Ho, Derrick H. C.
B.S.(Tntech); M.S.(Msstate); PhD(SFU)

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 disaster medicine, health geography, spatial demography and community planning. He is serving as an Associate editor for “International Health” (Publisher: Oxford) and an Associate editor for “BMC Public Health” (Publisher: Springer​). He also served as the lead guest-editor of a special issue for “Sustainability” in 2018 (Title: “Spatial and Spatio-Temporal Planning for Urban Health and Sustainability”) and a guest editor of a special issue for “ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information” in 2019 (Title: “Geographic Complexity: Concepts, Theories, and Practices”).

Derrick’s 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, disaster risk management, 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 disaster risk planning and public health surveillance. In addition, Derrick’s research has 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 people with impairment, 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

Awards & Achievements

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, UK. 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, 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” (


  • “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

Selected publications (* as corresponding author)

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

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.

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.

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 PM2. 5 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., 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. DOI: 10.1007/s11069-020-04003-x

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. DOI: 10.1007/s11869-020-00828-4

James, S.L., Castle, C.D., Dingels, Z.V., Fox, J.T., Hamilton, E.B., Liu, Z., Roberts, N.L.S., Sylte, D.O., Henry, N.J., LeGrand, K.E., Abdelalim, A., Abdoli, A., Abdollahpour, I., Abdulkader, R.S., Abedi, A., Abosetugn, E., Abushouk, A.I., Adebayo, O.M., Agudelo-Botero, M., … Ho, H.C., …, Vos, T. (2020). Global injury morbidity and mortality from 1990 to 2017: Results from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017​. Injury Prevention (in press). DOI:

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.

Chen, D., Mayvaneh, F., Baaghideh, M., Entezari, A., Ho, H. C., Xiang, Q., Jiao A., Zhang, F., Hu, K., Chen, G., Zhao Q., Sun, S., & Zhang Y. (2020). Utilizing daily excessive concentration hours to estimate cardiovascular mortality and years of life lost attributable to fine particulate matter in Tehran, Iran. Science of the Total Environment, 703, 134909.

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, X., Jahn, H. J., Ward, Tony J., Ho, H. C., Luo, M., Engling, G., & Kraemer, A. (2020). Characteristics and determinants of personal exposure to PM2.5 mass and components in adult subjects in the megacity of Guangzhou, China. Atmospheric Environment, 224, 117295.

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, Vol. 711, 135050.

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, e2318.

Zhu, R., Wong, M. S., You, L., Santi, P., Nichol, J., Ho, H. C., Lu, L., & Ratti, C. (2020). The effect of urban morphology on the solar capacity of threedimensional cities, Renewable Energy, 153, 1111-1126.

Yang, J., Wong, M. S., Ho, H. C., Krayenhoff, S., Chan, P.W., Abbas, S., & Menenti, M. (2020). A semi-empirical method for estimating complete surface temperature from radiometric surface temperature, a study in Hong Kong city. Remote Sensing of Environment, 237, 111540.

Jiao, A., Xiang, Q., Ding, Z., Cao, J., Ho, H. C., Chen, D., Cheng, J., Yang, Z., Zhang, F., Yu, Y., & Zhang, Y. (2020). Short-term impacts of ambient fine particulate matter on emergency department visits: Comparative analysis of three exposure metrics. Chemosphere, 241, 125012.

Wang, H., Li, J., Gao, Z., Yim, S. H. L., Shen, H., Ho, H. C., Li, Z., Zeng, Z., Liu, C., Li, Y., Ning, G., & Yang, Y. (2019). High-Spatial-Resolution Population Exposure to PM2.5 Pollution Based on Multi-Satellite Retrievals: A Case Study of Seasonal Variation in the Yangtze River Delta, China in 2013. Remote Sensing, 11(23), 2724.

Bilal, M., Nichol, J. E., Nazeer, M., Shi, Y., Wang, L., Kumar, K. R., Ho, H. C., Mazhar, U., Bleiweiss, M. P., Qiu, Z., Khedher, K. M., & Lolli, S. (2019). Characteristics of Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) over Urban, Suburban, and Rural Areas of Hong Kong. Atmosphere, 10(9), 496.

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, Part A, 108771.

Ho, H. C., Wong, M. S., Abbas, S., & Zhu, R. (2019). Development of the Adjusted Wind Chill Equivalent Temperature (AWCET) for cold mortality assessment across a subtropical city: validation and comparison with a spatiallycontrolled time-stratified approach. BMC Public Health, 19(1), 1290.

Wang, D., Lau, K. K. L., Ren, C., Bernard III, G.W., Shi, Y., Ho, H. C., Lee, T. C., Lee, L. S., Woo, J., & Ng, E. (2019). The impact of extremely hot weather events on all-cause mortality in a highly urbanized and densely populated subtropical city: A 10-year timeseries study (2006–2015). Science of the Total Environment, 690, 923-931.

Hafeez, S., Wong, M. S., Ho, H. C., Nazeer, M., Nichol, J., Abbas, S., Tang, D., Lee, K. H., & Pun, L. (2019). Comparison of Machine Learning Algorithms for Retrieval of Water Quality Indicators in Case-II Waters: A Case Study of Hong Kong.  Remote Sensing, 11(6), 617.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Ho, H. C.,* Abbas, S., Yang, J., Zhu, R., & Wong, M. S. (2019). Spatiotemporal Prediction of Increasing Winter Perceived Temperature across a Sub-Tropical City for Sustainable Planning and Climate Change Mitigation. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(3), 497.

Yuen, J. W., Chang, K. K., Wong, F. K., Wong, F. Y., Siu, J. Y., Ho, H. C., Wong, M. S., Ho J. Y. S., Chan, K. L., & Yang, L. (2019). Influence of Urban Green Space and Facility Accessibility on Exercise and Healthy Diet in Hong Kong. International journal of environmental research and public health, 16(9), 1514.

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.

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., 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.