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Zhenhua Chen, PhD

  • Assistant Professor, City and Regional Planning Section
295 Knowlton Hall

Zhenhua is an assistant professor in City and Regional Planning at the Knowlton School of Architecture. His research interest includes regional science, risk and resilience, transportation planning and policy. He has a strong background in impact assessments of infrastructure investment policy, economic resilience, and natural hazards using Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) models. He is one of the lead developers of the Economic Consequence Analysis Tool, an Excel-VBA software that is intended for policymakers and analysts who need quick estimates of the economic impact of numerous threats, including terrorism, natural disasters, and technological accidents.

Zhenhua’s dissertation develops, demonstrates and applies a new extension to computable general equilibrium analysis with an integration of spatial econometrics to assist policy makers in assessing the impact of public infrastructure investments on economic output at different geographic scales (national, state and metropolitan) with an emphasis on the U.S. northeast megaregion. His dissertation receives a series of awards, including the Benjamin H. Stevens Graduate Fellowship in Regional Science awarded by North American Regional Science Council, the Vernon E. Jordan, Jr. Fellowship Award awarded by Economic Club of Washington, D.C., and the 2014 RSAI Best Dissertation Award.

Zhenhua’s recent research has been published on peer-reviewed journals, such as Transportation Research Part A, Transport Reviews, Journal of Transport Geography, Transportation, Annals of Regional Science, Papers in Regional Science, Economic Development Quarterly. His recent book Chinese Railways in the Era of High Speed is co-authored with Kingsley Haynes (Emerald, 2015). He also has two forthcoming books: one is Economic Consequence Analysis of Disasters: The E-CAT Software Tool, co-authored with Adam Rose, Fynn Prager, and Sam Chatterjee to be published by Springer. The other is Big Data for Regional Science, a co-edited volume with Laurie Schintler to be published by Routledge.

Before joining Ohio State, Zhenhua worked as a postdoctoral research associate at the National Center of Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE) at the University of Southern California. He received his PhD in Public Policy from George Mason University, a MA in Regional Economics from Shenzhen University in China and a BA in Management from the University of Electronic and Science and Technology of China.


CRPLAN 3000: Planning Resilient Environments 
CRPLAN 5001: Introduction to GIS 
CRPLAN 6080: Advanced GIS for Professional Planning Practice 
CRPLAN 6425: Measuring Resilience to Disasters for Planning

Recent Work

Big Data for Regional Science

Recent technological advancements and other related factors and trends are contributing to the production of an astoundingly large and rapidly accelerating collection of data, or ‘Big Data’. This data now allows us to examine urban and regional phenomena in ways that were previously not possible. This book brings together leading contributors to present an interdisciplinary, agenda-setting and action-oriented platform for research and practice in the urban and regional community. The content is organized along four themes: sources of big data; integration, processing and management of big data; analytics for big data; and, higher level policy and programmatic considerations. The book also considers future challenges and prospects for the use of big data in regional science.

Selected Publications

Chen, Z., Haynes, K. Zhou, Y. and Dai, Z. (Forthcoming 2019). High-Speed Rail and China’s New Economic Geography: Impact Assessment from the Regional Science Perspective, Edward Elgar Publishing: Cheltenham, UK. (250 pages)


Chen, Z. (Forthcoming, 2019). Measuring The Regional Economic Impacts of High-Speed Rail Using a Dynamic SCGE Model: the Case of China. European Planning Studies.

More Information

Wei, D., Chen, Z., and Rose, A. (Forthcoming, 2018). Estimating Economic Impacts of the U.S.- South Korea Free Trade Agreement. Economic Systems Research.

More Information

Prager. F, Chen, Z., and Rose, A. (2018). Analyzing the Economic Consequences of Disasters across Multiple Threats Using Computable General Equilibrium Modeling. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 31, 45-57.

Chen, Z. and Rose, A. (2017). Economic Resilience to Transportation Failure: A Computable General Equilibrium Analysis, Transportation.