Yujuan Chen, Ph.D.



Ph.D., Urban Forestry, Virginia Tech M.S., Urban Forestry, Chinese Academy of Forestry B.S., Horticulture, Beijing Forestry University

Yujuan Chen has a long-standing interest in human-natural systems including forests, soils, water, and their interactions with human decisions and activities. She is working to explore the impacts of human decisions and activities on urban ecosystems, develop effective approaches to mitigate those impacts, and ultimately sustain and/or provide healthy land, clean water, and equitable urban green spaces for all. Yujuan joined USC School of Architecture in 2021 and she teaches ARCH 547: Advanced Topics in Urban Ecology.

Yujuan is a co-author of the 1st global Guidelines on Urban and Peri-urban Forestry which aims to optimize the contribution of forests and trees to sustainable urban development on a wide range of topics including food, energy, water, land and soils, green economy, biodiversity, human health and well-being. She has also co-developed the Urban and Peri-urban Forestry Online Module as part of the sustainable forest management (SFM) toolbox during her work with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Rome, Italy. In addition, Yujuan has initiated and co-organized the 1st Asia-Pacific Urban Forestry Meeting in Zhuhai, China in 2016 which was attended by more than 200 people from about 20 countries in the region.


Currently, Yujuan is a Senior Manager of Urban Forestry Policy in the Department of Policy and Research at TreePeople, an environmental non-profit organization based in Los Angeles. She initiated and leads the Healthy Soils for Healthy Communities Initiative to study the potential of healthy soils in building climate resilience and healthy communities in Los Angeles. Yujuan also serves on the Community Forest Advisory Committee in the City of Los Angeles. Additionally, she was part of the Working Group that helped develop the “First Step of Developing an Urban Forestry Management Plan for the City of Los Angeles”. Prior to joining TreePeople, Yujuan held a range of positions with the Urban Forest Ecosystems Lab at Virginia Tech, the Urban and Peri-urban Forestry Program at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in Rome, Italy, and the Community Forestry Program at New Jersey State Forestry Services.

Related Links: “Healthy Soils for Healthy Communities” InitiativeGuidelines on Urban and Peri-urban ForestryUrban and Peri-Urban Forestry Online Module of Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) ToolboxTowards a Greener, Healthier, and Happier Future

Currently Teaching
  • 547
    Advanced Topics in Urban Ecology
    Advanced Topics in Urban Ecology

    This course topically explores both the multiple human-caused impacts on the planetary environment – sea-level rise, increased wildfire, deforestation, habitat loss, etc. – and examines landscape architectural strategies and capacities to mitigate both the causes and the effects. The course splits time in the field, examining challenging landscapes and landscape interventions, and in the classroom, studying global challenges and landscape architectural applications.  

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