Skip to main content
Dr Yi Gong BEng, MA, PhD

Dr Yi Gong

BEng, MA, PhD

Research Fellow


Yi is a research fellow at the Sustainable Places Research Institute on working package 3: Health, Infrastructure and Well-being.

Her work explores how our lifestyle and behaviour and health can be affected by the natural and built environments at both individual and population levels. She is interested in developing interdisciplinary methods and tools that can help us to understand, communicate and visualise the complex spatio-temporal relationships between the environment, behaviour and health.


Yi obtained an MA in Human Geography from the University of Liverpool and a PhD from University College London after completing her undergraduate degree in Information Engineering at Wuhan University, China. Prior to her current postdoctoral research position at Cardiff University she worked as a researcher at the University of Manchester and University College London.

Professional memberships

2010 to present, Conference Coordinator, GIScience Research Group, Royal Geographical Society with IBG
















Yi teaches GIS modules for MSc courses in School of Geography and Planning.

My research focuses on the relationships between environment, human activities and health. As a health and environmental geographer, I integrate knowledge across disciplines (including geography, planning, sociology, epidemiology, GIScience) and explore ways to develop a better understanding of (1) the interplay of social, economic and environmental factors in relation to human health and behaviour (e.g. walking, physical activity), (2) the impact of place-making in shaping sustainable urban development and (3) the community resilience and vulnerability in relation to natural hazards and climate-related disasters.

Current research projects include:

1)  The impact of rapid urbanisation on health in Chinese mega-cities (Co-Investigator), 2017, funded by Newton UK- China researcher links

(2) Resilience to earthquake-induced landslide risk in China (Researcher Co-Investigator),2016-2019, funded by NERC & ESRC + NSFC

(3) Systems thinking and place-based methods for healthier Malaysian cities (Co-Investigator), 2016-2018, funded by Newton-Ungku Omar Institutional Links

(4) Gender, Health and Sustainability in using natural resources: A case study of Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales (Second supervisor), (2016-2020), ESRC Type 2 DTC 1+3 studentship

Completed research projects

  • Green infrastructure for healthier citizens: promoting networks and learning between Indonesia and Malaysia (Co-Investigator), 2016, funded by ESRC IAA Global Challenges Fund
  • Transformative thinking by using digital fiction as a tool for improving body image (Co-I), funded by Welsh Crucible, 2012 - 2013, in collaboration with Aberystwyth University and Bangor University
  • Can the physical environment you live in influence your health expectancies? Principal Investigator, in collaboration with ONS, funded by ESRC Transformative research Seedcorn Funding
  • GraBS (Green & Blue Space Adaptation for Urban Areas and Eco towns) project funded by the European Union's Regional Development Fund
  • Housing and Neighbourhood Monitor project funded by Joseph Rowntree Foundation
  • SURegen (Integrated Decision Support System for Sustainable Urban Regeneration) funded by EPSRC
  • PLUREL (Peri-urban Land Use Relationships - Strategies and Sustainability Assessment Tools for Urban-Rural Linkages) funded by the EU FP6
  • SOLUTIONS (Sustainability of Land Use and Transport In Outer NeighbourhoodS) funded by EPSRC
  • CAPABLE (Children's Activities, Perceptions and Behaviour in the Local Environment) funded by EPSRC
  • Town Centre project - "Tracking Retail Trends in London, Creating a Data Time Series" funded by Greater London Authority (GLA) Economics