Sarkar, Chinmoy

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

Dr Chinmoy Sarkar is an Associate Professor of GIS, Urban Health and Environment at the Department of Urban Planning and Design. He also co-leads the Healthy High Density Cities Lab, HKUrbanLab, a lab conducting built environment-health research employing big data including health cohorts and health surveillance data. His research interests lie in the field of Healthy Places and Cities, specifically in the interdisciplinary domains of evidence-based healthy cities planning, spatial design analyses for healthy cities, healthy longevity, urban green and active travel, big data modelling in health and urban mobility, planning for smart cities, smart location-based technologies for health research, health GIS, and methodologies related to study design and statistical modelling. His work involves leveraging the power of data, models, algorithms and smart technologies towards a more nuanced and evidence-based approach to health city science, planning and policy-making for creation of healthy places and cities in an increasing urbanizing world. He is the concept lead and developer of the UK Biobank Urban Morphometric Platform (UKBUMP), the largest individual-level built environment-health exposure database, comprising more than 750 individual-level built environment morphological metrics (morphometrics) for half-a-million Britons. He is employing similar methodologies to replicate development of urban exposure databases and studies in Hong Kong and elsewhere. He leads a series of largescale studies aiming to develop more robust models of associations between objectively-measured built environment and activity behaviour and health outcomes. Dr Sarkar’s research has been highlighted internationally, being interviewed by major News outlets, published in top academic journals (including leading four publications in The Lancet Planetary Health) and has authored the book: Sarkar, Webster, Gallacher (2014) Healthy Cities: Public Health through Urban Planning, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar and other accolades.

Research interests

Built environment epidemiology and healthy cities planning and modelling; big data modelling in health and urban mobility; gene-built environment model of health; healthy longevity; urban design, green space, travel behaviour and transport policy; road traffic casualty modelling from accident database; modelling smart cities via ubiquitous social network data; 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).

Selected Publications

*corresponding author, joint lead author (equal contribution)

  1. Chinmoy Sarkar‡*, Ka Yan Lai‡, Michael Y. Ni, Sarika Kumari, Gabriel M. Leung, Chris Webster. 2021. Liveable residential space, residential density, and hypertension in Hong Kong: A population-based cohort study. PLoS Medicine 18(11): e1003824. (IF: 11.069).
  2. Chinmoy Sarkar‡*, Ka Yan Lai‡, Sarika Kumari, Gabriel Leung, Chris Webster, Michael Y. Ni. 2021. Characteristics of the residential environment and association with depression in Hong Kong. JAMA Network Open 4(10): e2130777. (IF: 8.483).
  3. Ka Yan Lai, Sarika Kumari, John Gallacher, Chris Webster, Chinmoy Sarkar*. 2022. Associations of residential walkability and greenness with arterial stiffness in the UK Biobank. Environment International 158: 106960. (IF: 9.621).
  4. Ka Yan Lai, Chinmoy Sarkar*, Sarika Kumari, Michael Y. Ni, John Gallacher, Chris Webster (2021) Calculating a national Anomie Density Ratio: Measuring the patterns of loneliness and social isolation across the UK’s residential density gradient using results from the UK Biobank study. Landscape and Urban Planning, 215: 104194. [IF: 6.142].
  5. Ka Yan Lai, Chris Webster, Sarika Kumari, Chinmoy Sarkar* (2021) The nature of cities and the COVID19 pandemic. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 46: 27-31. [IF: 6.984].
  6. 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. [IF: 19.173].
  7. Chinmoy Sarkar*, Chris Webster, John Gallacher (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. [IF: 19.173].
  8. Chinmoy Sarkar*, Chris Webster, John Gallacher (2018) Residential greenness and prevalence of major depressive disorders: a cross-sectional, observational, associational study of 94 879 adult UK Biobank participants. The Lancet Planetary Health2(4): e162–e173. [IF: 19.173].
  9. 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. [IF: 5.840].
  10. Chinmoy Sarkar*, Chris Webster, John Gallacher (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. [IF: 19.173].
  11. Chinmoy Sarkar* (2017) Residential greenness and adiposity: Findings from the UK Biobank. Environment International, 106, 1-10. [IF: 9.621].
  12. 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. [IF: 6.142].

Honours and Awards 

  • National Academy of Medicine, Washington – Hong Kong University Fellowship in Global Health Leadership 2019-21.
  • Salzburg Global Fellow (2018-)
  • The RTPI Awards for Research Excellence – Academic award 2020: Shortlisted.
  • Faculty Knowledge Exchange (KE) Award, Faculty of Architecture, HKU 2019 (with Mr Alain Chiaradia, Professor Chris Webster and Dr Guibo Sun).
  • The RTPI Awards for Research Excellence – Academic award 2019: Winner.
  • Faculty Research Output Prize, Faculty of Architecture, HKU 2018.
  • The RTPI Awards for Research Excellence – Academic award 2018: Shortlisted.
  • The RTPI Awards for Research Excellence – Academic award 2016: Commended.
  • The RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence 2014: Winner.
  • Rees Jeffreys Road Fund Scholarship, Transport Studies Unit, Oxford University 2013.
  • Associate Fellowship of UK Higher Education Academy (2012-).

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.

Research in the Media