Nick R. Smith

Pronouns: he/him

Assistant Professor, Architecture and Urban Studies, Barnard College

716 Milstein Center
3009 Broadway
New York, NY 10027


Nick R. Smith is an assistant professor of Architecture and Urban Studies at Barnard College, Columbia University, where he is also a faculty affiliate at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute. An interdisciplinary scholar of global urban studies, Smith’s research explores the politics of urbanization and planning, with a regional focus on China and Southeast Asia. Smith is the author of The End of the Village: Planning the Urbanization of Rural China. He is currently writing a history of the Shekou Industrial Zone and the urban origins of China’s reform era.


Smith, Nick R. 2021. The End of the Village: Planning the Urbanization of Rural China. University of Minnesota Press: Minneapolis, MN.

Smith, Nick R. 2022. “Continental Metropolitanization: Chongqing and the Urban Origins of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.” Urban Geography 43 (10): 1544–1564.

Smith, Nick R. 2021. “Planning Powers as Property Rights in Contemporary China.” Journal of Planning Education and Research 41 (3): 259–69.

Smith, Nick R. 2020. “Spatial Poetics Under Authoritarianism: Graffiti and the Contestation of Urban Redevelopment in Contemporary China.” Antipode 52 (2): 581–601.

Smith, Nick R. 2019. “Community Self-Organisation in Contemporary China: Efficiency, Equity and Affect in the Process of Institutional Transformation.” International Development Planning Review 41 (3): 399–418.

Smith, Nick R., Daniel B. Abramson, and Mi Shih. 2019. “An Introduction to Planning China’s Communities: Between People and Place.” International Development Planning Review 41 (3): 247–67.

Smith, Nick R. 2019. "One Village, One Product: Agro-Industrial Village Corporatism in Contemporary China." Journal of Agrarian Change. 19 (2): 249-269. doi:10.1111/joac.12301

Smith, Nick R. 2014. "Beyond Top-Down/Bottom-Up: Village Transformation on China's Urban Edge." Cities 41, Part B (December): 209–20. doi:10.1016/j.cities.2014.01.006.

Smith, Nick R. 2014. "Living on the Edge: Household Registration Reform and Peri-urban Precarity in China." Journal of Urban Affairs 36 (S1): 1-15. doi:10.1111/juaf.12107.