Hok-Lin was educated in Hong Kong, the US and UK before coming to the Queen’s University School of Urban and Regional Planning in 1979. He retired as Director and Professor Emeritus of the School in 2009. His Land Use Planning Made Plain (1989, 2003) is a standard text and reference in Canada and many other parts of the world. He was seconded to the Federal Treasury Board (1994) to help set up the Infrastructure Works Office, and created the National Executive Forum on Public Property (1998), the Executive Seminars on Corporate and Investment Real Estate (2005), and the Asia-Pacific Ambassadors’ Forum (2003).
Hok-Lin has been doing teaching and advising in China since 1985, in the areas of city planning, land management, public policy analysis, and comparative cultural studies, and contributing to the building of relationship between China and Canada. In 2002, he was awarded the Friendship Award by China’s State Council, the highest award for a foreign expert.
Currently, Hok-Lin does two lecture tours every year in China, and is also advisor to the Ministry of Land and Resources, Ministry of Housing and Rural and Urban Construction, and the State Council Development Research Center. His book The Cultural DNA of Western Civilization (2014) was a bestseller last year and selected as one of the 100 Best Books for 2014 in China. He is currently working on a policy evaluation instrument for the Chinese government, and the development of the Homo-urbanicus concept (2012, 2014) as a building block toward a general planning theory.