I-Chun Catherine Chang

Qualifications: B.A. in Geography from National Kaohsiung Normal University;M.Sc. in Geography from National Taiwan University (both in Taiwan); Ph.D. in Geography, Environment and Society from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.
Affiliation: Assistant Professor, Geography Macalester College, Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA.


I-Chun Catherine Chang is an urban and economic geographer, with regional specialty in East Asia. Much of her scholarship focuses on the political economy of urban infrastructure projects in East Asian cities. She explores how these infrastructure projects are situated in various place-specific contexts and embedded in trans-local circulation of knowledge, discourse, and practices.
Before joining Macalester, Catherine spent several years studying the urban sustainability movement of building eco-friendly and low carbon emission towns across Asia. This movement is driven by a new wave of neoliberal urban policies asserting that cities can transform the zero-sum competition between environment and economy into a symbiotic relation. This idea has spurred hundreds of new town projects in Asia, all of which similarly promote urban sustainability to enhance urban entrepreneurship, and invest in environmental technologies to boost the cities’ competitiveness. Catherine’s research both contextualized how these grand initiatives manifest on the ground, and traced the genealogical connectivities of these projects that reshape the global circulation of sustainable planning knowledge and practices. Using two Chinese newly built eco-cities as case studies, Catherine examined the spatio-temporal variegations and transnational circulation of these two eco-city models between Shanghai, Tianjin, London and Singapore. Building on this line of work, Catherine’s new projects will investigate the financialization of eco-urbanism production, the inequality implication of Asian green urban projects, and the role of transnational sustainable urban planners in policy exchanges.
Education: B.A., National Kaohsiung Normal University, Taiwan; M.Sc., National Taiwan University, Taiwan; Ph.D., University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.
Catherine has been teaching at Macalester since 2015.

Current research