Ren, Chao 任超

BArch; PhD; BEAM Pro

Dr. Chao REN is an Associate Professor in the Division of Landscape Architecture at the University of Hong Kong. She specializes in applied climatology and climate design, who uses GIS, and spatial modelling methods and remote sensing techniques to study urban environmental performance and develop climate response design strategies and guidelines. Since joining HKU in 2018, she has been awarded 13 million HKD in research funding, including one RGC-TRS (Co-PI), one CRF (PC), one RIF (Co-PI), two GRF (PI), and one HMRF (PI).

Chao’s publication includes a total of 84 peer-reviewed journal papers, four edited/co-edited books and one co-authored book, with focuses ranging from examining the relationship between urban climate and urban morphological characteristics, developing an urban climatic mapping system and a wind corridor plan, to analysing human thermal comfort and public health risk for subtropical high-density cities. Her new books including ‘Urban Climate Science for Planning Health Cities’ & ‘Outdoor Thermal Comfort in Urban Environment: Assessments and Applications in Urban Planning and Design

Chao’s multi-dimensional, cross-disciplinary research aims to transfer scientific data into new knowledge to address social needs, enhance policy-making and support evidence-based designs. Her studies on urban environment and urban climate (including urban ventilation assessment, urban climate map and heat risk assessment studies) have led to a number of practical research and government consulting projects in China (Hong Kong, Macau, Wuhan, Changchun, Foshan and Beijing), Taiwan (Kaohsiung), The Netherlands (Arhem) and France (Toulouse) since 2006.

Chao serves as an Associate Editor for Urban Climate (2018-) and an Editorial Advisor for Cities & Health (2018-) and Advances in Climate Change Research (2020-), and is a member of urban expert team of the WMO. She has also been elected as a Board Member of the International Association for Urban Climate (2017-2021). She has been involved in several international collaborative research reports, including the IPCC AR6 (Contributing Author of Chapter 6 Cities, Settlements and Key Infrastructure), Climate Change and Cities ARC3.3 (Lead Author of Chapter 2), and the China report of the Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change (Lead Author of WGII).

Research Interests 

  • Climate Responsive Design
  • Urban Climate (Urban Heat Island, Urban Climate Map, Urban Ventilation Assessment and Wind Corridor Plan, Thermal Comfort)
  • Urban Scale Climate Change (Urban Heat Risk and Heat-Health Impact, Climate Change Adaptation and Policy)

Awards (of the last five years)

2021 Nov., the Winner of Future Building Category of the “Advancing Net Zero” Ideas Competition organized by the Hong Kong Green Building Council (HKGBC) with Swire Properties for our building design project ‘The Treehouse’, (I led the microclimate design part), Hong Kong SAR

2020 Dec., Won the Silver Award of Hong Kong Institute of Planners (HKIP) Awards 2020 for the joint project entitled “Urban Ventilation Assessment and Wind Corridor Plan for Chinese Cities” (Co-PI), Hong Kong SAR

2020 Sep., Award the recipient of the first year, 2020 IAUC Timothy Oke Award for early- & mid-career scientists for her original research and unique contribution in the Field of Urban Climatology, this award is nominated and selected by the Board of International Association for Urban Climate (IAUC);

2020 Feb., Won the 2nd Prize of Meteorological Science & Technology Research Award, the Chinese Metrological Society, China Meteorological Administration, for the study titled ‘Wind Corridor Plan in Chinese Cities’ (Co-PI), China

2019 Nov., Won the Grand Award of the Green Building Award 2019 (Research & Planning Category) for the study titled ‘Urban Ventilation Assessment and Wind Corridor Plan for Chinese Cities’. (Co-PI), Hong Kong Green Building Council, Hong Kong SAR

2018 Dec., my book titled ‘Urban Ventilation Assessment and Wind Corridor Plan – Creating Breathing Cities’ is selected as the Top 10 out of over 6,000 books and won the 3rd prize of the first Architectural Technology Book Award organized the by the China Architecture & Building Press, China

2018 Nov., Won the 3rd Prize of 2018 Beijing Science and Technology Award, Beijing Municipality Government, for the study titled ‘Wind Corridor Plan in Chinese Cities’ (Co-PI), China

2017 Sep., Won the Nomination Award for the 2018 Jin-Jing-Chang Urban Planning best paper (2018年金經昌中國城市規劃優秀論文獎), organized by the Urban Planning Society of China;

2017 Apr., Won the 4th Place out of 800 submissions in 2017 IEEE GRSS Data Fusion Contest: Open Data for Global Multimodal Land Use Classification;

Postgraduate supervision

Potential students interested in areas of urban climate application, urban scale climate change, resilient city planning, can contact Dr Ren directly.