Ho, Derrick H. C.
B.S.; M.S.; PhD

Hung Chak Ho (Derrick Ho) is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Urban Planning and Design at The University of Hong Kong. Derrick received his PhD from Simon Fraser University, and was trained as an applied geographer with expertise in health geography, spatial demography and community planning. His research focuses on linkages between the built environment and human health and well-being, with particular interest in relationships between social and environmental deprivations mediated by urban form and population health. Derrick has co-developed a “land developability index” project ( with the Population Research Institute at the Pennsylvania State University since 2013, and has participated in numerous studies for environmental health assessment, land use planning and spatial modelling. Derrick also co-developed the government-based Heat Exposure Integrated Deprivation Index (HEIDI) with the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control in Canada for public health surveillance, and served as the lead guest-editor of special issue for “Sustainability” in 2018 (Title: “Spatial and Spatio-Temporal Planning for Urban Health and Sustainability”). Derrick’s research has also been widely cited and reported in local newspapers and global media, including Ming Pao (HK), South China Morning Post (HK), the Guardian (UK), CBC (Canada), and Forbes (USA). He was interviewed for professional comments with the media, including Ming Pao (HK), the Guardian (UK) and BBC (UK).

Derrick is now expanding his research to support the vulnerable and marginalized population in Asian high-density cities. This includes to develop community planning protocols for the development of a “disabled-friendly environment” across the cities. The aim of this research is to apply a mixed-methods approach for the investigation of housing, social, and environmental health problems among the disabled population, with the hope to support this population through community design and health education in the coming future.

Fields of Interest:

  • Disabled-friendly Environment
  • Urban Health and Environmental Epidemiology
  • Social Deprivation
  • Applied Demography
  • Livelihood Vulnerability
  • Geospatial Modelling

 Selected publications (A complete record of Derrick’s publication history can be found here:

Ho, H. C., Knudby, A., Chi, G., Aminipouri, M., & Lai, D. Y. F. (2018). Spatiotemporal analysis of regional socio-economic vulnerability change associated with heat risks in Canada. Applied Geography, 95, 61-70.

Chi, G., & Ho, H. C. (2018). Population stress: A spatiotemporal analysis of population change and land development at the county level in the contiguous United States, 2001–2011. Land Use Policy, 70, 128-137.

Ho, H. C., Wong, M. S., Yang, L., Chan, T. C., & Bilal, M. (2018). Influences of socioeconomic vulnerability and intra-urban air pollution exposure on short-term mortality during extreme dust events. Environmental Pollution, 235, 155-162.

Ho, H. C., Wong, M. S., Yang, L., Shi, W., Yang, J., Bilal, M., & Chan, T. C. (2018). Spatiotemporal influence of temperature, air quality, and urban environment on cause-specific mortality during hazy days. Environment International, 112, 10-22.

Shi, Y., Ho, H. C., Xu, Y., & Ng, E. (2018). Improving satellite aerosol optical Depth-PM2. 5 correlations using land use regression with microscale geographic predictors in a high-density urban context. Atmospheric Environment, 190, 23-34.

Ho, H. C., Knudby, A., Walker, B. B., & Henderson, S. B. (2017). Delineation of spatial variability in the temperature–mortality relationship on extremely hot days in greater Vancouver, Canada. Environmental Health Perspectives, 125(1), 66-75.

Ho, H. C., Lau, K. K. L., Yu, R., Wang, D., Woo, J., Kwok, T. C. Y., & Ng, E. (2017). Spatial variability of geriatric depression risk in a high-density city: a data-driven socio-environmental vulnerability mapping approach. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 14(9), 994.

Peng, F., Wong, M. S., Ho, H. C., Nichol, J., & Chan, P. W. (2017). Reconstruction of historical datasets for analyzing spatiotemporal influence of built environment on urban microclimates across a compact city. Building and Environment, 123, 649-660.

Krstic, N., Yuchi, W., Ho, H. C., Walker, B. B., Knudby, A. J., & Henderson, S. B. (2017). The Heat Exposure Integrated Deprivation Index (HEIDI): a data-driven approach to quantifying neighborhood risk during extreme hot weather. Environment International, 109, 42-52.

Ho, H. C., Lau, K. K. L., Ren, C., & Ng, E. (2017). Characterizing prolonged heat effects on mortality in a sub-tropical high-density city, Hong Kong. International Journal of Biometeorology, 61(11), 1935-1944.

Hodul, M., Knudby, A., & Ho, H. C. (2016). Estimation of continuous urban sky view factor from landsat data using shadow detection. Remote Sensing, 8(7), 568.

Aminipouri, M., Knudby, A., & Ho, H. C. (2016). Using multiple disparate data sources to map heat vulnerability: Vancouver case study. The Canadian Geographer, 60(3), 356-368.

Clement, M. T., Chi, G., & Ho, H. C. (2015). Urbanization and Land‐Use Change: A Human Ecology of Deforestation Across the United States, 2001–2006. Sociological Inquiry, 85(4), 628-653.

Ho, H. C., Knudby, A., & Huang, W. (2015). A spatial framework to map heat health risks at multiple scales. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 12(12), 16110-16123.

Ho, H. C., Knudby, A., Sirovyak, P., Xu, Y., Hodul, M., & Henderson, S. B. (2014). Mapping maximum urban air temperature on hot summer days. Remote Sensing of Environment, 154, 38-45.

Major research highlighted in media:

Forbes, United States. Jun 25, 2018. “Land developability and its impact on housing costs” (

The Guardian, UK. Jan 26, 2018. “Air pollution linked to ‘extremely high mortality’ in people with mental disorders” (

South China Morning Post, Hong Kong (A3 Page). “Hong Kong’s hazy days may have more deadly effect on those with mental illnesses, researchers find” (

South China Morning Post, Hong Kong (A3 Page). Aug 6, 2017. “Hot summer nights could be bigger killers than daytime scorchers, Hong Kong researchers say” (

Ming Pao, Hong Kong (A1 Page). Aug 6, 2017. “研究分析多年死亡個案與高溫關係 一周5熱日熱夜 死亡率增15%”. Ming Pao, Hong Kong (

The Climate Examiner, Canada. Jul 27, 2016. “Unemployed people, not the elderly, at highest risk during heatwaves”. (

News 1130, Canada. Jun 28, 2016. “People in hotter, poorer neighbourhoods at higher risk of death during extreme heat: study”. (

Metro News, Canada. Jun 28, 2016.  “Heat exposure deadly in areas of poverty and more concrete, fewer trees”. (

Vancouver Sun, Canada (Front Page). Jun 28, 2016. “Extreme heat a ‘silent killer’ in poorest Vancouver areas” (