Li Yin

Li Yin

Professor, UB Department of Urban and Regional Planning
331 Hayes Hall
UB South Campus
Buffalo, NY 14214
Professor Yin’s focuses on practical applications of spatial models, joining amenity and location theory with applied GIS and simulation methods to explore the complexity and dynamic processes of urban systems for environmental planning, urban design, and sustainable development.
Building upon research across disciplines on innovative methods, she studies the impact of amenity on urban growth and the built environment to help understand location choices and the dynamics of growth and decline. To advance this research she has been working in a rapid development area which draws on planning and computing as well as several other related fields to develop strategies for sustainably managing smart urban community growth and change. Professor Yin has played a key role in several funded research projects totaling several million dollars, working with researchers representing various disciplines and types of organizations across Colorado, Utah, and New York.


Ph.D., University of Colorado, Design and PlanningM.S., Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand, Urban Planning, Land and Housing DevelopmentB.S., Yunnan Polytechnic University, Kunming, P.R.China, Architecture


Dr. Yin’s teaching portfolio reflects her concentration on technological applications in the field of urban and regional planning. She teaches three classes: an undergraduate course, Computing for Environmental Analysis; and two graduate electives, GIS Applications and Planning Support System and Advanced GIS.


Dr. Yin’s research focuses on computer technology applications in a wide variety of urban growth issues and inner city redevelopment. She is interested in exploring new tools which enable high level of visualization, simulations, 3-D modeling, and database management to construct scenarios and evaluate alternatives to facilitate better communication and increase the efficiency in the planning process.

Public Service

Dr. Yin actively engages in public service focusing on public health and the built environment in the Buffalo-Niagara Region.

Selected Publications

  • Hajrasouliha, A. and Yin, L. (Forthcoming). The Impact of Street Network Connectivity on Pedestrian Volume. Urban Studies.
  • Baek, Solhyon, Samina Raja, Jiyoung Park, Leonard Epstein, Li Yin, and James Roemmich (Forthcoming). Park Design and Children’s Active Play: A Micro-Scale Spatial Analysis of Intensity of Play in Olmsted’s Delaware Park. Environment and Planning B.
  • Feda, Denise, April Seelbinder, Solhyon Baek, Samina Raja, Li Yin, and James N Roemmich (Forthcoming). Neighbourhood Parks and Reduction in Stress among Adolescents: Results from Buffalo, New York. Indoor and Built Environment.
  • Huang, H. and Yin, L. (Forthcoming) Creating Sustainable Urban Built Environments: An application of Hedonic House Price Models in Wuhan, China. Journal of Housing and Built Environment.
  • Yin, L. and Shiode, N. (2014) “3D Spatial-Temporal GIS Model of Urban Environments for Supporting the Designing and Planning Process. Journal of Urbanisim: International Research on Placemaking and Urban Sustainability. 7(2). pp 152-169
  • Yin, L., Raja, S., Li, X., Lai, Y., Epstein, L. H., and Roemmich, J. N. (2013) Neighborhood for Playing: Using GPS, GIS, and Accelerometry to Delineate Areas within which Youth are Physically Active. Urban Studies, 50(14), pp2922-2939
  • Yin, L. (2013) Assessing Walkability in the City of Buffalo: An Application of Agent-Based Simulation, Journal of Urban Planning and Development. 139(3). pp166-175
  • Silverman, R.M., Yin, L, and Patterson, K. 2013. Dawn of the Dead City: An Exploratory Analysis of Vacant Addresses in Buffalo, NY 2008-2010.Journal of Urban Affairs 35(2), pp131-152
  • Yin, L. 2010. “Modeling Cumulative Effects of Wildfire Hazard Policy and Exurban Household Location Choices: An Application of Agent-based Simulations.” Planning Theory and Practice 11(3), pp375-396
  •  Yin, L. 2010. “Integrating 3D Visualization and GIS in Planning Education,”Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 34(3), pp419-438.
  • Raja, S., Yin, L., Roemmich, J., Ma, C., Epstein, L., Yadav, P. and Ticoalu, A. 2010. “Food environment, Built Environment, and Women’s BMI: Evidence from Erie County, New York” Journal of Planning Education and Research, 29(4), pp444-460.
  •  Muller, B. and Yin, L. 2010. “Regional Governance and Hazard Information: The Role of Co-ordinated Risk Assessment and Regional Spatial Accounting in Wildfire Hazard Mitigation”. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 53(1), pp1-21.
  • Yin, L. 2009. “The Dynamics of Residential Segregation in Buffalo: An Agent-Based Simulation” Urban Studies 46(13), pp2749-2770.
  • Muller, B., Yin, L., Kim, Y., and Alexanderescu, F. 2008. “The Dynamics of Land Development in Resort Communities: A Multiagent Simulation of Growth Regimes and Housing Choice” Environment and Planning A 40(7), pp1728-1743.
  • Yin, L. and Muller, B. 2008. “Urbanization and Resort Regions: Creating an Agentbased Simulation of Housing Density in ‘Ski Country’” Journal of Urban Technology, 15(2), pp55-75.
  • Yin, L. and Hastings, J. 2007. “Capitalizing on Views: Assessing Visibility Using 3D Visualization and GIS Technologies for Hotel Development in the City of Niagara Falls, USA” Journal of Urban Technology, 14(3), pp59-82.
  • Yin, L. 2007. “Assessing Indirect Spatial Effects of Mountain Tourism Development: An Application of Agent-based Spatial Modeling” Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy, 37(3), pp257-265.
  • Yin, L. and Muller, B. 2007. “Residential Location and the Biophysical Environment: Exurban Development Agents in a Heterogeneous Landscape”Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 34(2), pp279-295.
  • Roemmich, J. N., Epstein, L. H., Raja, S., and Yin, L. 2007. “The Neighborhood and Home Environments: Disparate Relationships with Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviors in Youth” Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 33(1) pp 29-38.
  • Yin, L. 2006. “Agent-based Simulations for Disaster Decision Support”Journal of Security Education, 1(4) pp169-175.
  • Roemmich, J. N., Epstein, L. H., Raja, S., Yin, L., Robinson, J., and Winiewicz, D. 2006. “Association of Access to Parks and Recreational Facilities with the Physical Activity Of Young Children” Preventive Medicine, 43(6) pp 437-441.

Selected Conference Presentations and Invited Talks

Yin, L. and Silverman, R. M. 2011. Do Vacant Properties Kill Neighborhoods?: An Agent based Simulation of Property Owner’s Responses to Abandonment. 2011 Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah, October.

  • Yin, L. Spatial-Temporal Visualization of Urban Environments, 2011. Utah American Planning Association (APA) Conference, October.
  • Yin, L., Raja, S., Huang, H., Roemmich, J. and Epstein, L. 2011. Built Environment and Physical Activity: Assessing Accessibility in Space-Time Neighborhoods. 2011
  • Annual Conference of Association of American Geographers, Seattle, Washington, April.
  • Yin, L., Raja, S., Huang, H., Roemmich, J. and Epstein, L. 2010. Accessibility and Physical Activity: A Space-Time Model. 2010 Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning Conference, Minneapolis, Minnesota, October.
  • Yin, L. and Shiode, N. 2010. Cities in Space and Time: A Spatial-Temporal Visualization Model of Urban Environments. The Fourth International Association for China Planning Conference, Tongji University, Shanghai, June.
  • Yin, L. and Shiode, N. 2010. Cities in Space and Time: A Spatial-Temporal Visualization Model of Urban Environments. The Fourth International Association for China Planning Conference, Tongji University, Shanghai, June.
  • Yin, L., Raja, S., Roemmich, J., Epstein, L. and Li, X. 2009. “Assessing Children’s Playing Environment: A Case Study of Erie County, New York”, 2009 Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning Conference, Crystal City, Virginia, October.
  • Yin, L. 2009. (peer-reviewed). “Assessing Walkability in the City of Buffalo: An Application of Agent-based Simulation,” Computers in Urban Management and Urban Planning (CUPUM) 2009, Hong Kong, June.
  • Yin, L. 2009. “Beyond 2D GIS Mapping: Teaching 3D Visualization and Urban Simulation in Planning Programs,” The Third International Association for China Planning Conference, Nanjin University, June.