Felicity Hwee-Hwa CHAN 

Title: Fellow

Alumni: PhD in Policy, Planning and Development, University of Southern California

Discipline/s: Urban Planning and Design, Urban Sociology

E-mail: felicity_chan@sutd.edu.sg

Contact: 64994840


Felicity Hwee-Hwa Chan is an urban planner, designer, and social researcher who enjoys doing comparative urban research that first seeks to understand the urban conditions and relational dynamics of a place, and then offer practical socio-spatial insights for the crafting of policies and plans that enable social inclusion and place enjoyment. She likes using a mix of methods including ethnography, interviews, and surveys with different forms of mapping to understand the multi-faceted urban realm. Felicity’s research has focused on issues of urban diversification arising from immigration and how it has shaped inter-group relations, local belonging, and public space design. She is the author of the book Tensions in Diversity: Spaces for Collective Life in Los Angeles published by the University of Toronto Press. The book presents a visually rich narrative of how groups negotiate socio-spatial co-existence in multi-ethnic and multi-national neighbourhoods of Los Angeles, and the design elements of public spaces that are conducive for inter-cultural learning.

Prior to joining LKYCIC, Felicity was an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Sciences at Nanyang Technological University Singapore where she started an undergraduate program in Geography and Urban Planning. Her teaching pedagogy emphasizes a theory-practice nexus through planning and design studios that offer students the opportunity to apply urban and planning knowledge to real-world contexts of urban development and local community dynamics. Felicity is currently a council member of the Singapore Institute of Planners (SIP), and between 2007 and 2017, a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). Before graduate school, Felicity practiced physical planning at the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore (URA) where she gained familiarity with local planning issues and processes in Singapore, evaluated masterplans, and designed new land use plans. She played a key role in the formulation of the one-north masterplan and the redesigning of Punggol New Town to enhance the recreational and ecological values of the neighbourhood. A stint at the Institute of International Urban Development (I2UD) assisting in development consulting projects deepened her understanding of the different political, economic, social, and spatial conditions of urbanization for countries in the Global South and the Global North.

Her current research interests: 1) how do transformations in the urban built and social environments, such as via urban redevelopment, shape the formation of a collective and individuals’ sense of home and belonging? 2) what is the lived experience of urbanization for rural migrants in small Chinese cities? 3) as a co-investigator with Future Cities Lab-Global, she is researching about urban design parameters and outcomes that enable resilient forms of social interaction in densely populated environments facing changing climatic conditions.


  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity (2014)
  • PhD (Policy, Planning and Development), University of Southern California (2013)
  • Master of Urban Planning, Harvard University (2004)
  • BA (Hons) in Geography, National University of Singapore (2000)
  • BA in Geography and Southeast Asian Studies, National University of Singapore (1999)


  • Chan, Felicity Hwee-Hwa., & Low, Hui Lee. (In press). Deciphering the ‘Cosmopolitan Grid’: The Production of Space in Diversifying Heartland Neighborhoods of Singapore, Urban Studies.
  • Chan, Felicity Hwee-Hwa., Kwan, Ashley., Teo, Angela., & Wang, Yi Wen. (2023) Back to the Future: Generational Perspectives on Urban Planning in Singapore, Knowledge Project of the Singapore Institute of Planners, 1, 1-28.
  • Chan, Felicity Hwee-Hwa. (2023). Interviewing Tan Cheng Siong. Knowledge Project of the Singapore Institute of Planners, 1, 11-15.
  • Chan, Felicity Hwee-Hwa. (2023). Interviewing Foo Chee See. Knowledge Project of the Singapore Institute of Planners, 1,  16-19.
  • Chan, Felicity Hwee-Hwa., & Teo, Angela. (2023). Commentary: What is a Good City? Knowledge Project of the Singapore Institute of Planners, 1, 20.
  • Chan, Felicity Hwee-Hwa. (2023). Commentary: What do Future-Ready Planners look like? Knowledge Project of the Singapore Institute of Planners, 1, 25-28.
  • Chan, Felicity Hwee-Hwa. (2022). Tensions in Diversity: Spaces for Collective Life in Los Angeles, Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
  • Chan, Felicity Hwee-Hwa. (2019). “Claiming ordinary space in the ‘cosmopolitan grid’: The case of Singapore,” in The New Companion to Urban Design, edited by Tridib Banerjee and Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, New York: Routledge.
  • Banerjee, T., Chakravarty, S. and Chan, Felicity Hwee-Hwa. (2016). “Negotiating the identity of diaspora: ethnoscapes of the Southeast Asian communities in Los Angeles,” in Space and Pluralism, edited by Stefano Moroni and David Weberman, Budapest: Central European Press.
  • Chakravarty, S. and Chan, Felicity Hwee-Hwa. (2016). “Imagining and making shared spaces: Multivalent murals in new ethnic ‘-towns’ of Los Angeles” in Space and Culture. 19(4): 406-420.
  • Chan, Felicity Hwee-Hwa. (2013). “The intercultural climate and local belonging in the multi-ethnic neighborhoods of Los Angeles,” in The Open Urban Studies Journal 6: 30-39.
  • Chan, Felicity Hwee-Hwa. (2013). “Spaces of negotiation and engagement in multi-ethnic ethnoscapes: the ‘Cambodian Town’ neighborhood in Central Long Beach, California,” in Transcultural Cities: Border-crossing and Place-making, edited by Jeff Hou. New York and Oxon UK: Routledge.