Ren, Chao 任超

BArch; PhD; BEAM Pro

Dr. Chao REN is an Associate Professor in The Faculty of Architecture at The University of Hong Kong. She has lectured widely in the leading institutions on topics of environmental design and urban climatic application.

Her research interest is Sustainable Urban and Environmental Design and Urban Climatic Application in Urban Planning. She has published widely in highly ranked journals and peer-reviewed conferences, focusing primarily on examining the relationship between urban climate and urban morphological characteristics, developing an urban climatic mapping system, and analysing urbanization-induced human thermal comfort and public health risk impacts for high-density/compact cities. She has edited and co-edited 4 books. One is The Urban Climatic Map: A Methodology for Sustainable Urban Planning (Routledge, 2015). Dr. Ren has involved in several governmental research projects in China (Hong Kong, Macau, Wuhan, Changchun and Beijing), Taiwan (Kaohsiung), The Netherlands (Arhem) and France (Toulouse) since 2006. She has been invited by international organizations including WMO, WHO and UNEP to develop urban climate related guides, reports and training materials. She is an invited contributing author of IPCC AR6 (Chapter on Cities) and an invited member of urban climate expert group by the WMO. She serves as an associate editor for Urban Climate (since 2018) and an editorial advisor for Cities & Health. She is an elected board member of the International Association for Urban Climate (IAUC) (2017-2021). She is a registered BEAM Professional and has joined the Working Group of BEAM Society since 2011.

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 sustainable urban environments (including urban ventilation assessment, urban climate map and heat-health impact studies) have led to a number of practical research and government consultancy projects in Hong Kong, Macau, Mainland China, Taiwan, Singapore, the Netherlands and France. Chao’s publications on urban climatic map and urban ventilation assessment have not only formed the theoretical basis but also explored the possibilities of knowledge transfer from the scientific work of urban climatology to the implementations of urban planning. Her writings are frequently cited and have attracted global attention across the fields of urban climatology, environmental science, urban planning and architecture, with some of them being taught in postgraduate courses at leading institutions, such as the University of California, Berkeley, University College London, University College Dublin, Utrecht University, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Wageningen University and Technische Universität Münch. Her four papers published in 2018-19 were selected by the journal of Urban Climate as the top 25 most citied papers published since 2017.

Research Interests 

Climate change mitigation, adaptation and city resilience
Urban planning and environmental design
Urbanisation and Sustainable development

Awards (of the last five years)

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 one of the two recipients 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 Annual Research Award, China Metrological 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

2018 Aug., co-authored paper titled ‘Evaluation of the uWRF performance in Hong Kong with UCPs derived based on WUDAPT/NUDAPT dataset and the guidance for implementation’ won the Poster Honourable Mention Award in the 10th International Conference on Urban Climate, US

2018 Aug., co-authored paper titled ‘Refinement of Roughness Length Value for the Weather Research and Forecast (WRF) Model based on the understanding of Local Climate Zone’ won the Poster Honourable Mention Award in the 10th International Conference on Urban Climate, US

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 sustainability, climate change policy, city/town planning, can contact Dr Ren directly.