics, social network analysis, computational modeling, and statistical modeling. My research has been recognized by European Research Council (ERC), and I have been awarded an ERC Starting Grant (2021-2026) to establish my team for investigating  Collaborative Planning in China with the Impact of Social Media and Digital Technologies. I have also participated in a research project funded through the EWUU alliance, focusing on the development of an AI-driven Digital Twin Platform for Circular Green Infrastructure. The focus of the funding scheme is AI for the benefit of society. This interdisciplinary project involves several Dutch partners from Eindhoven University of Technology, Wageningen University, and Utrecht University.  Besides, I have conducted intensive research on housing provision and policies, social and economic integration of migrants, accessibility and equity, and the impact of e-commerce and digtial platforms on urbanism. I have been involved in a research project funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) in collaboration with NSFC about Urban Housing of Migrants in China and the Netherlands.  Additionally, I have contributed to planning practices and education innovation about the impact of digitalization and AI on spatial planning, bridging the gap between research, practice and education.


I have published more than 50 articles in leading international journals, such as Urban Studies, Cities, Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science, Telecommunications Policy, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Planning Theory, and Journal of Cleaner Production. I am the lead editor of the special issue "Digital Planning for Sustainable Urban Future" in Computers, Environment and Urban Systems. I am also the editor of two books: "Smart Governance and New Forms of Collaborative Planning" (The Commercial Press) and "Village in the City: Asian Variations of Urbanisms of Inclusion" (Park Books). I have been invited to present my research at many international conferences, and was a member of the local committee of the 13th International Conference on Computer in Urban Planning and Urban Management (CUPUM) and the organizer of the section “Planning Support Systems: Participation”. Besides, I am an external expert of the Swiss National Science Foundation and a reviewer of more than 40 ISI-indexed journals and Elsevier books. I am the editorial board of Urban Governance and Big Data and Smart Cities Research Book Series. 



Google Scholar