Economic Geography of Entrepreneurship

•Industrial Performance
•Innovation Ecosystems
•Digital Transformation
Our research 
focuses on:

Urban Vibrancy and Value Creation

•New Town Development
•Job Creation
•Real Estate & Housing

Urban Quality 
of Life

•Access to Amenities
•Environmental Interactions
•Urban Resilience


Economic Geographies of Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Over the last three decades, China has experienced sharp economic growth, accompanied by the emergence of a vast number of entrepreneurial firms and innovations. This project will examine China’s regional variations in entrepreneurship and innovation, and will take advantage of emerging location-based big data to examine the spatial aspects of innovation ecosystem. Our ongoing research combines rigorous methodologies from urban economics, spatial analysis, and data science to study how the evolution of entrepreneurship and innovation in China interacts with public policies at various spatial-temporal scales and to estimate the effects of economy-wide shocks. The research will provide insights for a better understanding of economic reform, the relationship between private firms and government, and the challenges faced by the Chinese economy, and will suggest policies that promote local entrepreneurship and innovation.
China Green Urbanization
In Spring 2018, the MIT China Future City Lab (MIT-CFC) will start to collaborate with China State Council’s Development Research Center (DRC) on the project “Green Urbanization in China”, sponsored by China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED). The whole project is led by Liu Shijin, who is the Chinese Chief Advisor of CCICED and the former Vice Chairman of DRC of the State Council. The project investigates innovative approaches to Green Urbanization in China. CCICED is a high-level, not-for-profit international advisory body, established in 1992 by China’s central government. It consists of important Chinese and international figures and well-known experts in the field of environment and development. In light of the current attempts to redefine and innovate urbanization in China, DRC has selected MIT-CFC as their international collaborator. This project investigates cutting-edge approaches to environmental planning and urban development in China’s representative rural areas. Using Shishou (in Hubei Province) as a testing ground, the project studies key environmental and development issues of the Chinese countryside and seeks to provide forward-looking and strategic policy recommendations to governmental leaders and decision makers of all levels in China. Aligned with CCICED’s mission, MIT-CFC’s research will facilitate the implementation of sustainable development strategies and will shed light on approaches to developing a resource-conscious and environmentally-friendly society in China.

Big Data in China


Siqi Zheng
Samuel Tak Lee Associate Professor, 
Lead PI, Faculty Director of CFC 
Prof. Zheng’s field of specialization is urban and environmental economics, urban development and real estate market, with a special focus on China. She published in many peer reviewed English journals including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and the Journal of Economic Literature, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Journal of Economic Geography, European Economic Review, Journal of Urban Economics, Regional Science and Urban Economics, Transportation Research Part A, Environment and Planning A, Ecological Economics, Journal of Regional Science, Real Estate Economics, Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics. A book she has co-authored, Blue Skies over Beijing: Economic Growth and the Environment in China (Princeton University Press) was published in May 2016. She has also published more than 100 papers and two books in Chinese. She is the Associated Editor of Journal of Economic Surveys, and is on the editorial board of Journal of Housing Economics and International Real Estate Review. She is the Vice General Secretary of the Global Chinese Real Estate Congress and on the board of the Asian Real Estate Society. Dr. Zheng has completed or been undertaking research projects granted or entrusted by the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, and the National Statistics Bureau of China, among others. She received her Ph.D. in urban development and real estate from Tsinghua University in 2005, and did her post-doc research at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. Prior to coming to MIT, she was a professor and the director of Hang Lung Center for Real Estate at Tsinghua University, China.

Principal Fields of Interest:

Urban Economics and Development
Housing Market and Policy
Environmental Quality of Urbanization

Data Partners

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