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Ray FORREST, Centre Director

Research Professor in Cities and Social Change


About Ray

Ray joined the Department of Sociology and Social Policy at Lingnan University in August 2017, as Research Professor in Cities and Social Change. He was subsequently asked to develop and direct the new Joint Research Centre for Greater Bay Area - Social Policy and Governance. Prior to his move to Lingnan,  Ray was Chair Professor of Housing and Urban Studies and Head of the Department of Public Policy at City University of Hong Kong. He also played a leading role, with Yip Ngai Ming,  in establishing the Urban Research Group, cityuoncities.  Ray spent most of his earlier academic career at the University of Bristol where he was appointed Professor of Urban Studies in 1994. At Bristol he was Research Director (1996-1999) and Head of the School for Policy Studies (2001-2004). He was also co-director with Ade Kearns of the Centre for Neighbourhood Research and Associate Director of the Centre for East Asian Studies. He is now an Emeritus Professor at Bristol and Fellow of the UK Academy of Social Sciences. He is founding member and on the steering group of the Asia-Pacific Network of Housing Researchers.

Research Interests

Ray has been Principal or Co-Investigator on some 60 externally funded research projects and has undertaken research in Europe, North America and East Asia. Much of Ray`s research has focused on socio-spatial change in the contemporary city. He is particularly interested in the role and relevance of the residential neighbourhood in modern society, new drivers of housing and wider inequalities, the accumulation and deployment of residential wealth and shifting intergenerational relations. Recent research has focused on cities and the superrich; financialisation and social stratification; the impact of housing wealth on intergenerational relationships. He is currently leading a project on Chinese urbanism which is exploring the lived experience of Shenzhen through a major survey of residents. He is also involved in research on new mobilities and neighbourhood change (with Professor Yip Ngai-ming at City University), retirement trajectories in the knowledge economy (with Misa Izuhara at Bristol University) and is developing work with Weijia Wang and Paul O'Connor on Vertical Urbanism and High Rise Communities. He is completing a book Property Cities-Housing in the Neoliberal Era (with Yosuke Hirayama)  and is co-editing two books: Smart Cities or Smart Citizens (with Jun Wang and Paulo Cardullo) and The City in China-New Perspectives on Chinese Urbanism ( with Julie Ren and Bart Wissink). He also co-edits two book series-The Contemporary City (Palgrave) and Explorations in Housing Studies (Routledge).