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Chingwen Cheng

Chingwen Cheng
Senior Sustainability Scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability
Assistant Professor, The Design School, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts

The Design School
Arizona State University
PO Box 871605
Tempe, AZ 85287-1605

Prior to joining the ASU in Fall 2015, Chingwen Cheng was a visiting scholar at the Risk Society and Policy Research Center at the National Taiwan University and post-doctoral research fellow at the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan.

Cheng has been dedicated to engaging transdisciplinary research to advance resilience theory in design practices through investigating climate change impacts on urban water systems and social-ecological vulnerability and the role of green infrastructure to enhance resilience under the consideration of climate justice for long-term sustainability of communities.

Cheng has investigated the climate change and land use change impacts associated with urban growth through scenarios and hydrological modeling (SWAT) on flooding hazards in addition to the empirical evidence of Climate Justice—uneven distribution of climate change associated environmental hazards exposed to socially vulnerable groups. Moreover, she has investigated the effects of green infrastructure in mitigating climate change-induced flooding and its role in serving as adaptation strategies. Current research efforts examine the resilience theory and design implications and assessment of green infrastructure performance for their ecosystem services benefits and their adaptive capacity to climate change. Finally, efforts are underway to engage communities, especially socially vulnerable groups, to learn how climate risk perception and adaptation actions across institutional scales that influence green infrastructure decision-making in order to address climate justice in design.

PhD, Regional Planning, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, 2013

MLA, Landscape Architecture, University of Michigan, 2001

BS, Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, National Taiwan University-Taipei, 1998

Journal Articles


Cheng, C., R. I. Ryan, P. S. Warren and C. Nicolson. 2017. Exploring stakeholders' perceptions of urban growth scenarios for metropolitan Boston (USA): The relationship between urban trees and perceived density. Cities and the Environment 10(1):Art. 7. (link )

Cheng, C., J. Tsai, Y. E. Yang, R. Esselman, M. M. Kalcic, X. Xu and P. Mohai. 2017. Risk communication and climate justice planning: A case of Michigan's Huron River Watershed. Urban Planning 2(4):34-50. DOI: 10.17645/up.v2i4.1045. (link )

Cheng, C., E. Yang, R. L. Ryan, Q. Yu and E. A. Brabec. 2017. Assessing climate change-induced flooding mitigation for adaptation in Boston’s Charles River watershed, USA. Landscape and Urban Planning 167(November):25-36. DOI: 10.1016/J.LANDURBPLAN.2017.05.019. (link )


Cheng, C. 2016. Spatial climate justice and green infrastructure assessment: A case study for the Huron River watershed, Michigan, USA. GI-Forum 1:176-190. DOI: 10.1553/giscience2016_01_s176. (link )


Cheng, C. 2014. Resilience thinking in landscape planning: A transdisciplinary framework and a case for climate change adaptation. Landscape Research Record 2:178-189. (link )

Cheng, C., E. A. Brabec, Y. E. Yang and R. L. Ryan. 2014. Rethinking stormwater management in a changing world: Effects of detention for flooding hazard mitigation under climate change scenarios in the Charles River watershed. Landscape Research Record 1:214-228. (link )

Danford, R., C. Cheng, M. W. Strohbach, R. L. Ryan, C. Nicolson and P. S. Warren. 2014. What does it take to achieve equitable urban tree canopy distribution? A Boston case study. Cities and the Environment 7(1):Art. 2. (link )

Book Chapters


Cheng, C. 2014. Green infrastructure, urbanization and climate change-induced flooding: An integrated risk assessment and planning framework for the Charles River watershed in the Boston metropolitan area, USA. Pp. 82-90 In: Palestino, M. F. and F. D. Moccia eds., Planning Stormwater Resilient Urban Open Space. CLEAN. ISBN: 978-8884972569.



Lee, J. and C. Cheng. 2017. Land use patterns, water quality, and social vulnerability: A spatial analysis of Phoenix's drainage systems. Poster presented at the 19th Annual Central-Arizona Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research All Scientists Meeting and Poster Symposium, 13 January 2017, Skysong, Scottsdale, AZ. (link )



Cheng, C., N. Grimm, L. McPhillips, J. Lee and M. Palta. 2017. Green infrastructure, urban resilience and sustainability. Presentation at the Resilience 2017: Resilience Frontiers for Global Sustainability, August 20-23, 2017, Stockholm, Sweden. (link )

Cheng, C., J. Tsai, E. Y. Yang, R. Esselman, M. M. Kalcic, X. Xu and P. Mohai. 2017. Climate justice, risk communication, and planning: A case for Michigan's Huron River watershed. Presentation at the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP) 57th Annual Conference, October 12-15, 2017, Denver, CO.

Cheng, C., J. Tsai, E. Y. Yang, R. Esselman, M. Kalcic, X. Xu and P. Mohai. 2017. How voices inform design for climate justice and green infrastructure: A case for Michigan’s Huron River watershed. Presentation at the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) 44th Annual Conference, May 31-June 3, 2017, Madison, WI.

Cook, E. M., O. Barbosa, M. Berbes-Blazquez, C. Cheng, N. B. Grimm, D. M. Iwaniec and P. T. McPhearson. 2017. A social-ecological-technological systems (SETS) approach to urban ecosystem services. Presentation at the II Conference of the Programme on Ecosystem Change and Society: Place-based Transdisciplinary Research for Global Sustainability, November 7-10, 2017, Oaxaca, Mexico. (link )

Grimm, N. B., M. Berbes Blazquez, C. Cheng, E. M. Cook, P. T. McPhearson and L. McPhillips. 2017. Assessing urban aquatic services in the face of climate-driven extreme events. Presentation at the Portland ESA 2017, August 6-11, 2017, Portland, OR. (link )

McPhearson, P. T., E. Cook, C. Cheng, N. Grimm and D. Iwaniec. 2017. Climate resilience in urban social-ecological-technical systems: A SETS Approach to urban ecosystem services. Presentation at the Resilience 2017: Resilience Frontiers for Global Sustainability, August 20-23, 2017, Stockholm, Sweden. (link )

McPhillips, L., C. Cheng, P. T. McPhearson and N. B. Grimm. 2017. Cross-city spatial comparison of green infrastructure distribution in the US and Latin America. Presentation at the II Conference of the Programme on Ecosystem Change and Society: Place-based Transdisciplinary Research for Global Sustainability, November 7-10, 2017, Oaxaca City, Mexico. (link )


Cheng, C. 2015. Climate justice and implications in climate change adaptation planning for the Huron River Watershed, Michigan. Presentation at the 55th Annual ACSP Conference: Justice and the City: (re)Examining the Past to Create the Future, October 22-25, 2015, Houston, TX. (link )

Cheng, C. 2015. Transdisciplinary planning and cultural landscape preservation: A case for Gullah community in St. Helena Island, SC. Presentation at the Symposium on Culture Identity and Spatial Implementation, January 6, 2015, National Quemoy University, Kinmen, Taiwan.


Cheng, C. 2014. Resilent growth with climate justice: A social-environmental climate vulnerability assessment framework for spatial planning. Presentation at the European Schools of Planning (AESOP), July 9-12, 2014, Utrecht-Delft, The Netherlands.

Cheng, C., P. S. Warren, R. L. Ryan and C. Nicolson. 2014. Planning in the linked social-ecological systems: A conceptual framework and a case for the BMA ULTRA-ex Project. Presentation at the edra45: Building with Change, May 28-31, 2014, New Orleans, LA. (link )

Conference Papers


Ryan, R. L., P. S. Warren, C. Nicolson, C. Cheng, R. Danford and M. W. Strohbach. 2013. Scenario planning for the Boston metropolitan region: Exploring environmental and social implications of alternative futures. Pp. 74-80 Proceedings of Fabios Conference on Landscape and Greenway Planning. Fabios Conference on Landscape and Greenway Planning.



Cheng, C. 2008. Infrastructure in Visions of Smart Growth and Sustainability: Florida Chapter ASLA Charrette to Illustrate Tools for Better Urban Growth and Environmental Stewardship. ASLA Publishing.


Cheng, C. and J. Haugland. 2005. Changing Cost Perceptions: An Analysis of Conservation Development. Illinois Conservation Foundation, Chicago Wilderness and Conservation Research Institute. (link )

Thesis (PhD)


Cheng, C. 2013. Social vulnerability, green infrastructure, urbanization and climate change-induced flooding: A risk assessment for the Charles River watershed, Massachusetts, USA. PhD Dissertation. University of Massachusetts-Amherst. (link )