Program Director

Mr. Alain Chiaradia (

Admissions Tutor

Dr. Huang Jianxiang (

Program Officer

Mr. William Lo ( / Tel: 3917 4411)


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Studio-based with emphasis on design and multi-media communication skills and problem-based learning projects which equip students to become professionals in urban design. It will enable to help students to understand and face the challenges associated with shaping cities and urban development in Hong Kong, China, and the world.
In addition, the programme will enable students to acquire broad knowledge of issues and methods in urban studies, including urban planning and design, urban policy and management, land development, real estate economics, sustainability, community development, public participation, urban renewal, conservation and place making. In the final year, students will challenge an independent research project on contemporary urban issues. As the field has an international scope, study abroad is encouraged, and could be an element of professional training.


Full-Time Staff


Alain Chiaradia

Alain Chiaradia

Alain is Associate Professor at the University of Hong Kong, Faculty of Architecture, Department of Urban Planning and Design. He is the Programme Director of the Master of Urban Design. He is a Council Member of the Hong Kong Institute of Urban Design (HKIUD).

His research interests are in “How to measure urban design” i.e. urban qualities spatial configurations using multi-scale explicit morphometrics to understand urban form economic, social and environmental impacts of large conurbations in the USA, UK, France and China. He leads the conceptual development of spatial design network analysis software (sDNA, In the last two years he has validated 3D sDNA in Hong Kong and combined network science with ANN and Unsupervised Machine Learning analytical and predictive techniques.

Alain was previously Executive and Board Director at the global consultancy Space Syntax Ltd. where he directed large scale projects concerning spatial policy analysis, urban design policy formulation and evidence-based spatial and innovative urban design in major cities including Paris, London, Boston, Shanghai. He has provided consulting services to the Greater London Authority and the London Boroughs. He has advised on urban design innovation leading award winning international urban design practices such as Atelier Jean Nouvel, Farrell & Partners, Foster + Partners, Gehry Partners, Herzog and de Meuron, Hopkins, Martha Schwarz & Partners, Make and ARUP Associates.

He developed and led innovative services and operational research projects. He has managed more than 80 large-scale urban transformation projects. He was Senior Research Fellow at University College London (2000-09). His work has been widely published in international professional journals. In the UK he has been member of various research project advisory panels at national level. Currently he is on the advisory scientific committee of Efficacity a French R&D PPP centre dedicated to energy transition in urban territories that brings together the skills of over 100 researchers from industry and public research.

He is a founding director of the international CHORA Urban Institute, and an advisor to national research funding institutions in Europe, North America and Asia.

Jianxiang Huang

Jianxiang Huang

Jianxiang Huang is an assistant professor in the Department of Urban Planning and Design at the University of Hong Kong (HKU). He is interested in the shaping of the built environment to enhance human well-being and resource efficiency. At HKU, he leads research projects to assess the thermal, acoustic and building energy performances in high density cities. He is the author of CityComfort+, a computer simulation tool that is equipped to simulate pedestrian comfort in outdoor urban spaces. Huang is a member of the Sustainable High Density Cities Lab and Healthy High Density Cities Lab, both are interdisciplinary research centers across disciplines of Engineering, Medicine, and Architecture. He studies place-making using geo-located social media data and he coordinates the Master of Urban Design programme at HKU.

Prior to a career in academia, Huang worked as an architect and urban designer in China and USA. He worked on projects that received awards from the Society of College and University Planning (SCUP), International Downtown Association (IDA), the American Institute of Architects (AIA), and the Boston Society of Architects (BSA). He is a LEED accredited professional, a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), and a former member of the board of directors of the International Association for China Planning (IACP). Huang holds a Doctor of Design from Harvard University, a Master in City Planning from MIT, a M.Arch and a B.Arch from Tsinghua University.

Jason Hilgefort

Jason Hilgefort
Jason Hilgefort

Jason is an Urban Design Lecturer in the Department of Urban Planning and Design at the University of Hong Kong (HKU). Jason is an urbanist|architect who studied at the University of British Columbia, University of Cincinnati, and is currently a PHD candidate at RMIT. His work experience ranges from New York, Rotterdam, to Mumbai and includes working with Peter Calthorpe, Rahul Mehrotra, Maxwan A+U, and ZUS. He led Maxwan’s numerous competition wins in Helsinki, Basel, Kiev, Brussels, Ostrava, Hannover, and Lithuania before winning Europan 11 in Vienna. He subsequently founded Land+Civilization Compositions, a Rotterdam | Hong Kong based studio exploring issues at the ever expanding edge of urbanism that views city creation as an Jason teaching experience includes Russia, Ukraine, Brazil, Finland, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands. He was a sub-curator in the Shenzhen/Hong Kong Urbanism/Architecture Biennale and a co-director of its educational platform. Currently he is an Adjunct Professor at Hong Kong University Faculty of Architecture and the Academic Director of Aformal Academy for urbanism | landscape | public art in Shenzhen. He is also a regular writer, contributing to assorted publications over the years including Volume, uncube, SITE and more. He recently co-founded the Institute for Autonomous Urbanism which is focused on how the disruptive developments of dispersed infrastructure frame a moment in time where we can fundamentally reconceive of how we make, fund, and even conceptualize the world that surrounds us.

Adjunct & Part-time Staff