Yu-Hung Hong

Yu-Hung Hong is the founder and Executive Director of Land Governance Laboratory where he studies the use of land tools to facilitate open and inclusive decision making processes for land resource allocation in developing countries. He is also a Lecturer of Urban Planning and Finance at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Visiting Fellow at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. He earned his Ph.D. in Urban Development and Masters in City Planning from the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT. His research focuses on property rights and obligations, land readjustment/sharing, and local public finance. Specifically, he is interested in investigating how governments can capture land value increments created by public investment and community collaboration for financing local infrastructure and durable shelters for the poor. 

Dr. Hong has been teaching urban public finance since 1996 and publishes on topics related to property rights, public land leasing, land readjustment, and property taxation. He is the author of several academic papers and the coeditor of ten books including:

  • Leasing Public Land: Policy Debates and International Experiences (2003; translated into Chinese in 2007); 
  • Analyzing Land Readjustment: Economics, Law, and Collective Action (2007); 
  • Land Policies and Their Outcomes (2007); 
  • Fiscal Decentralization and Land Policies (2008); 
  • Property Rights and Land Policies (2009); 
  • Smart Growth Policies: An Evaluation of Programs and Outcomes (2009); 
  • Local Revenues and Land Policies (2010); 
  • China’s Local Public Finance in Transition (2010); 
  • Climate change and Land Policies (2011); and 
  • Value Capture and Land Policies (2012). 

In collaboration with UN-HABITAT, Dr. Hong is undertaking a book project to examine why some countries have or have not taken the key values of land readjustment--public participation and inclusiveness--seriously. The edited volume, Participatory and Inclusive land Readjustment, will be published in late 2014.    

His current research projects include:

  • the design of durable shelter solutions for internally displaced persons in the post-war era of Iraq with UN-HABITAT, Regional Office for Arab States;
  • potential applications of participatory and inclusive land readjustment (PILaR) for urban expansion and redevelopment in Medellin, Colombia with UN-HABITAT, Main Office in Nairobi;
  • land value capture for public transit investment in developing countries with the World Bank; and
  • the balancing of property rights and obligations in land and housing policy discourse in the United States.