To facilitate urban research at The University of Hong Kong, and to enhance interaction and collaboration among urban researchers at and associated with the University.
The Sustainable Urban Development and High-density Environments research cluster examines various sustainability issues at multiple spatial scales, in close connection with high-density built environments. Our interests stretch over three key dimensions of sustainable development (i.e., economic, social, and environmental), and we focus on: identifying immediate and potential threats to sustainable urban development; enhancing our understanding of such urban and regional problems; and exploring innovative planning and policy solutions to the problems. The cluster primarily draws on the expertise and resources of the Department of Urban Planning and Design and the Center for Urban Studies and Urban Planning to promote sustainability research.
Under the confluence of globalisation and marketisation, China has entered an urban age featuring rapid urbanisation with unprecedented speed and scale since the late 1980s. As China enthusiastically embracing the urban dream, numerous challenges and problems emerge along with abundant opportunities brought about by the fast track urbanisation, and attract much scholarly attention. The field of urban and regional development in China therefore has seen a rapid advancement in the last two decades.
The mission of this research cluster is to track the sea change in China’s urban and regional development and contribute to the further proliferation and sophistication of scholarship in the field. This research cluster not only aims to measure the velocity and magnitude of Chinese urban and regional transformation, but also to examine the political and social metamorphosis in the post-reform era, and to make sense of the multiplex matrix of socio-cultural transformations at different scales. We are open to a wide range of research topics related to China’s urban and regional development, including land and housing (re)development; urban and regional planning/governance; rural-urban integration; urban agglomeration; transportation, mobility, and connectivity etc., just to name a few.
The research cluster focuses on the techniques of geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing and big data, and the applications of GIS as planning supporting system. The major research activities include: (a) Using cellular automata, agent-based model and case-based reasoning to model urban development and planning; (b) Monitoring land use changes using radar remote sensing; (c) GIS for transportation; and (d) Spatial and temporal data mining from cellphone, GPS data.
Spatial Planning and Economic Development cluster brings together a range of theoretical, empirical and policy concern within spatial planning and cognate fields. This cluster sets out to critically review into the economies of urban development and changes. The research projects fall under this cluster reflect a commitment to recognise and build on multidisciplinary interests within the broad remit of highly contestable spatial-economic ideas and spatial planning. Members are research active and have a demonstrated track record in research funding and publication.
This research cluster aims to provide a platform for sharing research on the following themes: (a) Housing policies and strategies: how do they shape access to adequate and affordable housing? (b) Social equity: how do housing policies interact with related social policies to address the needs of poor and vulnerable groups? (c) Land use planning: how do planning instruments shape access to public spaces and public services? and (d) Governance: what is the role of participation in community development?
The Urban Policy and Governance Research Cluster focuses on policies and governance of cities and regions in the context of intensified economic integration, increasingly complex territorial structures, as well as emerging global challenges. The research cluster brings together researchers who are interested in the formulation, analysis, implementation, and evaluation of public policies related to urban issues, such as spatial planning, economic and community development, housing, urban renewal, transportation, conservation, social cohesion, and environmental sustainability. Research in this area also engages critically with underlying governance processes, including entrepreneurial and pro-growth governance, institutional structures and policy-making (at the city-region scale), cross-border cooperation and governance, public-private partnership, as well as the rescaling of the state. While there is a strong focus on Hong Kong and mainland Chinese cities (especially the Pearl River Delta), cluster members have research interests in urban areas worldwide. Methodologically, the cluster embraces an interdisciplinary and integrated approach to understanding urban policy and governance. The research cluster seeks to provide a platform for interdisciplinary exchanges and collaborations in the fields of urban policy and governance.