Chendi Zhang

Chendi Zhang (she/her/hers) is a doctoral student in Urban Planning at UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs. Her research interests include age-friendly public space, participation and community engagement, urban design, smart city and technologies, and Urban China.

Prior to pursuing her PhD, Chendi was a landscape designer at OLIN, Philadelphia, assisted in curating Penn-China Design Dialogue 2019, worked on Beautiful China – Reflections on Landscape Architecture in Contemporary China as an assistant editor and book designer, and started to share tutorials about landscape architecture and her experience as an international student in design and planning major as a social media influencer.

Chendi studied and worked in the field of landscape architecture for ten years, holding her master’s degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania and bachelor’s degree of Science in Landscape Architecture from Beijing Forestry University. With her research concentration, practice experience, and design background, Chendi studies urban issues from a perspective of how planning and design processes can collaborate more tightly and efficiently to better respond to the demands of overlooked and misrepresented vulnerable groups and reduce spatial inequality in the built environment.


Hilary Malson

Hilary Malson is a planning and geography scholar whose research focuses on grassroots planning histories, Black life, housing justice, migration and displacement, suburban studies, and community building. For her dissertation, she is researching the ongoing displacement and dispersal of Black Angelenos to the Inland Empire, the Antelope Valley, and the High Desert, and is analyzing how placemaking and community development might be reframed through a regional-scale, diasporic lens. Since 2017, she has stewarded and supported numerous initiatives of the Housing Justice in Unequal Cities (HJUC) research coordination network, an NSF-funded program of the UCLA Luskin Institute on Inequality and Democracy. In keeping with her commitment to public scholarship, she co-edited and coordinated the publication of numerous HJUC open access publications, including Housing Justice in Unequal Cities and the Methodologies for Housing Justice Resource Guide (English / Español).

Hilary holds more than a decade of experience working in public history (Smithsonian, National Trust, Monument Lab), community development (Mt. Airy CDC), and community organizing in D.C. and Los Angeles. She earned a BA from Haverford College in the Growth and Structure of Cities program at Bryn Mawr College, and studied geography at the London School of Economics, where she earned a MSc in Urbanization and Development (Distinction). She is presently a Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellow, an editorial board member of Critical Planning Journal, and an advisory board member of the Los Angeles Center for Community Law and Action. Additionally, she has worked as a Teaching Associate in the Public Affairs (undergrad) and Urban Planning (graduate) programs, and is an affiliate of the Southern California Library, the UCLA Black Feminism Initiative, and the UCLA Urban Sociology Working Group.

Recent publications: