Sun, Guibo 孫貴博


I am an Assistant Professor within the Department of Urban Planning and Design at The University of Hong Kong. My research focuses on urban analytics and interventions study. Using rigorous research design such as natural experiments, I am interested in collecting practice-based evidence of the social and health impacts imposed by urban planning and design. I finished a longitudinal study on the before-and-after effects of new metro on active travel in medium-sized cities in China (NSFC, 2016-2020). Currently, I am working on metro-led public transport interventions and wider health impacts among older people in Hong Kong, where is facing an ageing population (GRF, 2018-2021). I am also exploring social implications of complex interventions and value of urban design in high-density cities, recently awarded a grant from NSFC (2021-2025).

I am the winner of two international research awards: Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Early Career Academic Award, and RTPI Commendation Award for Research Excellence, both in 2019, commending my work for mapping the three-dimensional pedestrian network of Hong Kong. I have degrees in GIS and did my doctoral research on health geography at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (2014). After doctoral training, I had four-year research experience as a research associate, postdoctoral fellow, and research assistant professor in geography, planning and architecture schools.


  • URBS1004 Urban Analytics Studio
  • URBS1002_URBS3003 Communication Studio I _ II
  • URBS2005 Research Methods in Urban Studies
  • URBP6123 Public Transport Systems
  • URBP6017 GIS for Urban and Regional Planning and Development
  • URBP7003 Research Methods in Spatial Planning
  • CCCH9002 Chinese Cities in the 21st Century

Awards & Achievements

  • Winner of Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Early Career Academic Award in 2019
  • RTPI Research Excellence Commended Award in 2019
  • Faculty Knowledge Exchange (KE) Award 2019: Mr Alain Chiaradia and his team, Professor Chris Webster, Dr Chinmoy Sarkar and Dr Guibo Sun, “Spatial Design Network Analysis (sDNA) Improving Evidence-based Urban Planning and Design across Discipline Nationally and Worldwide”


  • PI, “Intercultural perspectives for understanding how people experience everyday space and place”, 2021-2023, RGC Germany/ Hong Kong Joint Research Scheme
  • PI, “Pricing urban design in the walking catchment of metro stations”, 2021-2025, NSFC
  • PI, “Public transport use and health impacts on the elderly: A natural experiment in the high-density built environment of Hong Kong”, 2018-2021, GRF
  • PI, “A natural experimental study of impacts of urban rail transit on active travel in medium-sized cities in China”, 2016-2020, NSFC
  • Co-I, “Natural experiment of built environment and elderly health in high-density cities”, 2020-2024, University Research Committee PDF/RAP Scheme
  • Co-I, “Ageing friendly place-making in China rapid urbanisation: A longitudinal study of the urban environment on relocated elderly farmers”, 2019-2021, NSFC

Peer-reviewed publications

Urban Morphology

  • G. Sun, D. Wallace, C. Webster (2020). Unravelling the impact of street network structure and gated community layout in development-oriented transit design. Land use policy: 90, 104328.
  • Zhao, G. Sun*, C. Webster (2020). Walkability Scoring: Why and how does a 3D pedestrian network matter?  Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science
  • G. Sun, C. Webster, X. Zhang (2019). Connecting the city: A Three-dimensional Pedestrian Network of Hong Kong. Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science, 1-16. DOI: 10.1177/2399808319847204
  • G. Sun, C. Webster (2019). The security grills on apartments in gated communities: Trading-off 3D and 2D landscapes of fear in China, Cities, 2019: 90, 113-121.
  • G. Sun, C. Webster, A. Chiaradia (2018). Un-gating the cities: A permeability perspective. Urban Studies, 2586-2602
  • G. Sun, C. Webster, M. Ni, X. Zhang (2018). Measuring high density built environment for public health research: Uncertainty with respect to data, indicator design and spatial scale. Geospatial health, 653: 1-16.

Transport and Health

  • G. Sun, C. Lau (2021). Go-along with older people to public transport in high-density cities: Understanding the concerns and walking barriers through their lens. Journal of Transport & Health
  • G. Sun, Y. Du, M. Ni, J. Zhao, C. Webster (2021). Metro and Elderly Health in Hong Kong: Protocol for a natural experiment study in a high-density city. BMJ Open,
  • G. Sun, J. Zhao, C. Webster, H. Lin (2020). New metro system and active travel: A natural experiment. Environment International, 1-12,
  • Y. Lu, G. Sun, Gou, Z., Liu, Y., & Zhang, X. (2019). A dose–response effect between built environment characteristics and transport walking for youths. Journal of Transport & Health, 14, 100616.
  • Yang, X. Wang, G. Sun, Y. Li (2019). Modeling the perception of walking environmental quality in a traffic-free tourist destination. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 1-16, DOI: 10.1080/10548408.2019.1598534
  • L. Yi, Y. Yang, G. Sun, Z. Gou (2019). Associations between overhead-view and eye-level urban greenness and cycling behaviours, Cities, 88: 10-18.
  • G. Sun, X. Han, S. Sun, N. Oreskovic (2018). Living in school catchment neighbourhoods: Perceived built environments and active commuting behaviour in children of China. Journal of Transport & Health, 8: 251-261
  • BD Ma, SL. Ng, T. Schwanen, J. Zacharias, M. Zhou, I. Kawachi, G. Sun (2018). “Pokémon GO and Physical Activity in Asia: Multilevel Study” Journal of Medical Internet Research, 20(6): e217 DOI: 10.2196/jmir.9670
  • G. Sun, J. Zacharias (2017). Can bicycle relieve overcrowded metro? Managing short-distance travel in Beijing. Sustainable Cities and Society, 35: 323–330.
  • G. Sun, C. Webster, A. Chiaradia (2017). Objective assessment of station approach routes: development and reliability of an audit for walking environments around metro stations in China. Journal of Transport & Health, (4):191–207.
  • G. Sun, J. Zacharias and B. Ma, N. Oreskovic (2016). How do metro stations integrate with walking environments? Results from walking access within three types of built environment in Beijing. Cities, 56: 91-98.
  • G. Sun, R. Haining, H. Lin, N. Oreskovic, J. He (2015). Comparing the perception with the reality of walking in a hilly environment: an accessibility method applied to a university campus in Hong Kong. Geospatial Health, 10(340), 32-39.
  • G. Sun, N. Oreskovic, H. Lin (2014). How do changes to the built environment influence walking behaviours? A longitudinal study within a university campus in Hong Kong. International Journal of Health Geographics, 13(1), 28 (BioMed Central Highly Accessed Paper)