Sarkar, Chinmoy

BSc; MSc(BHU); PhD(CPLAN, Cardiff)

Dr Chinmoy Sarkar is an Associate Professor of GIS, Urban Health and Environment at The University of Hong Kong. His research interest lies in the interdisciplinary domains of urban epidemiology, healthy city science, geospatial modelling, active transport, complex adaptive systems, urban and regional planning, and application of smart technologies in urban science.

Dr Sarkar is the concept lead, developer and PI of the UK Biobank Urban Morphometric Platform (UKBUMP) project which involves spatial modelling and development of the largest ever built environment database of 750 plus modelled individual-level health-specific built environment metrics for 0.5 million participants of the flagship UK Biobank epidemiologic cohort as well as detailed BE-health epidemiological modelling. The UK Biobank Built Environment project constituted his post-doctoral research at Cardiff University, UK and Hong Kong University (supported by Research Assistant Professorship grant) and emerged from his PhD research which examined the associations between detailed neighbourhood-level built environment and individual health outcomes of respondents from the Caerphilly Prospective study. This formed the basis of his book “Healthy Cities: Public Health Through Urban Planning. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar” which conceptualizes Healthy Cities in terms of empirically defined spatial health niches – a framework that has the potential to incorporate and integrate multiple multi-level spatio-temporal health determinants existing at the different hierarchies in a city system. Currently, besides developing the second phase ground breaking national-level UKBUMP database project from The University of Hong Kong (as a part of collaborative agreement with Clinical Trials Services Unit, Oxford University), he is also leading a series of empirical studies aiming to decipher associations between objectively measured built environment and individual activity behaviours, obesity, cardio-vascular risks, mental health and wellbeing as a part of the core project of which he is the PI His aim is to develop more robust and causal models of associations between built environment and health and testing them on some of the world’s leading epidemiological cohorts.

Research interest and potential research supervision

Built environment epidemiology and healthy cities planning and modelling.
Big data modelling in health and urban mobility.
Gene-built environment model of health.
Urban design, green space, travel behaviour and transport policy.
Road traffic casualty modelling from accident database.
Modelling smart cities via ubiquitous social network data.
Socio-spatial engineering for sustainable neighbourhoods and communities.
Hedonic modelling of property price data.
Health economics of global climate change.
Risk assessment of chemical process industries and land use policy around hazardous zones.
Urban simulations: Network modelling and cellular automata.
Application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing based techniques for urban systems management and change detection.
Quantitative methods: Spatial analyses, statistical modelling (regression, multi-level modelling, structural equation modelling, Bayesian modelling, longitudinal/time-series modelling, spatial statistics).

Awards & Achievements

Dr Sarkar has been named the inaugural scholar for the National Academy of Medicine, Washington – Hong Kong University Fellowship in Global Health Leadership. Other recent accolades include an RTPI Award for Excellence in spatial planning research: Academic Staff (winner in 2019, 2014 and commended in 2016), Rees Jeffreys Road Fund Scholarship, TSU, Oxford University and Associate Fellowship of UK Higher Education Academy, and Salzburg Global Fellow. His research has been cited in major media including Reuters and Guardian.








Dr Sarkar’s co-authored paper was named as ESI hot paper receiving the required number of citations in the last two years to be placed in the top 0.1% of all papers in the field of Social Science.
Lu, Y., Sarkar, C. & Xiao, Y. (2018). The effect of street-level greenery on walking behavior: Evidence from Hong Kong, Social Science & Medicine, 208, 41-49.

Dr Sarkar as member with Mr Alain Chiaradia (PI), Professor Chris Webster and Dr Guibo Sun received Faculty Knowledge Exchange (KE) Award 2019 on a project entitled “Spatial Design Network Analysis (sDNA) Improving Evidence-based Urban Planning and Design across Discipline Nationally and Worldwide”.

The joint paper “Association between adiposity outcomes and residential density: a full-data, cross-sectional analysis of 419 562 UK Biobank adult participants” which was published at Lancet Planet Health in October 2017, 1(7), e277-288, was awarded the 2018 Research Output Prize.

Recently funded research grants:

  • 2020-2023. Impact of exposure to green environments on depression in the most densely populated city in the world. RGC General Research Fund 2020-21. Project No. 17613220. HK$ 965,120. Principal investigator.
  • 2019-2024. Understanding aspects of common, complex chronic diseases in urban households: FAMILY Cohort. Health & Medical Research Funded Commissioned grant. Food and Health Bureau, Hong Kong Governmen HK$ 9,996,232. Co-investigator & lead on the sub-study: The Impact of Light Pollution on Depression and Hypertension in a Densely Populated City”. Sub-study grant: HK$ 1,007,880.
  • 2019-2021. Are stroke subtypes, severity and prognosis after stroke affected by air pollution? Health & Medical Research Funded grant. Food & Health Bureau, Hong Kong Government, Project: 06172626. HK$ 896,764. Co-investigator.
  • 2019-2022. The Relationship of Built Environments with Health Indicators and Quality of Life: A Community Participatory Model Proposal for Healthy Cities. Grant No. 218K368, The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK), Turkey. Turkish Lira 828,562 (144,400 USD). International collaborator and consultant.
  • 2015-2017. Morphometric analysis of the built environment (BE) in the UK Biobank. UK Biobank, Clinical Trial Service Unit and Epidemiological Studies Unit, Oxford Universit Seed grant: £50,000 (HK$ 502,000). Concept lead and principal investigator.



Sarkar, C., Webster, C., and Gallacher, J. (2014) Healthy Cities: Public Health through Urban Planning. Cheltenham, UK and Northampton, MA, USA: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Selected research publications:

Kamal Jyoti Maji, Chinmoy Sarkar (2020) Spatio-temporal variations and trends of major air pollutants in China during 2015-2018. Environmental Science and Pollution Research.

Lai, K.Y., Sarkar, C., Ni, M.Y., Gallacher, J., Webster, C., 2020. Exposure to light at night (LAN) and risk of obesity: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. Environmental Research 187: 109637.

Lai, K.Y., Sarkar, C., Scott, I., Sun, Z., 2020. Are greenspace attributes associated with perceived restorativeness? A comparative study of urban cemeteries and parks in Edinburgh, Scotland. Urban Forestry and Urban Greening 53: 126720.

Yang Xiao, Siyu Miao, Chinmoy Sarkar, Lingyun Fan, Zhigang Li (2020) Do Neighborhood Ties Matter for Residents’ Mental Health in Affordable Housing: Evidence from Guangzhou. China. Cities 100: 102666.

Shengzhi Sun, Chinmoy Sarkar*, Sarika Kumari, Peter James, Wangnan Cao, Ruby Siu-yin Lee, Linwei Tian, Chris Webster (2020) Air pollution associated respiratory mortality risk alleviated by residential greenness in the Chinese Elderly Health Service Cohort. Environment Research (in-press)

Zhang, X., Melbourne, S., Sarkar, C., Chiaradia, A. & Webster, C. (2020). Effects of green space on walking: Does size, shape and density matter? Urban Studies. Urban Studies, 2020.

Chinmoy Sarkar, Bing Zhang, Michael Ni, Sarika Kumari, Sarah Bauermeister, John Gallacher, Chris Webster (2019) Environmental correlates of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in 96 779 participants from the UK Biobank: a cross-sectional, observational study. The Lancet Planetary Health, 3(11): e478-e490.

Lu, Y., Sarkar, C. & Xiao, Y. (2018). The effect of street-level greenery on walking behavior: Evidence from Hong Kong, Social Science & Medicine, 208, 41-49.

Sarkar, C., Webster, C., Gallacher, J., 2018, Are exposures to ready-to-eat food environments associated with type 2 diabetes? Full data, cross-sectional evidence from N=347 551 UK Biobank adult participants, The Lancet Planetary Health 2(10):e438-450.

Sarkar C., Webster C.J. and Gallacher J., Residential greenness and prevalence of major depressive disorders: a cross-sectional, observational, associational study of 94 879 adult UK Biobank participants, The Lancet Planetary Health2018, 2(4): e162–e173.

Sarkar C.Editorial: Towards quantifying the role of urban place factors in the production and socio-spatial distribution of mental health in city dwellersJournal of Urban Design and Mental Health. 2018, 4: 2.

Lu Y.Gou Z.Xiao Y.Sarkar C. and Zacharias J.Do Transit-Oriented Developments (TODs) and Established Urban Neighborhoods Have Similar Walking Levels in Hong Kong? International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2018, 15: 555.

Chinmoy Sarkar, Chris Webster, John Gallacher (2018) Neighbourhood walkability and incidence of hypertension: Findings from the study of 429,334 UK Biobank participants. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health

Yang Xiao, Siyu Miao, Chinmoy Sarkar*, Huizhi Geng, Yi Lu (2018) Exploring the impacts of housing condition on migrants’ mental health in Nanxiang, Shanghai: A structural equation modelling approach. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15(2), 225; doi: 10.3390/ijerph15020225

Giovanni Piumatti, Simon C Moore, Damon M Berridge, Chinmoy Sarkar, John Gallacher (2018) The relationship between alcohol use and long-term cognitive decline in middle and late life: a longitudinal analysis using UK Biobank, Journal of Public Health. DOI:

Chinmoy Sarkar, Chris Webster & Sarika Kumari (2017): Street morphology and severity of road casualties: A 5-year study of Greater London, International Journal of Sustainable Transportation,

Sarkar, C., Webster, C., Gallacher, J. (2017) Association between adiposity outcomes and residential density: a full-data, cross-sectional analysis of 419 562 UK Biobank adult participants. The Lancet Planetary Health, 1(7), e277–e288.

Sarkar, C. (2017) Residential greenness and adiposity: Findings from the UK Biobank. Environment International, 106, 1-10.

Sarkar, C., Webster, C. (2017) Urban environments and human health: Current trends and future directions. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 25, 33-44.

Sarkar, C., Webster, C. (2017) Healthy Cities of Tomorrow: the Case for Large Scale Built Environment–Health Studies. Journal of Urban Health: Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, 94(1), 4-19.

Yoshitaro H., Dissanayake T., Zheng T., Kang K., Yueqiong N., Xu Z., Sarkar C. et al. (2017) Toward a Metagenomic Understanding on the Bacterial Composition and Resistome in Hong Kong Banknotes, Frontiers in Microbiology 2017; 8, 632 (1-12).

Xiao Y., Sarkar C., Webster C.J., Chiaradia A.J.F. and Yi L. (2017) Street network accessibility-based methodology for appraisal of land use master plans: An empirical case study of Wuhan, China. Land Use Policy. 69: 193–203.

Yi Lu, Chinmoy Sarkar, Yu Ye, Yang Xiao (2016) Using the Online Walking Journal to explore the relationship between campus environment and walking behaviour. Journal of Transport & Health, 5, 123-132.

Chris Webster, Fulong Wu, Fangzhu Zhang, Sarkar, C. (2016) Informality, property rights and poverty in China’s ‘favelas’. World Development, 78, 461-476.

Chinmoy Sarkar, Chris Webster, Matthew Pryor, Dorothy Tang, Scott Melbourne, Xiaohu Zhang, Liu Jianzheng (2015) Exploring associations between urban green, street design and walking: Results from the Greater London boroughs. Landscape and Urban Planning, 143, 112-125.

Sarkar, Chinmoy, Chris Webster, and John Gallacher. 2015. UK Biobank Urban Morphometric Platform (UKBUMP) – A nationwide resource for evidence-based healthy city planning and public health interventions. Annals of GIS, 21(2), 135-148.

C. Sarkar, J. Gallacher, C. Webster (2013) Built environment and psychological distress in later life – Results from the Caerphilly Study. BMC Public Health, 13: 695.

C. Sarkar, J. Gallacher, C. Webster (2013) Built environment configuration and change in body mass index: The Caerphilly Prospective Study (CaPS). Health & Place, 19, 33-44.

Sumathi, V.R., Natesan, U., Sarkar, C. (2008) A GIS based approach for optimized site selection for municipal solid waste landfill. Waste Management, 28, 2146–2160.

Sarkar Chinmoy & Abbasi, S. A. (2006) QUALIDEX – A new software for generating water quality indice. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 119(1-3), pp. 201-231.

Sarkar, Chinmoy & Abbasi, S. A. (2006) Cellular-automata-based forecasting of the impact accidental fire and toxic dispersion in process industries. Journal of Hazardous Materials, A137, 2006, pp. 8-30.

Sarkar, C. & Abbasi, S. A. (2006) Enhancing the accuracy of forecasting the impacts of accidents in chemical process industry by the application of cellular automata technique. Process Safety and Environmental Protection, Trans IChemE, 84 (B4), pp. 1-16.

Research in media:

The Guardian. 12th October 2018. Living near food outlets linked to higher rates of type 2 diabetes.

China Daily, Cover Story. 8th June 2018. Future proofing Health in Chinese Cities by Chinmoy Sarkar.

The Independent. 5th April 2018. Green neighbourhoods linked to improved mental health, says study.

The Guardian. 5th February 2018. Walkable cities reduce blood pressure and hypertension risk, study finds.

HKU Bulletin. January 2018. Cities That Make You Want to Get Active. HKU Bulletin (The Mixed Blessing of Big Data), 19(2): 7.

The Guardian. 6th Oct. 2017. Inner-city living makes for healthier, happier people, study finds.

Daily Mail. 6th Oct. 2017. Cities make healthier, happier people.–report.html

International Business Times. 6th Oct. 2017. We’re better off living in cities – and here are three reasons why

Thompson Reuters. 5th October 2017. Cities make for healthier, happier people – report.