Lyu headshot

Title: Assistant Professor
Office Location: 525 BPM Center
Phone: 610-436-3396
Google Scholar Link: Dr. Yingying Lyu Profile


  • Harvard University, Graduate School of Design; Doctor of Design, 2019; urban planning and design concentration.
  • Harvard University, Graduate School of Design; Master in Design Studies, 2013; concentration in Energy and Environment.
  • Tsinghua University, School of Architecture; Beijing, China; Master of Engineering, 2010; focus on architecture and urban planning.
  • North China University of Technology, College of Mechanical & Electrical Engineering; Beijing, China; Bachelor of Engineering, 2002; majoring in automation and control engineering technology.

Area of Expertise

Health, aging, and environmental sustainability

Relevant Professional/Applied Experience


  • Post-doctoral Fellow, Harvard University Graduate School of Design; 2020-2022
  • Associate, Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering & Applied Sciences; Harvard-China Project; Since 2019 
  • Research Associate, Harvard University Graduate School of Design; 2013 –2014


  • Transportation Consultant, Dennis Frenchman Urban Design LLC; May – August 2018
  • Intern, AECOM Design and Planning, China Sustainability Center, Beijing; May – July 2012
  • Project Designer, Tsinghua University Urban Planning & Design Institute; 2008–2009
  • Designer, Cox Architecture (Australia), Beijing Office; 2004–2007
  • Designer, Architectural Design & Research Institute of Tsinghua University; 2003 –2004
  • Engineer, Chinese Academy of Sciences, The Institute of Automation; 2002 –2003

Research Programs/Grants/Interests

The Social Technology for Global Aging Research Initiative (STGA) at Harvard University, the Lishui Community Study team, since 2020. 

  • Research how the built environments can support physical, mental, and social health and enhance health equity.
  • Explore how technology and age-friendly environments can improve older people’s health outcomes and quality of life.
  • Design a quantitative household survey and multiple qualitative studies on age-friendly communities and technology for aging, collaborating with colleagues at the STGA. Data collection also combines GIS data and audits of homes and neighborhoods.
  • Coordinate with Chinese collaborators on survey implementation in Lishui District, Nanjing, China. 

Recent Publications/Journals/Books

  • Lyu, Y., & Forsyth, A. (2022). Planning, aging, and loneliness: Reviewing evidence about built environment effects. Journal of Planning Literature, 37(1), 28–48.
  • Lyu, Y., Forsyth, A. & Worthington, S. (2021). Built environment and self-rated health: comparing young, middle-aged, and older people in Chengdu, China. HERD: Health Environments Research & Design Journal, 14(3), 229–246.
  • Lyu, Y. & Forsyth, A. (2021). Attitudes, perceptions, and walking behavior in a Chinese city. Journal of Transport & Health, 21, 101047.
  • Lyu, Y. & Forsyth, A. (In Press). Technological devices and aging in place: An inventory and assessment focusing on the neighborhood and city scales. Cities & Health

Professional Engagement

Service to Profession

  • Communications Committee member, Global Planning Educators Interest Group (GPEIG) of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP) since 2021
  • Discussant, The Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP) Annual Conference 2021

Professional Affiliations

  • Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning
  • American Planning Association
  • Association of American Geographers
  • International Association for China Planning

Referee for peer-reviewed journals, international conferences, and paper awards, since 2021

  • Frontiers in Public Health
  • Journal of Transport and Health 
  • HERD: Health Environments Research & Design Journal 
  • Cities & Health
  • International Association for China Planning (review for paper awards 2021)
  • Data for Policy 2021 (conference full paper review) 

Classes Regularly Taught

  • GEO104 Introduction to Geospatial Technology and Analytics
  • GEO 324 Intro to Geographic Information Systems
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