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Caixia Mao

Caixia Mao is a Doctoral Student in Urban Planning at Columbia GSAPP. She published in journals in the field of sustainability such as Technology Forecasting and Social Change; Resource, Conservation and Recycling; Sustainability; and World Food Policy.

Prior to starting her PhD, she worked as a policy researcher at Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) in Japan to provide technical assistance to Asian governments in formulating national policies on Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) under the SWITCH-Asia programme launched by the EU. She was managing projects under the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns (10YFP) adopted by the Heads of State in the Rio+20. She also worked at the United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD) to promote circular economy and sustainable transportation policy initiatives through high-level political dialogues in Regional 3R Forum in Asia and the Pacific and Intergovernmental Regional Environmentally Sustainable Transport Forum in Asia.

Caixia received a Master of Philosophy in Development Studies from the University of Oxford in the UK and a Bachelor of International Liberal Studies from Waseda University in Japan. She has native level proficiency in both Chinese and Japanese.


Caixia’s current research areas are in development studies, environmental governance and urban geography to examine the increasing global presence of China in development cooperation through a comparative lens with Japan. Her PhD research is through urban anthropology to understand how the transnational infrastructure initiatives launched by China and Japan form/transform urban spaces and environment in Southeast Asia.

She is a member of the research consortium under “Grants-in-Aid For Scientific Research” by Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (2019-2024) to explore potential cooperation between China and Japan in global infrastructure development under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).