Lau, Mandy H.M. 劉杏雯

BSc (LSE); MPhil, PhD (Cantab)

Mandy Lau is Associate Professor in the Department of Urban Planning and Design. She received her PhD and MPhil from the Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge, and a BSc in Sociology from the London School of Economics.

Mandy is particularly interested in investigating low-income housing and the socio-psychological aspects of residential environments. She has led a number of research projects funded by the Research Grants Council (RGC), including a project on the evolution of the regulatory framework for private rental housing in Hong Kong, and a project on the impacts of planning disputes on public housing development. Mandy’s latest research explores inter-age relations, age segregation and ageism (age-related prejudice) in different types of neighbourhoods in Hong Kong.

Mandy is Secretary of the Asia-Pacific Network for Housing Research (APNHR). She has contributed to a number of contract research projects commissioned by professional institutes and NGOs, including a project on the liveability of public and private housing estates, commissioned by the Hong Kong Institute of Housing (HKIH), and a project on purpose-design elderly housing, commissioned by the Hong Kong Housing Society (HKHS).

Fields of interest

  • Low-income housing
  • Regulatory framework for adequate and affordable housing
  • Socio-psychological aspects of residential environments
  • Intergroup contact and intergroup attitudes
  • Intergenerational relations


  • Housing Economics
  • Housing, Planning and Sustainability
  • International Housing Policies and Practices
  • Foundation Course on Research Methods

Awards & Achievements

Dr Lau was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure.

External competitive research grants:

  • Principal Investigator: “Spatial age segregation and ageism: A social psychological analysis of age-specific housing” (Research Grants Council, General Research Fund, Jan 2020 – Dec 2021)
  • Principal Investigator: “A framing analysis of the inadequate housing problem in Hong Kong” (Research Grants Council, General Research Fund, Jan 2016 – Jun 2018)
  • Principal Investigator: “Legitimate or illegitimate NIMBYs? Understanding opposition to public housing through an interpretive approach” (Research Grants Council, General Research Fund, Jan 2014 – Jun 2016)

Recent Publications:

  • Lau, M.H.M. (2019) “Community-based housing solutions in Hong Kong: How and why have they emerged?” International Journal of Housing Policy, DOI: 10.1080/19491247.2019.1595910.
  • Chang, Y., Lau, M.H.M., Calogero, P. (2019) “Participatory governance in China: Analysing state-society relations in participatory initiatives in Suzhou”, International Development Planning Review, Special Issue on Community Development and Planning in Contemporary China, 41(3), pp. 329-352.
  • Lau M.H.M. & Wei, X. (2018) “Housing size and housing market dynamics: The case of micro-flats in Hong Kong”, Land Use Policy, 78, pp. 278-286.
  • Lau, M.H.M. (2018) “Lobbying for rent regulation in Hong Kong: Rental market politics and framing strategies”, Urban Studies, DOI: 10.1177/0042098018791951.
  • Lau, M.H.M. (2018) “Framing processes in planning disputes: Analysing dynamics of contention in a housing project in Hong Kong, Housing Studies, 33(5), pp. 667-683.
  • Chiu, R.L.H., Lau, M.H.M. & Seo, B. (2018) “The security-based public housing policy of Hong Kong: A social development interpretation”, in R.L.H. Chiu & S-K. Ha (Eds) Housing Policy, Wellbeing and Social Development in Asia, pp. 29-49, Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Lau, M.H.M. (2015) “Tackling uncertainties in plan implementation: lessons from a growth area in England”, Town Planning Review, 86(1), pp. 7-28.
  • Lau, M.H.M. (2014) “Sectoral integration and meta-governance: lessons beyond the ‘spatial planning’ agenda in England”, Town Planning Review, 85(5), pp. 617-637.
  • Lau, M.H.M. (2014) “Flexibility with a purpose: Constructing the legitimacy of spatial governance partnerships”, Urban Studies, 51(9), pp. 1943-1959.