Perry Yang


Associate Professor, School of City& Regional Planning and School of Architecture
Director, Eco Urban Lab
(404) 894-2076

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Perry Yang is an Associate Professor jointly appointed to School of City and Regional Planning and School of Architecture at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is also the Bayer (Convestro) Chair Professor at the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)- Tongji Institute of Environment for Sustainable Development in Shanghai. He directs the Sino–U.S. Eco Urban Lab at Georgia Tech and Tongji University. Perry’s work focuses on promoting the ecological and energy performance of cities through urban design.He has been awarded prizes in international competitions continuously, including the 2009 World Games Park at Kaohsiung Taiwan in 2005, a project opened in July 2009 and featured by CNN as “an eco-friendly venue”. He founded ESD (Eco Systems Design Studio), an urban design practice from 2005 in Singapore. His urban design work was featured in the January 2010 issue Ecological Urbanism at WA (World Architecture). Yang received degrees from National Taiwan University (Ph.D., M.Sc., B.Sc.) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MS) and was a Fulbright Scholar at MIT in 1999-2000. Prior to joining the Georgia Tech faculty, he was assistant professor at National University of Singapore. He is a board member of the International Urban Planning and Environment Association (UPE), and served as co-chair of UPE9 in 2010. As an international scientific committee member of International Conference on Applied Energy (ICAE), Perry chaired the session Urban Energy Systems Design at the ICAE in March 2015 at Abu Dhabi. He was recently invited to chair and speak at the concluding session of the Global Carbon Project Workshop on Urban Resilience at the University of Tokyo in December 2015. 

Educational Background

Ph.D. (Building & Planning), National Taiwan University

M.S. (Urban Studies and Planning), Massachusetts Institute of Technology

M.Sc. (Building & Planning), National Taiwan University

B.Sc. (Agriculture Engineering/ Bio-Environmental Systems Engineering), National Taiwan University 


Urban design

Urban simulation and GIS

Landscape ecology, industrial ecology and energy performance of urban environment 


Perry’s research and creative work focuses on ecologically sustainable design in urban settings, in a form of research and through peer-reviewed design and practice. His recent initiative, the Georgia Tech –Tongji Joint Laboratory of Ecological Urban Design in Shanghai, started from June 2013 that is supported by both Georgia Tech’s College of Architecture and Tongji’s College of Architecture and Urban Planning. His urban design practice Eco Systems Design Studio (ESD) in Shanghai and Taipei continued winning urban design competitions in the region from 2005 to 2012. His research engages performance dimension of urban form and the interventional approach through design. The methods behind are grounded in landscape ecology, industrial ecology, urban ecology, GIS and emerging technologies for spatial analysis, energy performance and life cycle assessment for urban environment. 

Recent Publications

Li, Zhengwei, Quan, Steven J., Yang, Perry P. J., 2016, Energy performance simulation for planning a low carbon neighborhood urban district: A case study of Macau, in Habitat International, 04; 53: 206-214. (as the corresponding author)

Yang, Perry P J, Quan, Steven J, 2016, Urban form and energy resilient strategies: A cast study of the Manhattan grid, in Urban Resilience – A Transformative Approach, Yoshiki Yamagata and Hiroshi Maruyama eds., Springer. (in print) 

Yang, Perry P. J., Yan, Jinyue, 2016, Modeling Urban Design with Energy Performance, in Energy Procedia (accepted for publication).

Quan, Steven J., Wu, Jiang, Shi, Zhongming, Yang, Tianren, Wang, Yi, Yang, Perry P. J., 2016, Urban Form and Building Energy Performance in Shanghai Neighborhoods, in Energy Procedia (accepted for publication). 

Yang, Perry P. J. 2015. Energy Resilient Urban Form: A Design Perspective, in Energy Procedia 75, Elsevier.

Quan, Steven. Qi Li, Godfried, Augenbroe, Brown, Jason, Yang Perry P. J. 2015. A GIS-based Energy Balance Modeling System for Urban Solar Buildings. in Energy Procedia 75, Elsevier. (as the corresponding author)

Quan, Steven. Qi Li, Godfried, Augenbroe, Brown, Jason, Yang Perry P J, 2015, Urban Data and Building Energy Modeling: A GIS-based Urban Building Energy Modeling System Using the Urban-EPC Engine, in Planning Support Systems and Smart Cities. Stan Geertman, Joseph Ferreira, Jr. Robert Goodspeed, John Stillwell eds., Springer. (as the corresponding author)

*Yang, Perry P. J., Quan, Steven. J., Castro- Lacouture, Daniel, Rudolph, Charles, Stuart, Ben. 2014. Performance metrics for designing an algae-powered eco urban district: A Geodesign perspective, in Energy Procedia, Elsevier. 

*Quan, Steven. J., Economoua, Athanassions , Grasl, Thomas., Yang, Perry P. J. 2014. Computing energy performance of building density, shape and typology in urban context, in Energy Procedia, Elsevier (as the corresponding author).

Yang, Perry P. J. 2014. Energy resilient urban planning, in Geodesign: Integrating design and geospatial science in Europe, Scholten H, Lee D and Dias E eds., Springer, in print.

Yang, Perry P. J. 2013. Book chapter “Landscape ecology and its urbanism” in Landscape Urbanism and its Discontents: Dissimulating the Sustainable City. Andres Duany and Emily Talen eds., Island Press.

Quan, S. J., Minter, J., Yang, Perry P. J. 2013. Book chapter “A GIS-based performance metrics for designing a low energy urban agriculture system” in Planning Support Systems for Sustainable Urban Development, Springer Publication. (as the corresponding author)

Yang, Perry P. J. 2013. Hydrological effects of urban form and landscape change, in Planning stormwater resilient urban open spaces, vol. 3, F.D. Moccia and M.F. Palestino eds. Clean, Napoli

Yang, Perry P. J. 2012. Complexity Question in Urban Systems Design, in Journal of Architectural Engineering Technology, editorial, Vol. 1, Issue 2.

Li Z, Yang P P J. 2011. “Simulation Driven Low Carbon Built Environment” in The World Congress on Engineering and Technology (CET2011) and The 2011 International Conference on Sustainable Development (CSD), Shanghai, China, October 2011.

Yang, Perry P. J. 2009. Questioning urban sustainability: social sufficiency, ecological efficiency and ecosystems compatibility. Journal of Urbanism, November 2009, Vol. 2, Issue 3.

Yang, P.P.J., & Lew, S.H. 2009. An Asian model of TOD – the planning integration and institutional tools in Singapore. In Curtis, C., Renne, J., & Bertolini, L. (Eds.), Transit-Oriented Development: Making It Happen. Ashgate Publishing Ltd.

Yang, P.P.J. 2008. Tracking Sustainable Urban Forms and Material Flows in Singapore. In Jenks, M., Kozak, D., & Takkanon, P. (Eds.), World Cities and Urban Form: Fragmented, Polycentric, Sustainable? Routledge.

Yang, Perry P. J., Putra S. Y., Chaerani M. 2007. Computing the Sense of Time in Urban Physical Environment. Urban Design International, 12(2), 115-129.

Yang, P., Putra, S., & Li, W. 2007. Viewsphere: A GIS-based 3D visibility analysis for urban design evaluation. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 34(6), 971-992. doi:10.1068/b32142

 (Single-authored Book published in Chinese)

Yang, Perry P. J. 2010. Ecological Urbanism: Scale, Flow and Design, China Architecture and Building Press, Beijing.

(Journal articles in Chinese)

*Yang, Perry P. J. 2014. Eco Area Ratio: Energy performance assessment and reduction approach for urban redevelopment in high-density environment, in Urban Planning Forum, Vol.03, 91-100, Tongji University. (in Chinese)

Yang, Perry P. J., Li Z., (2013) Carbon emission assessment for Central City Districts of Macau, Planner, China, Vol. 03, 08:32, 2013.

Tian, L., P.P.J. Yang, H.P. Dong, Y. Liu. (2011) Comparisons Between Planning Education of China and the USA under the Global Financial Crisis and Sustainable Development, Urban Planning International, China, 2011 Vol.26, No.2

Yang, Perry P. J. (2010) Ecological Urbanism: Five Dimensions in Design, in Special Issue “Ecological Urbanism”, WA (World Architecture), Tsinghua University, January 10  (invited submission)

Yang, Perry P. J. (2010) Landscape as Flows: An Ecological Design Approach to Large-scale Urban Landscape, in Special Issue “Ecological Urbanism”, WA (World Architecture), Tsinghua University, January 10 (invited submission).

Yi, W., Yang, Perry P. J. (2010) City as the Second Nature: Conceptual Urban Design in the city of Hulunbeir, WA (World Architecture), Tsinghua University, September 10. 

Funded Projects

2013-present Joint Laboratory of Ecological Urban Design, as Principal Investigator ($15,000 funded by the Denning Global Engagement Seed Fund (Global FIRE), the Office of Vice-Provost for International Initiatives, Georgia Institute of Technology).

2012 – 2016 Sustainable Housing through Holistic Waste Stream Management and Algal Cultivation, as Co-Principal Investigator, with Daniel Castro and Charles Rudolph, in collaboration with Ben Stuart (PI) and Omer Tatari of Ohio University, ($1,644,957, funded by National Science Foundation; Georgia Tech portion $800,000).               

2010-2011  Low Carbon Urban Design, as Principal Investigator, ($30,000, funded by Macau Urban Planning Institute).

2009-2010 Assessing Solar Availability of Urban Form Using 3D GIS, as Principal Investigator, ($13,800, funded by Georgia Tech Foundation 

2005-2008 Asian new downtowns: urban transformation of central city areas in Singapore, Taipei and Shanghai, as Principal Investigator, ($169,855 SGD, funded by National University of Singapore, 01 January 2005 to 30 June 2008). 

2002-2006 GIS-based Design Support System in Tropical Urban Environment, as Principal Investigator; Co-PI: Prof. Michael Batty, Professor of University College London, ($89,964 SGD funded by National University of Singapore, 22 August 2002 – 21 May 2006.)


Creative Design Works

Perry’s urban design works were featured in one of China’s leading architecture journal WA (World Architecture), published by Tsinghua University, in January 2010 Issue “Ecological Urbanism”, together with two renowned urban designers, James Corner of University of Pennsylvania and l’AUC from Paris.

The 1st/2nd prizes in international design competition (as the chief designer):

2009 World Games Park master planning, Kaohsiung Taiwan (as the chief planner, in collaboration with COX + Peter Droege, MAA), 2005

Eco-City: Xiamen’s New Downtown at Maluan Bay (as the chief designer, in collaboration with Xiamen Planning and Design Institute), 2007

Shuidong Bay Urban Design, Maoming, Guangdong China, as the chief designer, with Guangdong Urban and Rural Planning Institute, 2008

Shunde Green Heart Design, Guangdong China, as the chief designer. The (one of the two 1st Prize winners out of 36 entries), 2010

Hangzhou Bay New District, Ningbo City China, as the chief designer, with Tongji University. The 2nd Prize (out of 63 entries), 2010

The Campus Planning Competition of Beijing Information Technology University, by winning over ten other prestigious design institutes in China including Tsinghua, Tongji and South China University of Technology. (as the chief designer, with BUE Beijing Urban Engineering Design Institute), 2011

Kaohsiung Inner Harbor Revitalization Urban Design, Kaohsiung City Government, Taiwan, the 2nd Place, (The 1st place: AECOM Hong Kong; The 3rd place: MVRDV, Netherlands and Cosmo Urban Design Consultants, Taipei), 2015.

Participation in International Academic Communities

International Scientific Committee Member, International Conference on Applied Energy (ICAE), 2015 to Present. Session chair and panel organizer, Urban Energy Systems Design, 2015 International Conference on Applied Energy (ICAE), March 28-31, 2015, Abu Dhabi.

Co-Chair of the Conclusion Session (with Dr. Yamagata), Global Carbon Project (GCP) Workshop on Tools and Indicators for Assessing Urban Resilience, the University of Tokyo, December 7-10, 2015.

Board Member, International Urban Planning and Environment Association (UPE), Co-chair of Organizing Committee of UPE9 (with Qifeng Yuan, Dr. Nancey Green Leigh), the 9th Symposium of the International Urban Planning and Environment Association: Rapid Urbanization, Global Recession and Climate Change, Guangzhou, China

Member of Editorial Board: Advances in Urban Planning and Development (AUPD), 2013 - Present

Member of Editorial Board: Journal of Architectural Engineering Technology

Member of Editorial Board: Progress in Industrial Ecology - An International Journal

Member of Editorial Board: Modern Urban Research, China

Other Awards

Fulbright Scholarship, 1999


*2015. Curator, Resilient Urban Systems: Studio, Research, Design and Image, the Stubbins Gallery, College of Architecture, Georgia Tech, August 26 – September 11, 2015.


Courses Taught

International Urban Design Studios 2009-2014

CP 6052 Applied Planning Studio (Urban Design), MCRP Program +

ARCH 6072 Design and Research Studio (Urban Design), MArch Program 

The International Urban Design Studio is an on-going initiative in the College of Architecture’s international programs and projects. This program provides an ongoing platform for faculty and students in the College of Architecture and collaborating schools and institutions abroad, to develop common intellectual interests and explore collaborative teaching, learning and research opportunities, especially in the area of sustainable urban design. The primary objective of the International Urban Design Studio is to engage graduate students in the College of Architecture in interdisciplinary, collaborative and real-world experiences in support of global professional practices in urban design, architecture and planning. In addition, the intention is to focus the studios on problems that are part of, or lead to, future research initiatives. Urban Design provides the disciplinary and interdisciplinary platform for the studio, bringing together students and faculty in Urban Design, the Master of City and Regional Planning Program and the Master of Architecture Program. The studios are part of the professional curricula in the Master of City and Regional Planning, the Master of Architecture or the Master of Science in Urban Design. The International Urban Design Studio began in 2009 and occurs intermittently as opportunities arise with universities and institutions abroad. Each studio is designed for its specific setting, the project situation and the host institutions objectives.

December 2009 and Spring 2010, Shanghai Pudong Waterfront Revitalization (with Dagenhart), joint studio with Tongji University.

Spring 2011, Ecological Urbanism Studio: global benchmarking for low carbon urban design, project selected and exhibited at the 100th ACSA (Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture) Annual Meeting, March 2012, MIT and Boston. (Georgia Tech received $30,000 sponsorship from Macau Urban Planning Institute to support the research.)

Spring 2012, Agrarian Urbanism Studio: A low energy agriculture system in Wheat Street Garden at Atlanta, with Georgia Tech’s School of Biology, Arkfab group and Truly Living Well. (*This was the only studio run locally at Atlanta.)

Spring 2013, Waterfront Revitalization Studio: Asian New Bay Area in Kaohsiung (The studio received $30,000 sponsorship from Kaohsiung City Government, Taiwan to cover travel expenses of 3 faculty and 9 students to travel to Taiwan for site visit and presentation in the local government.)

Spring 2014, Waterfront Revitalization Studio:  Shuidong Bay in Maoming, Guangdong China (The studio received $40,000 sponsorship from Maoming City Government and Guangdong Urban Planning and Design Institute, China to cover travel expenses of 4 faculty and 13 students to travel to China for site visit and presentation in the local government.)

Spring 2015, Shanghai Chongming Eco Island Studio: Design for Urban Metabolism, a joint studio with College of Architecture and Urban Planning and School of Construction Management of Tongji University (The studio received support of local accommodation from Tongji University.)

Spring 2016, near Zero Energy District Studio, Disney in Pudong Shanghai. (It’s a ongoing studio project in collaboration with Disney Research China, a laboratory of Walt Disney Imagineering in Shanghai, as well as Tongji University and Covestro (Previous Bayor Material Science). An international joint workshop has ben scheduled in March 19-27, 2016 this year in Shanghai for students to conduct fieldwork and make presentation to local stakeholders.)

More details can be found in the Studio website:

(2011, Awarded “Thank a Teacher” certificate from The Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning of Georgia Institute of Technology, in recognition of “excellence in teaching” and “dedication to helping students learn in design studio”.)

 “10 Cities, 10 Years”: Research for Tracking Radical Urban Transition in East Asian Cities 

The Sino-U.S. Eco Urban Lab, a joint laboratory initiated from June 2014 at Georgia Tech in Atlanta and Tongji University in Shanghai, provides access to opportunities for operating joint research and joint teaching based on urban design studios in dynamic urban settings in the next decade. The investigation of radical transformation in China and Asian region would allow urban designers and researchers to be exposed to the frontier of urbanizing world for cutting-edge issues and challenge. Novel research questions and knowledge will be nurtured. Interventional approach through engaging local environmental conditions, social context and power relations will be crucial for the shaping of future sustainable urban systems.

CP8873/AR8803  Urban Ecological Design, Spring

MCRP, MArch, MSUD and MS in Architecture (from Spring 2010)

The course engages the contemporary issues of urban ecology and its articulation to design in urban settings. The new commitment of the co-habitation of nature and built environment has drawn attentions of city planners, urban designers and architects. The discourses of urban sustainability have to move away from social sufficiency, ecological efficiency to ecosystems compatibility by linking the forms and flows of urban, industrial and natural systems. The new challenges of urban ecological issue require design and planning professionals to deal with how urban and environment spaces could be analyzed, designed, managed, evaluated, represented and changed for responding to the cutting-edge ecologically sustainable issues. Divided by two main categories, Spatial Typologies and Ecological Flows, the sessions cover the trends and issues of ecologically sound urban design. Following the introductory lecture on ecological urban design in historical context, the Part One Spatial Forms and Typologies includes global ecological effects of mega urban form, suburbia, compact city and the debate of sustainable urban form, downtown urban environment, waterfront revitalization, brown field redevelopment, urban-nature edge space and the proposition of landscape urbanism. The Part Two Ecological Flows covers the ecological design issues of landscape ecological flow, material and energy flow, water flow and informational flow. The sessions conclude with the discussion of representational dimension of urban and environmental design that is essential to the professional practices of ecologically sound urban design. By selecting one of the specific ecologically sustainable issues, students are required to work on a research project, which is to be presented as a team work during the semester and further developed as an individual term paper at the end of semester.

CP8823PY/ ARCH8823  Site Planning and Urban Ecosystems Simulation, Fall

MCRP, MArch, MSUD and MS in Architecture (from Fall 2012)

Site planning has been seen as one of basic professional skills for city planners, urban designers and architects. There is a strong intellectual legacy from the works of Kevin Lynch, Donald Appleyard, Carl Steinitz and Gary Hack who defined site planning as “an art of arranging structure on the land and shaping the spaces between” (Lynch and Hack, 1983), a system approach to planning urban and natural settings over a defined spatial and temporal environment in context. The course introduces literature in site planning and the foundation of skill development through a series of tutorials and workshops. It provides visual-based analytical techniques and related simulation tools based on dimensions of representation, analysis and design. The synthesis of the three constitutes a method for engaging site and urban ecological systems across scales from building sites, neighborhoods to cities. The course also aims for extending the knowledge and method of site planning to new challenges of post-oil cities by integrating emerging technologies and performance-based design tools for mapping energy flow, carbon footprint, water, human movement and information processes in cities across territories and spatial scales over time. The representation, analysis and design of sites and urban ecological systems are to be driven by questions behind the shaping of high performance, renewable and resilient urban form and the making of sustainable urban systems.

Ph.D. Thesis/Dissertation Supervised

Steven Jige Quan, Ph.D. candidate, School of City and Regional Planning, Georgia Institute of Technology

Archana Sharma, Ph.D., 2007 (National University of Singapore), Articulating the Symbiotic Construct of Eco-Industrial Park: Strengthening Through A Modified Landscape Design Strategy. (as the co-supervisor) – currently Assistant Professor, School of Architecture and Planning, Morgan State University, from January 2012 to Present.

Li Ze, Ph.D., 2007 (National University of Singapore), Urban Redevelopment in Changshoujie, Shanghai: An Institutional Analysis -- currently an Assistant Professor at the Department of Urban Planning, School of Architecture, Tianjin University.

Simon Yanuar Putra, Ph.D., 2006 (National University of Singapore), A Perceptual Evaluation of Urban Space Using GIS-Based 3DVolumetric Visibility Analysis. – currently the Senior Engineer- GIS consultant, ADPC, Abu Dhabi