Dr Kai Gu

PhD (Planning), MArch, BEng (Architecture)


Following research appointments at the University of Birmingham, UK and the University of Waterloo, Canada, Kai Gu moved to the University of Auckland in 2006. He now teaches urban design at the School of Architecture and Planning. Most of his research publications are on urban morphology and urban landscape management. His field-based urban research has been supported by the British Economic and Social Research Council, the Canadian International Development Agency and the Natural Science Foundation of China. He is Secretary-General of the International Seminar on Urban Form.

Research | Current

  • Urban morphology and urban design
  • Methods of characterising and managing the urban landscape
  • Urban planning and design of Chinese cities

Teaching | Current

UrbPlan 708 Urban Design Studio; UrbPlan 733 Sustainable Urban Design Studio; Planning 405 Planning and Urban Design

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Secretary-General, International Seminar on Urban Form; Associate Head (International), School of Architecture and Planning; Member, School Research and Postgraduate Committee

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Gu, K. (2019). Urban morphological regions: Development of an idea. In V. Oliveira (Ed.) J.W.R. Whitehand and the Historico-geographical Approach to Urban Morphology (pp. 33-46). Cham: Springer. 10.1007/978-3-030-00620-4
  • Gu, K. (2018). Exploring urban morphology as urban design pedagogy. In V. Oliveira (Ed.) Teaching urban morphology (pp. 145-157). Cham: Springer. 10.1007/978-3-319-76126-8_9
  • Gu, K. (2018). The teaching of urban design: A morphological approach. Journal of Planning Education and Research10.1177/0739456X18775480
  • Whitehand, J. W. R., & Gu, K. (2017). Urban fringe belts: evidence from China. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 44 (1), 80-99. 10.1177/0265813515608849
  • Whitehand, J., Conzen, M., & Gu, K. (2016). Plan analysis of historical cities: A Sino-European comparison. Urban Morphology, 20 (2), 139-158.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/40039
  • Xie, P., & Gu, K. (2015). The changing urban morphology: Waterfront redevelopment and event tourism in New Zealand. Tourism Management Perspectives, 15, 105-114. 10.1016/j.tmp.2015.05.001
  • Whitehand, J. W. R., Gu, K., Conzen, M. P., & Whiteahnd, S. M. (2014). The typological process and the morphological period: a cross-cultural assessment. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 41 (3), 512-533. 10.1068/b39097
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/22180
  • Gu, K., & Zhang, J. (2014). Cartographical sources for urban morphological research in China. Urban Morphology, 18 (1), 5-21. Related URL.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/22056

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 4, Room 412
New Zealand