CAI Yanjun 

Title: Research Fellow

Alumni: PhD in Urban and Regional Planning, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, U.S.

Discipline/s: Urban Planning, Development Studies


Contact: 64994863


Yanjun Cai is a Research Fellow for Chen TianQiao Programme: Cities and Innovation at the Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities (LKYCIC). Her research explores dimensions of climate resilience and urban sustainability in the social media era, paying additional attention to disadvantaged populations. It emphasizes how mixed methods, including photovoice, are applied to digitalize innovative pedagogy and urban governance in the Asia-Pacific region, from climate adaptation in metropolitan Manila facing frequent flood risks, social entrepreneurship of informal waste recycling among ethnic minority women in a peri-urban community of Yangon, to stream daylighting as a nature-based solution for socio-cultural resilience in Guangzhou’s aging districts. Her work focuses on climate justice, sustainable development, digital engagement, innovative methods, and creative placemaking.

She is supporting Belinda and team on the “Smart Sustainability Transformation” project.


  • Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Planning, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, U.S. (2017)
  • M.A. in Sociology, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, U.S. (2011)
  • M.A. in Cultural Management, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China (2009)
  • B.A. of Chinese Language and Literature, Beijing Normal University, China (2008)


  • Cai, Y. (2022). Climate resilience and resistance in Myanmar: Transcripts from voiceless women. Climate and Development, 0(0), 1–10.
  • Cai, Y., & Marks, D. (2021). Photovoice in the age of social media: Helping to build participation needed for urban climate resilience? Urban Climate, 40, 101019.
  • Cai, Y. (2020a). Visualizing Vulnerability for Inclusive Community Resilience: Photovoice Evidence from the Philippines. Journal of Planning Education and Research.
  • Cai, Y. (2020b). Renaissance of Resilience: A Buzzword or a New Ideal? Management and Organization Review, 16(5), 976–980.
  • Cai, Y. (2020c). Rethinking Empowerment: Seeking Justice, Not Just Sustainability. In W. Leal Filho, A. Marisa Azul, L. Brandli, P. Gökçin Özuyar, & T. Wall (Eds.), Sustainable Cities and Communities (pp. 546–555). Springer International Publishing.
  • Cai, Y. (2019). Opportunities for All: Inclusive and Equitable Sustainable Development. In W. Leal Filho, A. M. Azul, L. Brandli, P. G. Özuyar, & T. Wall (Eds.), Sustainable Cities and Communities (pp. 1–10). Springer International Publishing.
  • Thuon, T., & Cai, Y. (2019). Resistance for Resilience: A Reflexive Exploration of Battambang, Cambodia. In A. G. Daniere & M. Garschagen (Eds.), Urban Climate Resilience in Southeast Asia (pp. 127–146). Springer International Publishing.
  • Cai, Y. (2017). Bonding, bridging, and linking: Photovoice for resilience through social capital. Natural Hazards, 88(2), 1169–1195.
  • Cai, Y. (2015). Picturing Climate Governance: Photovoice and Public Participation. Working Paper Series on Public Participation and Climate Governance. The Centre for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL)/ The Governance, Environment & Markets Initiative at Yale University (GEM).