Ho, Derrick H. C.

B.S.(Tntech); M.S.(Msstate); PhD(SFU); MHKIOEH

Hung Chak Ho (Derrick Ho) is an environmental epidemiologist in the Department of Urban Planning and Design at The University of Hong Kong. He is also serving as a thesis supervisor for the MSc Space Science at The University of Hong Kong.
Derrick received his PhD from Simon Fraser University, and was trained as a research student (Section of Environmental Health Services) in the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) between 2015 and 2016.
Derrick’s research focuses on urban resilience and environmental hazards, with particular interests in spatiotemporal modelling and machine learning applications for environmental exposure and health assessments. He co-developed the government-based Heat Exposure Integrated Deprivation Index (HEIDI) with BCCDC for disaster risk planning and public health surveillance. Derrick is now expanding his research to support the vulnerable and marginalized population in Asian high-density cities. This includes to develop protocols for the development of resilient and healthy cities” across East Asia. The aim of this research is to apply a mixed-methods approach for the investigation of social and environmental health problems among the marginalized people, with the hope to support this population through community design and health education in the coming future.


  • Associate Editor, International Health [Publisher: Oxford] (2019 – present)
  • Editorial Board member, BMC Public Health [Publisher: Springer] (2020 – present)
  • Early Career Advisory Board member, Environmental Research [Publisher: Elsevier] (2021 – present)
  • Associate Editor, BMC Public Health [Publisher: Springer] (2019 – 2020)
  • Guest Editor, Special Issue: “Change, Aerosol Pollution and Public Health Risk in an Urban Context”, Frontiers in Climate (2020)
  • Guest Editor, Special Issue: “Geographic Complexity: Concepts, Theories, and Practices”, ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information (2019)
  • Guest Editor, Special Issue: “Spatial and Spatio-Temporal Planning for Urban Health and Sustainability”, Sustainability (2018)

Panelist, International Round Table ‘Smart and Resilient Cities’, Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Almaty, Kazakhstan (2018)
Panelist, Research Roundtable on Risk Governance for Belt and Road Initiative, International Day for Disaster Reduction 2017 [supported by the United Nations General Assembly] (2017)

Fields of Interest
Environmental hazards
Environmental exposure assessment
GIS analyses and spatiotemporal modelling
Environmental and spatial epidemiology
Environmental health surveillance and disaster risk management
Livelihood vulnerability and deprivation
Disaster medicine

Selected Grants

  • Principal Investigator: Relationship of PM1 related health effect, built environment, urban morphology and architectural design: A study of Pearl River Delta (Guangdong Natural Science Fund – General Programme, China)
  • Principal Investigator: Mental Health in a Post-disaster Urban Context: Planning, Design and Policy (Impact Project Scheme, Knowledge Exchange (KE) Funding Exercise, The University of Hong Kong)
  • Principal Investigator: Development and History of Public Housing Estates in Kwun Tong District (Kwun Tong Development and Renewal Task Force, Hong Kong)
  • Co-Investigator: Pricing urban design in the walking catchment of metro stations (National Science Foundation China, China)
  • Principal Investigator: Livability of the built environment for the physically disabled and the older adults: A comparison of old district and new town: (Seed Fund for Basic Research, The University of Hong Kong)
  • Principal Investigator: Evaluation of physical and social barriers for the public housing estates in a historical socioeconomic deprived and aging district in Hong Kong: A case study of Kwun Tong (Seed Fund for Basic Research, The University of Hong Kong)

Selected publications (* as corresponding author, # as co-first author)
(A complete record of Derrick’s publication history can be found here:

Environmental and Spatial Epidemiology

  • Ho, H. C.*, Guo, H., Chan, T. C., Shi, Y., Webster, C., & Fong, K. N. (2022). Community planning for a “healthy built environment” via a human-environment nexus? A multifactorial assessment of environmental characteristics and age-specific stroke mortality in Hong Kong. Chemosphere, 287, 132043.
  • Cong, J., Wang, L. B., Liu, F. J., Qian, Z. M., McMillin, S. E., Vaughn, M. G., Song, Y., Wang, S., Chen., S., Xiong, S., Shen., X, Sun, X., Zhou, Y., , H.C.* & Dong, G. H. (2022). Associations between metabolic syndrome and anthropogenic heat emissions in northeastern China. Environmental Research, 204, 111974.
  • Guo H., Li W., Wu J., Ho, H. C. (2022). Does air pollution contribute to urban–rural disparity in male lung cancer diseases in China? Environmental Science and Pollution Research, doi: 10.1007/s11356-021-17406-5.
  • He, Y., Deng, S., Ho, H.C.#, Wang H., Chen Y., Hajat S., Ren C., Zhou B., Cheng C., Hu W., Ma W., Huang, C.. (2021). The half-degree matters for heat-related health impacts under the 1.5 °C and 2 °C warming scenarios: evidence from ambulance data in Shenzhen, China. Advances in Climate Change Research, 12, 628-637.
  • Cheng, J, Ho, H.C.#, Su H., Huang C., Pan R, Hossain, M.Z., Zheng H., Xu Z. (2021). Low ambient temperature shortened life expectancy in Hong Kong: A time-series analysis of 1.4 million years of life lost from cardiorespiratory diseases. Environmental Research, 201, 111652.
  • Ho, H.C.*, Fong, K., Chan, T.C., & Shi, Y. (2020). The associations between social, built and geophysical environment and age-specific dementia mortality among older adults in a high-density Asian city. International Journal of Health Geographics, 19, 53.
  • Ho, H. C*, Chan, T. C., Xu, Z., Huang, C., & Li, C. (2020). Individual- and community-level shifts in mortality patterns during the January 2016 East Asia cold wave associated with a super El Niño event: Empirical evidence in Hong Kong. Science of the Total Environment, 711, 135050.
  • Wang, H., Li, J., Gao, M., Chan, T.C., Gao, Z., Zhang, M., Li, Y., Gu, Y., Chen, A., Yang, Y., & Ho, H.C.*(2020). Spatiotemporal variability in long-term population exposure to PM5 and lung cancer mortality attributable to PM2.5 across the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) region over 2010–2016: A multistage approach. Chemosphere, 257, 127153.
  • Ho, H.C., Wong, M.S., & Chan, T.C. (2020). Spatially differentiating the effects of long-term air pollution on specific causes of death from cardiovascular and respiratory mortality in Hong Kong: A territory-wide register-based study. Air quality, Atmosphere, and Health, 13, 721–730
  • Wong, M.S., Ho, H.C*., & Tse, A. (2020). Geospatial context of social and environmental factors associated with health risk during temperature extremes: Review and discussion. Geospatial Health, 15 (814), 168-173.
  • Yang, L., Ho, J., Wong, F., Chang, K., Chan, K.L., Wong, M.S., Ho, H.C., Yuen, J., Huang, J., & Siu, J. (2020). Neighbourhood green space, perceived stress and sleep quality in an urban population. Urban Forestry and Urban Greening, 54, 126763.
  • Ho, H. C.,* & Wong, M. S. (2019). Urban environmental influences on the temperature–mortality relationship associated mental disorders and cardiorespiratory diseases during normal summer days in a subtropical city. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 26, 24272-24285.
  • 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.
  • 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., 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.
  • Wong, M. S., Ho, H. C.,*Yang, L., Shi, W., Yang, J., & Chan, T. C. (2017). Spatial variability of excess mortality during prolonged dust events in a high-density city: a time-stratified spatial regression approach. International Journal of Health Geographics, 16(1), 26.

Environmental Health Surveillance and Disaster Risk Management

  • Mok, K.K., Ho, H.C.*. (2021) Finding a home away from home: an explorative study on the use of social space with the voices of foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong. Annals of the American Association of Geographers, doi:10.1080/24694452.2020.1813542.
  • Ho, H. C.*, Wong, P. P., & Guo, C. (2021). Impacts of social and environmental perceptions on preparedness and knowledge of air pollution risk: A study of adolescent males in an urbanized, high-density city. Sustainable Cities and Society, 66, 102678.
  • Guo, C., Sim, T., & Ho, H. C.* (2020). Evaluation of risk perception, knowledge, and preparedness of extreme storm events for the improvement of coastal resilience among migrants: A lesson from Hong Kong. Population, Space and Place,
  • Guo, C., Sim, T., & Ho, H. C.* (2020). Impact of information seeking, disaster preparedness and typhoon emergency response on perceived community resilience in Hong Kong. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 50, 101744.
  • Ho, H.C.*, Wai, K.M., He, M., Chan, T.C., Deng, C., & Wong, M.S. (2020). Mortality risk of a future heat event across a subtropical city: Implications for community planning and health policy. Natural Hazards, 103, 623–637
  • Zhong, S., Pang, M. Ho, H. C, Jegasothy, E., Clayton, S., Wang, Z., Huang, C. (2020). Assessing the effectiveness and pathways of planned shelters in protecting mental health of flood victims in China. Environmental Research Letters, 15, 125006
  • Lozano et al. (2020). Measuring universal health coverage based on an index of effective coverage of health services in 204 countries and territories, 1990–2019: A systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019. The Lancet, 396, 1250-1284.
  • Ho, H. C.,* Wong, M. S., Man, H. Y., Shi, Y., & Abbas, S. (2019). Neighborhood-based subjective environmental vulnerability index for community health assessment: Development, validation and evaluation. Science of the Total Environment, 654, 1082-1090.
  • Zhang, Y., Xiang, Q., Yu, C., Bao, J., Ho, H.C., Sun, S., Ding, Z., Hu, K., & Zhang, L. (2019). Mortality risk and burden associated with temperature variability in China, United Kingdom and United States: Comparative analysis of daily and hourly exposure metrics. Environmental Research, 179, 108771.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Environmental Exposure Assessment

  • Ho, H. C.*, Man, H. Y., Wong, M. S., Shi, Y., & Walker, B. B. (2020). Perceived differences in the (re)production of environmental deprivation between subpopulations: a study combining citizens’ perceptions with remote-sensed and administrative data. Building and Environment, 174, 106769.
  • Shi, Y., Bilal, M., Ho, H.C., & Omar, A. (2020). Urbanization and regional air pollution across South Asian developing countries – A nationwide land use regression for ambient PM2.5 assessment in Pakistan. Environmental Pollution, 266 (2), 115145.
  • Deng, C., Dong, X., Wang H., Lin, W., Wen, H., Frazier, J., Ho, H. C., & Holmes, L. (2020). A data-driven framework for walkability measurement with open data: A case study of Triple Cities, New York. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, 9(1), 36.
  • Chen, S., Hu, D., Wong, M. S., Ren, H., Cao, S., Yu, C., &Ho, H. C. (2019). Characterizing spatiotemporal dynamics of anthropogenic heat fluxes: A 20-year case study in Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei region in China. Environmental Pollution, 249, 923-931.
  • Xu, F., Ho, H. C., Chi, G., & Wang, Z. (2019). Abandoned rural residential land: Using machine learning techniques to identify rural residential land vulnerable to be abandoned in mountainous areas. Habitat International, 84, 43-56.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Xu, Y., Ho, H. C.,*Wong, M. S., Deng, C., Shi, Y., Chan, T. C., & Knudby, A. (2018). Evaluation of machine learning techniques with multiple remote sensing datasets in estimating monthly concentrations of ground-level PM2.5. Environmental Pollution, 242, 1417-1426.
  • Ho, H. C.,*Knudby, A., Xu, Y., Hodul, M., & Aminipouri, M. (2016). A comparison of urban heat islands mapped using skin temperature, air temperature, and apparent temperature (Humidex), for the greater Vancouver area. Science of the Total Environment, 544, 929-938.
  • 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.
  • Xu, Y., Knudby, A., & Ho, H. C. (2014). Estimating daily maximum air temperature from MODIS in British Columbia, Canada. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 35(24), 8108-8121.

Professional Presentation (Invited Speaker)

  • Hung Chak Ho (2020). “Social vulnerability, social just, and environmental hazard across HK: A community planning planning perspecitve”. Post-symposium workshop: Transdisciplinarity and disaster management from a social justice and social care perspective, University of British Columbia, Feb 26, 2020.
  • Hung Chak Ho. (2019). “Under a changing climate: who are more vulnerable in the cities with high infrastructure resilience?” 3rd International Forum on Climate Change and Health Response, Dec 18 – 19, Guangzhou, China.
  • Hung Chak Ho. (2019). “Built Environment and Health Risk: A Perspective of Remote Sensing Applications.” 2nd Symposium of Urban Remote Sensing (第二届城市遥感学术研讨会), Nov 23, 2019, Guangzhou, China.
  • Hung Chak Ho. (2019). “How to improve urban resilience to mitigate urban heat island effect and related health risk? A geospatial perspective”, School of Remote Sensing and Geomatics Engineering, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Oct 28, 2019, Nanjing, China.
  • Hung Chak Ho. (2019). “Remote sensing application and geospatial analysis to evaluate community health risk associated with weather-related air pollution events”, Institute of Space and Earth Information Science, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Mar 22, 2019, Hong Kong.
  • Hung Chak Ho. (2019). “What is neighborhood deprivation? An empirical study under the context of urban vulnerability and resilience”. Institute of Environment, Energy and Sustainability, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Jan 4, 2019, Hong Kong.
  • Hung Chak Ho. (2018). “Development and Application of Deprivation Indices for Urban Health Assessment”. School of Geographical Sciences, Guangzhou University, Nov 7, 2018, Guangzhou, China.
  • Hung Chak Ho. (2018). “Remote sensing for the development of smart and resilient city”. International Round Table ‘Smart and Resilient Cities’, Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Almaty, Kazakhstan.
  • Hung Chak Ho. (2018). “Climate resilience among Chinese communities: A mixed-methods approach”. Department of Geography, University of Hong Kong, Jun 19, 2018, Hong Kong.
  • Hung Chak Ho. (2018). “Association of Extreme Pollution Events and Short-term Mortality across the Urban Environment”. Atmospheric Seminar, School of Energy and Environment, City University of Hong Kong, Feb 22, 2018, Hong Kong.
  • Hung Chak Ho. (2018). “A multi-dimensional framework for environmental risk analyses and mitigation”. Division of Environment and Sustainability, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Feb 6, 2018, Hong Kong.
  • Hung Chak Ho, Kevin Ka-Lun Lau, Ruby Yu, Jean Woo, Timothy Chi Yui Kwok, Edward Ng (2017) “Spatial Variability of Geriatric Depression Risk in a High-density City: A Socio-Environmental Vulnerability Mapping Approach”. 2017 Pacific Neighborhood Consortium Annual Conference and Joint Meetings, Nov 7 – 9, 2017, Tainan, Taiwan.
  • Hung Chak Ho (2017). “Spatial analytics and remote sensing modelling for environmental risk management” Research Roundtable on Risk Governance for Belt and Road Initiative, Oct 14, 2017, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong.
  • Hung Chak Ho (2017). “A big data approach to mitigate environmental health risk through sustainable urban planning”. Urban Studies Seminar, Department of Geography, University of Hong Kong, Jul 3, 2017, Hong Kong.
  • Hung Chak Ho (2017). “An overview of extreme meteorological conditions and health risk in Hong Kong”. Institute of Environment, Energy and Sustainability, Chinese University of Hong Kong, May 12, 2017, Hong Kong.
  • Hung Chak Ho (2017). “Integrating mixed-method approach and Big Data Analytics to measure environment health risk at multiple spatial scales”. Department of Land Surveying and Geo-informatics, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Jan 23, 2017, Hong Kong.
  • Hung Chak Ho (2015). “From Local to Regional: Adaptations to Extreme Heat Events”. College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, Nov 20, 2015, Corvallis, OR, USA.
  • Hung Chak Ho (2015). “Spatial Modelling of Heat Exposure and Vulnerability: A Case Study in the Greater Vancouver.” PICS Symposium, May 1, 2015, Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • Hung Chak Ho (2014). “Estimating Heat Mortality and Morbidity in Vancouver, BC.” Environmental and Occupational Health Research in Progress Talk, Jun 16, 2014, Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada
  • Anders Knudby, Hung Chak Ho (2014). “High Resolution Air Temperature Mapping in Vancouver.” UBC School of Population and Public Health Occupational and Environmental Health Seminar, Feb 7, 2014, School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Public Media (Research related)

  • HKU Bulletin (Vol.21 No.2), Hong Kong. May 2020. Cover Story: No Place Like Home. (
  • South China Morning Post, Hong Kong. January 29, 2020. “Single and unemployed? New study says you’re more likely to die when it gets cold in Hong Kong than anyone else” (
  • South China Morning Post, Hong Kong (A3 Page).Jun 30, 2019. “Hongkongers with mental disorders – especially dementia – most at risk of death in extreme weather, study shows” (
  • Forbes, United States. Jun 25, 2018. “Land developability and its impact on housing costs” (
  • The Guardian, Jan 26, 2018. “Air pollution linked to ‘extremely high mortality’ in people with mental disorders” (
  • South China Morning Post, Hong Kong (A3 Page).Jan 1, 2018. “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, Jul 27, 2016. “Unemployed people, not the elderly, at highest risk during heatwaves”. (
  • News 1130, Jun 28, 2016. “People in hotter, poorer neighbourhoods at higher risk of death during extreme heat: study”. (
  • Metro News,  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” (