Wanli Fang is an Economist with EMBARQ, the sustainable transport program at WRI. She conducts economic analyses and policy researches to promote sustainable cities and transport in emerging economies. Her research focuses on evaluating the co-benefits of climate friendly investments and policy intervention; analyzing the economic incentives to inform the design and implementation of sustainable strategies; and exploring contextualized financing schemes to leverage investments in sustainable cities and transport.
Prior to WRI, Wanli worked as a lecturer at MIT teaching economics classes for planners, and also worked as a part-time policy researcher at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, evaluating the impacts of smart decline strategies on neighborhood quality in post-industrial cities in northeastern United States. During 2010-2013, she served as a consultant in urban and transport economics for the World Bank on a variety of financial aid and technical assistance projects in Eastern and Middle Asia. She wrote policy papers on transport accessibility, agglomeration economies, infrastructure financing, local debt management, and patterns and trends of urbanization. In her dissertation, she systematically assessed the impacts of transport infrastructure investment on the productivity, scale and spatial distribution of urban economic activities, using China’s high-speed rail as a case. Before joining MIT, Wanli worked as project manager in prestigious city planning institutions in China, developing ecologically and economically sound solutions for redevelopment on contaminated industrial sites.
Wanli holds a PhD in urban and regional economics from MIT. She also obtained a Master of Science and a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Peking University, P.R. China. In her spare time, Wanli enjoys playing Chinese folk music and watching traditional opera.