We live in a city without realising that it is shaping our everyday life. Worse still, we do not realise that we have the right to shape it towards a better future through increasing our spatial competency. How can we realise this right? How can we build a better neighbourhood to nourish our spatial competency? How can we foster a stronger sense of place and boost our multi-faceted well-being through building sustainable cities and communities?
The interdisciplinary team works with built environment-related professionals and district councillors to empower participants through three sets of activities:
Knowledge is power
Workshops are organised to help clarify various concepts related to various rights to building sustainable communities, including Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), New Urban Agenda (NUA), Doughnut Economics, place qualities, sense of place, sense of well-being, placemaking and urban design. Participants are encouraged to relate the learned concepts to their everyday life.
Workshops are organised to learn from experiments undertaken by various community members.
Practice makes perfect
The team works with different district councils/groups to explore “three-in-one” ways (solutions that simultaneously address social, economic and environmental issues) to build sustainable neighbourhoods that boost people’s senses of place and well-being.
There is no institutionalised community planning in Hong Kong. This project serves as an important resource for local districts to gain knowledge and acquire professional assistance to co-experiment with the reshaping of their neighbourhood into more sustainable places for people’s multifaceted flourishing. The team has endeavoured to disseminate knowledge through writing newspaper articles and eventually producing a digital booklet. With the team’s community collaborators, regular seminars and workshops are conducted. The team is also working with district councils to co-create plans to move their districts towards a more sustainable future.
– District Councillors and their assistants
– Place champions
– Community members
– Built environment professionals
Mee Kam, internationally known for her research on urban planning policy and practices of Hong Kong and China, has been consultant to the United Nations and European Union in her academic capacity. Envisioning an urbanism that nurtures the environment and healthy human relationships, she wields her expertise in promoting social and spatial justice. Her publications have earned her six Hong Kong Institute of Planners’ Awards. Mee Kam received her PhD in Urban Planning from UCLA.
Hendrik is an urban designer. He joined CUHK in 2006, after studying and working in Germany, Italy and Switzerland. His research focuses on public spaces, placemaking and community empowerment. His research and projects have been published in a range of international journals. Since 2013, he developed the project series "Magic Carpet", which engages residents in the co-creation of community spaces. In early 2020, he launched with Luisa Bravo, the founder of the Journal of Public Space, the international initiative "2020: A year without Public Space under the COVID 19 Pandemic", capturing global experiences and discussing potential solutions for the "new-normal" in the age of pandemics.
Sylvia is a Board Member and Honorary Secretary of the Hong Kong Society for Transportation Studies. She is Associate Editor of Travel Behaviour and Society (Elsevier) and Associate Editor of Asian Transport Studies (Elsevier). Her research interests include travel behaviour, transport planning and policy, transport geography, urban and regional studies, and spatial analysis/GIS. She holds a PhD from the School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California, where she was awarded the John Dyckman Award for Best Dissertation in Planning.
Victor is Deputy Director of Centre of Land Resource and Housing Policy at CUHK’s Institute of Future Cities. Since 2011, he has taught in different local universities. He was international expert for the ADB-ADBI flagship project “Housing Policies for Inclusive Growth in Asia” from 2014 to 2015, focusing on government policy and real estate investment.
Prior to joining CUHK, Kar Him has led a number of consultancy projects on policy review advocating for sustainable development. His current research focuses on urban health and well-being in built environment and advocates for community participation and user-orientated co-creation in the process of design and planning. Apart from studio teaching in the School of Architecture, Kar Him is largely involved in the Urban Studies Programme teaching urban sustainability, digital design techniques and urban design studio.