ChengHe Guan


Can urban design strategies promote sustainable urban future?

Dr. Guan’s research interest is on urban design, urban transformation, and urban simulation. He uses quantitative research methods, urban growth modeling, and spatial statistics to study the changing urban geographical processes and urban migration policies that shape cities, towns, and landscape. His expertise in GIS application and spatial analysis covers multidisciplinary topics including urban design, urban geography, and regional landscape planning. Dr. Guan is a registered Architect in California since 2009. He is the founding partner of a design consulting firm City Builder Design and serves as the chief designer for the North America Institute of Buddhism, a nonprofit organization in the United States.


He received his doctoral degree from the Department of Urban Planning and Design, Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. His recent publications including using cellular automata models to investigate network of cities and towns:



1. Urban Simulation and the Application of Cellular Automata in Urban and Regional Planning


Goal: This project examines the future urban growth patterns at a regional territory, utilizing geocomputation and land-based simulation methodologies. A scenario-based CA model, developed from the SLEUTH model, was applied to evaluate the impact of different regional growth policies.Methods: Spatial Analysis, Cellular Automata, SLEUTH Urban Growth Simulation


Article 1 - The application of the SLEUTH urban growth modeling - A literature review (2019)


Contributors and collaborators:


Junyan Yang, Southeast University

Peter Rowe, Harvard University

Michael Keith, University of Oxford

Keith Clarke, UCSB




2. Spatial Analysis of Urban Form and Transformation


This project investigates urban block, neighborhood, and city-scale urban forms and transformations using a variety of spatial metrics such as urban intensity.




3. Urban Design Strategies for Compact Cities and Urban Sprawl

- High-Rise High Density Urban Development and Vertical Urbanization


Many East Asian cities are more compact than their counterparts in North America. High-rise building clusters and extensive transit networks are often two of the defining charateristics of urban form. 




Rahul Mehrotra, Harvard University

Richard Peiser, Harvard University





4. Low Carbon City, Active Transport, and Anthropogenic Greenhouse Gas Emissions

- Urban Design and Planning Interventions for Cites of Tomorrow


How can urban design interventions contribute to build sustainable cities? 


Contributors and Collaborators


Sumeeta Srinivasan, Tufts University

Ann Forsyth, Harvard University

Chris Nielsen, Harvard University

Bo Zhang, China University of Mining & Technology


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