Deland Chan

DPhil in Sustainable Urban Development


Understanding Responses to Environmental Amenities in Low-Income Ethnic Neighborhoods: A Place-Based and Intersectionality Analysis of San Francisco Chinatown


Dr Nihan Akyelken


Deland is pursuing a DPhil in Sustainable Urban Development as a Clarendon Scholar. She works as the Director of Community Engaged Learning in the Program on Urban Studies and Co-Founder of the Human Cities Initiative at Stanford University, where she teaches project-based courses on sustainable cities and human-centered design. She holds a B.A with honors in Urban Studies, an M.A. in Sociology from Stanford University, and a Master in City Planning from UC Berkeley. Deland is a member of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, American Institute of Certified Planners, and is a LEED Accredited Professional.


Refereed Journal Articles:

Li, N., Chan, D., Mao, Q., Hsu, K., Zhiyong, F. (2018). “Urban sustainability education: Challenges and pedagogical experiments.” Habitat International, 71(1): 70-80. 


Book Chapters:

Chan, D. (2018). Addressing Air Pollution Impacts on Senior Citizens in Beijing, China: The International Urbanization Seminar. In L. Abendroth & B. Bell (Eds.), Public Interest Design Education Guidebook: Curricula, Strategies, and SEED Academic Case Studies (pp. 147-153). New York, NY: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.


Book Reviews:

Chan, D. (2019). “Urban Design Thinking: A Conceptual Toolkit by Kim Dovey.” Technology|Architecture + Design, 3(1): 119-121. 


Other Writing and Reports:

Chan, D. (2018). “Sustainable communities for whom: cultural tactics in the pursuit of ecological sustainability.” Harvard Asian American Policy Review, 28(1), 52-57.

Chan, D. (2018). “What counts as 'real' city planning?CityLab.  

Chan, D. (2016). “Four pillars of sustainability: A field guide to cities.” Stanford Digital Repository.

Research interests

My research lies at the intersections of urban sustainability, environmental justice, and community planning. By drawing from urban studies and critical race and ethnic studies, I aim to understand the spatial and socio-political aspects of participatory planning in immigrant ethnic communities.

I am also interested in community-engaged learning and research to improve pedagogical methods for training the next generation of urban professionals and scholars.