Portrait of Yingling Fan
Associate Dean for Faculty
295E Humphrey School
Currently reviewing Ph.D. applicants
Urban and Regional Planning Area
Areas of Expertise
Public health; sustainable development; transportation planning; urban and regional planning; land use planning; income inequality and poverty


    Professor Yingling Fan is a faculty member in the Humphrey School's urban and regional planning area. She also serves as the School's associate dean for faculty. In that role, she plays a crucial role in setting faculty recruitment and retention strategies, contributing to the strategic direction of the School, and representing the School within the University of Minnesota community. 

    Fan's research focuses on urban land use, transportation planning, and the impacts of urban planning on human health and social equity. Her recent work focuses on public transportation development, emotional well-being in cities, and community-engaged transportation equity research. 

    She has published over 100 refereed articles, book chapters, and research reports in high-impact outlets across multiple disciplines, including Transportation Research Part A, Part C & Part F and Transportation in the field of transportation; Environment and Planning A & B, Journal of Planning Literature, Journal of Planning Education and Research, and Urban Studies in the field of urban planning; and Social Science & Medicine and American Journal of Preventive Medicine in the field of public health. 

    She has directed and co-directed over 40 research projects, attracting more than 20 million U.S. dollars in research funding. She was an invited speaker for over 90 events. Her award-winning work appeared in leading media outlets including the Time Magazine, National Geographic, and the Atlantic.

    Fan was the director of the School's PhD program from 2019 to 2022. She was responsible for strategic direction, academic personnel, and curriculum planning of the school-wide PhD program that involves over 20 faculty members and 35-40 PhD students. 

    Fan is also the founding director of the Global Transit Innovation program (GTI) at the University of Minnesota since 2015. GTI is a global research and education program that promotes international collaboration opportunities for students, researchers, and practitioners in the field of public transportation planning. In addition, Fan serves as Co-Chair of the Global Planning Education Committee at the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP) since 2019. ACSP is the scholarly association of over 100 university planning departments in the U.S. and Canada.

    Fan holds multiple editorial leadership positions. She has served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Transport and Land Use (JTLU) since 2019 and Managing Editor of the Urban Studies journal since 2020. Established in 2008, JTLU is a flagship journal at the intersection of transportation and land use planning. Established in 1964, Urban Studies is the leading international journal for urban scholarship. As one of the four Managing Editors at Urban Studies, Fan will serve as the Editor-in-Chief of the Urban Studies journal every four years starting in 2022. 

    Besides being an accomplished academic scholar and leader, Fan is a successful inventor and entrepreneur. She is the lead inventor of the Daynamica technology, featuring a smartphone-human hybrid intelligence system to measure and shape human behavior and well-being. The technology was granted a US Patent (#9763055B2) in 2017. In 2018, she co-founded Daynamica, Inc. and served as the company’s founding CEO. Since its establishment, Daynamica, Inc. has had a track record of developing smartphone apps to collect human behavior and well-being data for academic institutions and government agencies.


    PhD in City and Regional Planning (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2007)

    BS in Transportation Engineering (Southeast University, 2001)

    Miller, J. M., Fan, Y., Sherwood, N. E., Osypuk, T. & French, S. (2020). Are low income children more physically active when they live in homes with bigger yards? A longitudinal analysis of the NET-Works Study., Health \& Place, 63, 102330

    Lal, R. M., Das, K., Fan, Y., Barkjohn, K. K., Botchwey, N., Ramaswami, A. & Russell, A. G. (2020). Connecting Air Quality with Emotional Well-Being and Neighborhood Infrastructure in a US City, Environmental Health Insights, 14, 1178630220915488

    Le, H. T., Buehler, R., Fan, Y. & Hankey, S. (2020). Expanding the positive utility of travel through weeklong tracking: Within-person and multi-environment variability of ideal travel time, Journal of Transport Geography, 84, 102679

    Tao, T., Wu, X., Cao, J., Fan, Y., Das, K. & Ramaswami, A. (2020). Exploring the Nonlinear Relationship between the Built Environment and Active Travel in the Twin Cities, Journal of Planning Education and Research, 0739456X20915765

    Ambrose, G., Das, K., Fan, Y. & Ramaswami, A. (2020). Is gardening associated with greater happiness of urban residents? A multi-activity, dynamic assessment in the Twin-Cities region, USA, Landscape and Urban Planning, 198, 103776

    Brown, R., Fan, Y., Das, K. & Wolfson, J. (2020). Iterated multi-source exchangeability models for individualized inference with an application to mobile sensor data, Biometrics,

    Fan, Y., Ormsby, T., Wiringa, P., Liao, C. & Wolfson, J. (2020). Visualizing Transportation Happiness in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Region. Center for Transportation Studies, University of Minnesota:

    Chen, S., Fan, Y., Cao, Y. & Khattak, A. (2019). Assessing the relative importance of factors influencing travel happiness, TRAVEL BEHAVIOUR AND SOCIETY, 16, 185-191

    Glasgow, T. E., Le, Huyen T. K., Geller, E. S., Fan, Y. & Hankey, S. (2019). How transport modes, the built and natural environments, and activities influence mood: A GPS smartphone app study, JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY, 66,

    Fan, Y., Brown, R., Das, K. & Wolfson, J. (2019). Understanding Trip Happiness using Smartphone-Based Data: The Effects of Trip-and Person-Level Characteristics, Transport Findings,