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Richard Hu’s research and consultancy are diverse, multidisciplinary, and international. The funders include Australian Research Council (ARC), three tiers of Australian government, the industry, and international agencies, investigating issues of design excellence, global cities, urban competitiveness and sustainability, place-based innovation, and migration. 

Global Cities, Migration, and Mobility: Insights from Sydney and Melbourne

This project was a collaboration with the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (now Department of Home Affairs). It integrates several urban phenomena in contemporary globalisation—global cities, migration, and mobility—to forge an analytical nexus linking them together to underpin an alternative research and policy agenda, and to apply it to Australian global cities . This project aims to:


  • inject migration into the understanding of global cities to bridge the two theses under contemporary globalisation

  • redefine migration as mobility to capture the increasing intensity and complexity of people movement into and between global cities

  • dissect the local transformations in association with the interactive globality-mobility in global cities.

Migration in Greater Sydney

Global mobility index, Greater Sydney, 2011

Global cities and migration: An alternative research and policy agenda for Australian cities

Reinventing the Knowledge City: An Australian Urban Analysis

This project is set against several macro-forces that are reshaping our cities as well as our policy making for them: the rise of the knowledge economy, the exponential advancement of the new technology, changing pratice of work, and the increasing importance of innovation in driving economic transition. This project aims to:


  • reinvent a conceptual and methodological approach to ‘the knowledge city’, through refocusing on the ‘knowledge’ core in defining the concept, and through drawing upon the latest development of the knowledge economy, technological innovation and disruption, changing work, and global change and crisis  

  • provide the most comprehensive and updated understanding of the state of knowledge cities in Australia within multiple—global, national, and local—contexts

  • inform innovation-led reforms in policy making and planning for developing the knowledge city in Australia and elsewhere, in a global environment of unprecedented challenge and uncertainty. 

The Knowledge City Index for Australian cities
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The knowledge city index for Australian cities

Relational Global Cities: Singapore, Shanghai, and Sydney

This project compares the three S-cities (Singapore, Shanghai, and Sydney) that form an urban corridor linking Australia to Asia. The three cities are important urban nodes in a city-based global system. Knowing their relationship informs:  


  • Australia’s integration with the world through its leading gateway city;

  • Australia’s engagement in the Asian century;

  • Sydney’s learning from its Asian neighbour cities to improve global competitiveness.

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Comparing the growth of Singapore, Shanghai, and Sydney

Project Partners

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