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Yang Zhang

Associate Professor, Urban Affairs and Planning (UAP)
Yang Zhang
140 Otey St.
Blacksburg, VA 24061
  • Ph.D., Urban and Regional Science, Texas A&M University, 2006
  • M.S., Urban and Regional Sciences, Peking University (China), 2000
  • B.S., Economic Geography, Peking University (China), 1997
  • Natural hazards
  • Floods
  • Hazards mitigation
  • Disaster recovery 
  • UAP 4354: Interdisciplinary Environmental Problem-Solving Studio
  • UAP 5114: Computer Applications in Planning – Geographic Information Systems
  • UAP 5214: Natural Hazards Mitigation Planning
  • UAP 5224: Planning Methods and Technologies
  • “Financing Rapid Community Reconstruction after Catastrophic Disaster: Lessons from the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake in China.” Natural Hazards, (2019)
  •  “Disaster Recovery Planning after Two Catastrophes: The 1976 Tangshan Earthquake and the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake.” International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters (IJMED), 34(2): 174-203 (2016).
  •  “Non-traditional Participation in Disaster Recovery Planning: Cases from China, India, and the U.S.” Journal of American Planning Association (JAPA), 80 (4): 373-384 (2015).  
  • “Inequities in Long-term Housing Recovery after Disasters.” Journal of American Planning Association (JAPA), 80:4, 356-371 (2015).
  •  “Planning and Recovery Following the Great 1976 Tangshan Earthquake.” Journal of Planning History, (2014).  

I am currently researching the recovery in China following the 2008 M 8.0 Wenchuan earthquake, the recovery in New Jersey and New York following the 2012 Superstorm Sandy, as well as the recovery in Puerto Rico following the 2017 Hurricane Maria.

I am a PI on an ongoing National Science Foundation Grant on Disaster Resilience and Risk Management (DRRM). The project is titled: Disaster Resilience and Risk Management (DRRM) - Creating quantitative decision-making frameworks for multi-dimensional and multi-scale analysis of hazard impact. Focusing on the trans-disciplinary paradigm, the program leverages the strengths of several world-class academic units at Virginia Tech to produce a well-rounded perspective and understanding of the full complexity of disaster risk, resilience, and mitigation.

I am also a research fellow of the Peking University (China) – Lincoln Institute of Land Policy (U.S.) Center for Land Use Policy and Urban Development, and of the Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center at Texas A&M University.

  • Post-disaster recovery
  • Disaster vulnerability
  • Hazards mitigation
  • Floodplain planning