Dr Paul Waley


My research grows out of a strong focus on specific geographic settings in East Asia. Tokyo has provided the context for much of my research, but I have also worked in Taipei and am currently involved in research projects in Shanghai and Anhui Province. I am also working with Indonesian colleagues on projects in Sumatra. I currently have two central areas of interest: urban restructuring in Chinese cities and contemporary East Asian cities in comparative perspective. I am also actively involved in research on ethnicity and politics in Indonesia and on traditional retail markets in the UK.

Research interests

Recent publications



Waley, Paul. 2022. Reflecting the changing landscapes of Edo-Tokyo’s east bank waterways. Storia Urbana 169:2, 125-146.

Jiang Yanpeng and Paul Waley. 2022. Keeping up with the zones(es): how competing local governments in China use development zones as back doors to urbanization. Urban Geography, DOI: 10.1080/02723638.2022.2041821 

Jiang Yanpeng and Paul Waley. 2021. Financialization of urban development in China: fantasy, fact or somewhere in between? Regional Studies. DOI: 10.1080/00343404.2021.1932792

Warganegara, Arizka, and Paul Waley. 2021. The political legacies of transmigration and the dynamics of ethnic politics: a case study from Lampung, Indonesia. Asian Ethnicity, DOI: 10.1080/14631369.2021.1889356.

Jiang Yanpeng and Paul Waley. 2020. Who builds cities in China? How urban investment and development companies have transformed Shanghai. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 44:4, 636-651.  

Jiang Yanpeng and Paul Waley. 2020. Small horse pulls big cart in the scalar struggles of competing administrations in Anhui Province, China. Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space 38:2, 329-346.

Chen Hao, Wang Lili and Paul Waley. 2019. The Right to Envision the City? The Emerging Vision Conflicts in Redeveloping Historic Nanjing, China. Urban Affairs Review 56:6, 1746–1778.

Jiang Yanpeng, Paul Waley and Sara González. 2018. ‘Nice apartments, no jobs’: How former villagers experienced displacement and resettlement in the western suburbs of Shanghai. Urban Studies 55:14, 3202-3217.

Jiang Yanpeng and Paul Waley. 2018. Shenhong: the anatomy of an urban investment and development company in the context of China’s state corporatist urbanism. Journal of Contemporary China 27:112, 596-610.

Wu Qiyan and Paul Waley. 2018. Configuring growth coalitions among the projects of urban aggrandizement in Kunming, Southwest China. Urban Geography 39:2, 282-298.

Wu Qiyan, Zhang Xiaoling and Paul Waley. 2017. When Neil Smith met Pierre Bourdieu in Nanjing, China: bringing cultural capital into rent gap theory. Housing Studies 32:5, 659-677.

Jiang Yanpeng, Paul Waley and Sara González. 2016. Shanghai swings: the Hongqiao project and competitive urbanism in the Yangtze River Delta. Environment and Planning A 48:10, 1928-1947.

Jiang Yanpeng, Paul Waley and Sara González. 2016. Shifting land-based coalitions in Shanghai’s second hub. Cities 52: 30-38.

Waley, Paul (2016) Speaking gentrification in the languages of the Global East. Urban Studies 53:3, 615-625.

Wu Qiyan, Zhang Xiaoling and Paul Waley. 2016. Jiaoyufication: When gentrification goes to school in the Chinese inner city. Urban Studies 53:16, 3510-3526.

Waley, Paul. 2013. Cities in transcontinental context: A comparison of mega urban projects in Shanghai and Belgrade. SPATIUM International Review No. 13. Pp. 7-11.

Waley, Paul. 2013. Pencilling Tokyo into the map of neoliberal urbanism. Cities 32: 43-50.

González, Sara, and Paul Waley. 2013. Traditional retail markets: the new gentrification frontier? Antipode 45:4, 965-983.

Waley, Paul. 2013. Placing Tokyo in time and space. Journal of Urban History 39:2, 331-335.

Waley, Paul. 2012. Japanese cities in Chinese perspective: towards a contextual, regional approach to comparative urbanism. Urban Geography 33:6, 816-828.

Percival, Tom, and Paul Waley. 2012. Articulating intra-Asian urbanism: the production of satellite cities in Phnom Penh. Urban Studies 49:13, 2873-2888.

Waley, Paul. 2011. Commemoration, conservation, and commodification: representing the past in present-day Tokyo. Jinbun chiri (Human geography) 63:6, 56–70.

Waley, Paul, and Ulrika Åberg. 2011. Finding space for flowing water in Japan’s densely populated landscapes. Environment and Planning A 43:10, 2321-2336.

Waley, Paul. 2011. from modernist to market urbanism: the transformation of New Belgrade. Planning Perspectives 26:2, 209-235.

Waley, Paul. 2010. From flowers to factories: a peregrination through changing landscapes on the edge of Tokyo. Japan Forum 22:4, 281-306.


Book chapters:

Waley, Paul 2017. Resilience amidst fragility along Tokyo’s waterways. In R. Cairoli and S. Soriani, eds. Fragile and Resilient Cities on Water: Perspectives from Venice and Tokyo. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Pp. 33-50.

Waley, Paul 2016. The Social Landscape of Edo. In K. Wigen, F. Sugimoto and C. Karacas, eds.  Cartographic Japan: A History in Maps. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Pp. 81-84.

Waley, Paul 2013. Modern Japanese Cities. In Paul Clark, ed. The Oxford Handbook of Cities in World History. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Pp. 542-560.

Waley, Paul 2012. Who cares about the past in today’s Tokyo? In C. Brumann and E. Schulz, eds. Urban Spaces in Japan: Social and Cultural Perspectives. London: Routledge. Pp. 148-166.

Waley, Paul 2011. The urbanization of the Japanese landscape. In V. Lyon Bestor, T. Bestor and A. Yamagata, eds. Routledge Handbook of Japanese Culture and Society. London: Routledge. Pp. 89-100.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Research groups and institutes

  • Social Justice, Cities, Citizenship