Prof. Dr.
Werner Breitung

Hong Kong Baptist University
David Lam Institute for
East West Studies 

Renfew Road
Hong Kong

Building DLB, Room 810
Tel. +852-34115339 (direct)
Email: breitung[at] 

Research Projects
Planning Projects
Conferences and Workshops organised
International Exchange
Courses taught
Students supervised

Courses taught

Department of Urban Planning and Design (UPD)

. Undergraduate level
Urban Planning Theory

. Undergraduate level
Planning Methodology

.Undergraduate level
Neighbourhood Planning

.Undergraduate & Master
Research Methods

Sun Yatsen University
School of Geography and Planning

. Undergraduate level
Cultural Geography

. Master level
Western Planning Theory

. Master level
Nations and Borders in a Globalising World

. Master level
Western Geographical Thought

. Master level
Research Seminars

Sun Yatsen University
School of Tourism

. Undergraduate level
World Regional Geography

. Undergraduate level
Tourism Geography of Europe

University of Hong Kong
Department of Geography

. Undergraduate level   
Regional Geography of Europe

. Undergraduate level
Economic and Social Development in an
Urbanising World

  Undergraduate level
Computer Applications in Geography

. Undergraduate level  
Fieldtrips to Europe

University of Macau
Contemporary China Studies

. Undergraduate level
Introduction to Geography

. Undergraduate level   
Social and Economic Geography

. Undergraduate level  
Regional Geography of China

©  Werner Breitung, 2001
Last updated: 30.05.2017


.English    .Deutsch    .Esperanto


Education: StR in Geography and Mathematics from Free University of Berlin (equivalent Bachelor and Master level) plus two years of practical teacher education (Referendariat) and second state examination
Teaching at high schools in Berlin and Hong Kong (1993-1997). Research Associate and Doctoral Candidate at the Department of Geography at University of Basel (1998-2000), Doctoral thesis: 'Hong Kong and the integration process - spatial patterns and planning concepts' (degree conferred in Feb. 2001)
2001-2004: Lecturer at the
Faculty of Social Science and Humanities at University of Macau and temp. Assistant Professor at the Department of Geography at University of Hong Kong
2004-2013: Associate Professor (2004-2010) and Full Professor (after 2010) at the
School of Geography and Planning of Sun Yatsen University in Guangzhou (China)
2013-2016: Associate Professor/Professor at the
Department of Urban Planning and Design of Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University in Suzhou (China)

Research interests

My main research focus is the relationship between cities and borders. Most of my work is on China (incl. Hong Kong and Macau), with frequent reference also to Europe. The broader scope of my research spans the following themes:
Cities: Fragmented cities and intra-urban borders, gated communities and housing inequalities, migrants and urban space, concepts of home and sense of place, cultural clusters, urban planning, governance and urbanisation in China
Borders: Border cities and borders within cities, border regions, cross-border mobility, borders and identities, cross-border governance and planning, changing border regimes
Tourism and landscapes: Tourism planning and development in China, cross-border tourism, heritage and cultural tourism, cycling tourism, landscapes as tourism resource, multisensory landscape perception


Research projects

Major projects (national level, 80,000-130,000 EUR)

 Place-making and cross-border communities in Shenzhen and Hong Kong
National Science Foundation of China (NSFC) General Programme, since 2012 (research ongoing)
   * A changing border regime as a social and cultural process
   * Multiple senses of place, senses of home and identities in a border region in transition
   * Cross-border mobility and the social construction of sense of place
   * Components and factors contributing to sense(s) of home in these two cities

 Differentiated governance in the Pearl River Delta: Fragmentation and flexibility
German Research Foundation (DFG) Priority Programme 'Megacities' (SPP 1233), 2011-2016
   * Governability of the Pearl River Delta as dynamic and socially diverse mega city region
* Spatially differentiated governance as source of flexibility and/or fragmentation
* The role of boundaries and bounding in the governance of the Pearl River Delta region
   * Informal processes as elements of flexible and spatially fragmented governance

 Governability, borders and urban citizenship in the Pearl River Delta
 German Research Foundation (DFG) Priority Programme 'Megacities' (SPP 1233), 2008-2011
   * Chinese 'enclave urbanism' as a consequence of spatially differentiated governance
   * Intra-urban borders between neighbourhoods (gated communities, urbanised villages etc)
   * Neighbourhood attachment, home-making and the perception of borders in different neighbourhood types
   * Permeable borders, social networks and functional connectivity between neighbourhood types

 Border-drawing and spatial differentiation of governance in the Pearl River Delta
 German Research Foundation (DFG) Priority Programme 'Megacities' (SPP 1233), 2006-2009
   * Concept of spatially differentiated local governance: village, work-unit and private estate governance
   * Investigation and characterisation of these three different governance modes in Guangzhou
* Focus on actor constellations and modes of interaction in neighbourhood-scale case studies
* Relationship of spatial differentiation of governance and emerging intra-urban borders

Smaller projects (below 20,000 EUR)

   Cross-border shopping and the encounter of difference in Hong Kong
   Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU), Research Development Fund (RDF), 2015-2016

   Multi-sensory perception of urban green spaces
   Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU), Research Development Fund (RDF), 2014-2016

   Development of cultural geography in Germany and China
   German Academic Exchange Agency (DAAD), Short-term Scholarship, 2011

   Overcoming borders, living with borders: Macau and the integration process
   Instituto Cultural do Macau (ICM), Research Scholarship, 2002-2005


Most recent publications

  • BREITUNG, Werner and Jing LU (2016): Suzhou’s water grid as urban heritage and tourism resource - an urban morphology approach to a Chinese city. In: Journal of Heritage Tourism 12(3): 251-266.
  • YAN Bingqiu, GAO Xiaolu and Werner BREITUNG (2016): Neighbourhood determinants for life satisfaction of older people in Beijing. In Wang Donggen and He Shenjing (eds.): Mobility, sociability and well-being of urban living, Heidelberg: Springer, pp. 231-248.
  • FLOCK, Ryanne and Werner BREITUNG (2016): Migrant street vendors in urban China and the social creation of public space. In: Population, Space and Place 22 (2): 158-169.
  • FENG Dan, Werner BREITUNG and ZHU Hong (2015): Creating and defending concepts of home in suburban Guangzhou. In: Eurasian Geography and Economics 55 (4): 381-403.
  • BREITUNG, Werner (2015): Interview. In: Tiago Saldanha Quadros (ed.): Macau Sessions Dialogues on architechture and society, Macau: Babel, pp. 192-214.
  • GAN Yonghong, LUO Tao, Werner BREITUNG, Jian KANG and Tianhai ZHANG (2014): Multi-sensory landscape assessment. The contribution of acoustic perception to landscape evaluation. In: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 136 (6): 3200-3210.

Most representative publications

  • BREITUNG, Werner (2012): Enclave urbanism in China. Attitudes towards gated communities in Guangzhou. In: Urban Geography 33 (2): 278-294.
  • BREITUNG, Werner (2014): Differentiated neighbourhood governance in transitional urban China. Comparative study of two housing estates in Guangzhou. In Yip Ngai-Ming (ed.): Neighbourhood Governance in Urban China, Gloucestershire: Edward Elgar, pp. 145-166.
  • FENG Dan, Werner BREITUNG and ZHU Hong (2015): Creating and defending concepts of home in suburban Guangzhou. In: Eurasian Geography and Economics 55 (4): 381-403.
  • ZHU Yushu, Werner BREITUNG and LI Siming (2012): The changing meaning of neighbourhood attachment in Chinese commodity housing estates: Evidence from Guangzhou. In: Urban Studies 49 (11): 2439-2457.
  • BREITUNG, Werner (2011): Borders and the city. Intra-urban boundaries in Guangzhou (China). In: Quaestiones Geographicae 30 (4): pp. 55-61.
  • BREITUNG, Werner (2009): Macau residents as border people. A changing border regime from a socio-cultural perspective. In: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs - China aktuell 38 (1): 101-127.

Complete list of publications (60 publications)


  • International Geographical Union (IGU)
  • Association of Borderlands Studies (ABS)
  • Geographical Society of China (GSC)
  • China Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers (AAG)
  • Verband der Geographen an Deutschen Hochschulen (VGDH)
  • Gesellschaft für Erdkunde zu Berlin (GfE)
  • Hong Kong Association for European Studies (HKAES)