Xuepeng QIAN


Born in Jiangsu Province, China, I graduated from Shanghai Jiao Tong University in 2002, with dual degree on civil engineering and international economics and trade. Later, as MEXT scholarship student, received a master's degree in social system analysis (2004) and Ph.D. in engineering (2007) from the Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Ritsumeikan University. Worked as a lecturer at the Department of Environmental Systems Engineering, Ritsumeikan University (2007-2010), as assistant professor and associate professor at Environment and Development Cluster, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (2010-2021), and deputy director of the Ritsumeikan Research Center for Sustainability Studies (2019-2021), before becoming a professor at the Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies in 2021.

Introduction to Prof. QIAN's Research Activities

My specialty is urban environmental planning. I have been working on urban and environmental issues, such as urban development, transportation, resource sustainability, water, energy, and low carbon, through interdisciplinary and systems approaches. My research interests are focused on exploring the visions of urban and regional sustainability and how to plan and promote transformations for sustainable development. Specifically, I am currently conducting investigations and research on urban population decline and countermeasures, the economy and material flow analysis for regional circulation systems, the transformation of industry into cleaner and decarbonised production, and individual low carbon mobility and pro-environmental behaviour.

Education and Research Focus at GENV

Urban and environmental problems are complexly intertwined with the factors of politics, policy, economics, management, science and technology, and social culture on the temporal and spatial axis, short- and long-term, and local and global scale. Hence, to design and plan optimal solutions for these issues, we must understand the complex urban and environmental systems from multidimensional perspectives. Therefore, it is necessary to broaden our horizons and minds, gain specialised knowledge and study methods from diverse fields, such as economics, business management, policy, psychology, and other social sciences, engineering, and informatics, and facilitate improvements through the integration and advancement of interdisciplinary methodologies.

What can students learn from taking Prof. QIAN's courses?

Students are expected to foster the ability to analyse urban and environmental problems from a systematic perspective and create solutions for sustainable development that balances environmental as well as developmental needs, by understanding and making good use of technological and social innovations under the constraints of nature and social resources. In particular, we will deepen systems thinking and analysis, which are essential for understanding sustainability, and strengthen research design and quantitative analysis skills based on intensive theoretical learning. At the same time, the students will be able to improve their ability to think creatively and conduct independent research projects as they pursue their studies.

Research Seminar Synopsis

I have taught seminar students from more than 20 countries. These graduates are now active as consultants, civil servants, and international NPO/NGO staffs and so on. I have been conducting interdisciplinary research and teaching in both social science and engineering departments. I would like to flexibly adjust the educational policy to suit the characteristics of our students and create an international, highly diverse, and inclusive seminar. In addition, we are thoroughly committed to adopting field-based approaches to urban and environmental issues, developing study fields and partnerships with academics, governments, NPO/NGOs, and enterprises in Japan and abroad, and conducting research by incorporating the field resources.