Centre of Urban Sustainability (CoUS)

Centre of Urban Sustainability focuses on research studies of how the built environment affects the living quality of urban dwellers. Our mission is to improve urban living quality now and for our next generations.

 

The primary objective is to understand the environmental dynamics of city living and guide actions and policies. We conduct studies on how the built environment affects urban climate and the implications on climate-sensitive urban planning and design. We also work with public health experts to investigate the inter-relationships between built environment, climate and health of residents. The Centre seeks way to improve the urban living quality now and for our next generations. 

Our

Objectives

  • To better understand the environmental dynamics of city living

  • To better assess risk and impact of the urban environment on healthy living

  • To better guide actions and policies

People

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Recent Projects

Data Platform of Urban Environmental Quality for Sustainable and Resilient Cities

Climate change causes a wide range of environmental impacts which affects the living quality of humans. In urban areas, vast urbanization exacerbates such impacts and leads to increasing vulnerability. To adequately and accurately assess the impacts of climate change on cities, urban environmental quality is of utmost importance since it affects urban liveability and the well-being of urban inhabitants. A holistic assessment of urban environmental quality is therefore required to understand the impact of changing climate and urbanization on urban liveability.

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Study of Design Considerations for Government Infrastructures in Hong Kong under Extreme Temperatures

Funded by Architectural Services Department, Hong Kong Government (Amount: HKD 1,950,000)

 

According to Hong Kong Observatory’s climate projection, the warming trend will continue for the rest of the 21st century.  Even under the medium-low and medium-high greenhouse gas concentration scenarios, the number of very hot days will increase significantly, and the number of cold days will continue to drop.  It is therefore necessary for Hong Kong to strengthen resilience to the increasingly warm weather with increasing heat extremes and reduce the impacts on the population and physical structures.

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Designing better urban green spaces for active ageing in high-density cities

Funded by General Research Fund, Research Grant Council, Hong Kong (Amount: HKD 621,992)

 

Green and open space in urban area has gained attention in recent years, especially for its capacity to improve the well-being of ageing population in high-density cities. Including Hong Kong, Asian cities is expecting a rapid growing elderly population, and promoting healthy ageing will become a major challenge. The aim of this study is to understand elderly’s perception, usage of urban green space, and develop design practices and evidence-based design guidelines for urban planners and designers based on the findings. We investigate the elderly’s perception, usage of urban green space in their neighbourhood as well as their health by questionnaire survey and conduct statistical analysis to determine their interrelationship.

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3D Building extraction Using Satellite Images

We investigated the usage of high-resolution satellite data to conduct urban climate studies. The main objectives of this research is to: 1) Develop cutting-edge satellite technology and generate freely available high-quality urban morphology information from high-resolution satellite data; 2) Provide urban climatic maps for developing countries without actual urban

morphology information; 3) Using high-resolution satellite images to assess urban wind ventilation and urban thermal environment; 4) Provide data-based early warning of high-risk urban areas with adverse urban climate issues.

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Increasing the Resilience to the Health Impacts of Extreme Weather on Elderly People under Future Climate Change

Funded by Research Impact Fund, Research Grant Council, Hong Kong (Amount: HKD 9,836,000)

 

Extreme hot weather is expected to be more frequent and intense in Hong Kong under future climate change. The impacts will be exacerbated due to the presence of urban heat island (UHI) phenomenon in our high-density city. In particular, elderly people are more vulnerable to the impacts of extreme hot weather because of their decline in physiological functions and their behaviour and response. As such, plans for “mitigation” and “adaptation” actions are urgently needed.

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The impacts of future urban development on the urban climate of Hong Kong: A numerical modelling approach

Funded by PROCORE-RGC Research Grant, Research Grant Council, Hong Kong

 

Numerical models are powerful tools that enable the quantification of climate conditions over cities for future or hypothetical scenarios. Such information is crucial for environmental risk assessments, heat-health impact studies, strategical urban planning, and climate change mitigation. The objective of this study is two-fold: to improve the performance of fine-scale urban climate simulations for high-rise high-density cities using Hong Kong as a case study, and to examine the effects of different urban development scenarios on the city’s urban climate and provide practical recommendations for urban planning. 

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