Yuanxuan Yang


Project title

GIS-based spatial data mining and microsimulation for the analysis of elderly care service inequalities

Project overview

Elderly care, which is closely associated with human well-being and aging population, has become a major public concern, with tensions becoming apparent between the supply of economic and social resources needed by an increasingly aging population, and the demand for rudimentary facilities and services. This tension is exacerbated by the current sub-optimal spatial provision of services across China, resulting in elderly people in urgent need of community and home care service.

New thinking from complexity science is shaping how we understand and thus model the processes and drivers within cities. The organization of cities is recognized to be fundamentally characterized by dynamic, complex and emergent processes. Because of this, it is difficult for traditional static top-down approaches to spatial planning to meet the needs of urban populations. Additionally, the current and potential political changes, such as delaying retirement age and the abolition of One Child Policy, make elderly care issue more complex in China than in other countries. There is a need for functional spatial simulation systems to model different policy scenarios in order to address the problems described above. Microsimulation allows population drivers and dynamics to be simulated from the bottom-up. Linking GIS, spatial analyses, big data analytics with microsimulation modelling will provide the bedrock for the study. Each element will play an important part in understanding the limits in elderly provision now (current demand) and where pressures will be felt in the future (new demand).


The overall aim of this project is to support the planning of elderly care service facilities and policymaking in relation to population aging in China.


  • Professor Alexis Comber
  • Professor Alison Heppenstall

Research Affiliations


University of Leeds & Chinese Scholarships Council


  • Bachelor of Science (Geographical Information Science)
  • School of Environment Science and Spatial Informatics, China University of Mining and Technology(2009-2013)
  • Master of Engineering (Cartography and Geographic Information Engineering)
  • School of Environment Science and Spatial Informatics, China University of Mining and Technology(2013-2016)

Working experience

  • Intern, National Geomatics Centre of China, Beijing. (2014/6-2015/4)