PLAN 90: Article
Hong Named Director of New Real Estate Lab

The Samuel Tak Lee MIT Real Estate Entrepreneurship Lab

Yu-Hung Hong (MCP’89, PhD’95, Urban Studies and Planning) has been named the founding Director of the new Samuel Tak Lee MIT Real Estate Entrepreneurship Lab.  Housed in SA+P’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning and the Center for Real Estate, the Lab was established in January as part of a $118M gift from alumnus Samuel Tak Lee ’62, SM ’64; it is one of the largest gifts in MIT’s history. 

Hong is the founder and Executive Director of the Land Governance Laboratory studying the use of land tools to facilitate decision-making for land resource allocation in developing countries. He is also a Lecturer of Urban Planning and Finance in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning. Before becoming the director of the new Lab and Lecturer at MIT, he was a Senior Fellow at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy where he worked directly with the President and CEO, Gregory K. Ingram.

Hong’s research focuses on property rights and obligations, land readjustment/sharing, and local public finance.  Specifically, he is interested in how governments in developing countries can reallocate land value increments, created by public investment and community collaboration, for financing local infrastructure and durable shelters for the poor. 

The author of several academic papers and co-editor of eleven books, Hong is currently collaborating with UN-HABITAT to examine why some countries have or have not taken seriously under consideration the key values of land readjustment – public participation and inclusiveness – during implementation. He recently finished an edited volume, Governance and Land Readjustment, which will be considered for publication by UN-HABITAT in late 2015.  

The Samuel Tak Lee MIT Real Estate Entrepreneurship Lab is dedicated to promoting social responsibility in the real estate profession worldwide, with a particular focus on China.  It will fund fellowships to attract both US and international students; will support research on sustainable real estate development and global urbanization; and will make the lab’s curriculum available worldwide through the edX platform as MOOCs.

The Lab has already established a ‘Think Tank’ and a research fund to ensure MIT’s continued commitment to research and thought leadership in sustainable and socially responsible real estate development and global urbanization.  Selected formal program activities have begun.