Jia-Ching Chen

Assistant Professor
Affiliate faculty member in the Department of Geography and the Interdepartmental PhD Emphasis in Environment and Society

Office Location

SSMS 2127


Jia-Ching Chen is an urban, development, and environmental studies researcher and Assistant Professor in the Department of Global Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Currently, his interests are in China's role in shaping the global green economy and the spread of Chinese planning expertise through its international development activities. He also has professional experience in social movements, organized labor, participatory planning and architecture. He holds a professional Master of City Planning (MCP) degree from UC Berkeley and is an Environmental Fellow of the Robert & Patricia Switzer Foundation. Dr. Chen received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, in City & Regional Planning with a designated emphasis in Global Metropolitan Studies and outside fields in Geography and Anthropology. Before joining UCSB, Dr. Chen was Assistant Professor of Environmental Governance and Urban Systems in the Department of Geography at the Pennsylvania State University.


My work engages interdisciplinary fields of political economy, environmental studies, and urban studies. I have a current interest in the following topics.

• Climate justice

• Global energy transitions

• Political-industrial ecology

• Urbanization

• Infrastructure


Global Perspectives on Society and Environment
Urbanization in the Global South
Environmental Representation, Writing and Advocacy
China and Globalization

Global Political Ecologies
Urban / Environmental Theory