Jia-Ching Chen

Assistant Professor
Global Studies

Office Location

SSMS 2103


City and Regional Planning, Urban Studies, Global Green Economy, International Development, China, Social Movements and Organized Labor


  • Ph.D., City & Regional Planning, University of California, Berkeley
  • Master of City Planning, University of California, Berkeley


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 and organized labor. Dr. Chen received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, in City & Regional Planning with a designated emphasis in Global Metropolitan Studies and a outside fields in Geography and Anthropology. Chen's research interests are centered on environmental politics, rural-urban transformation, models and contestation of "sustainable development," and the discursive and technical practices of expert planners. He employs technologies such as remote sensing and GIS, alongside reflexive ethnographic fieldwork informed by social theory and research traditions including political ecology.