Climathon Conference: Extreme Heat, Extreme Density - Problems and Solutions
10:30am - 16:30pm

Rapid urbanization and compact development, coupled with global warming, will induce local micro-climate, hot spots and heat stresses, affecting livability, health and exaggerating energy consumption. This is definitely a critical environmental and health issue, and one that, if not managed well, can potentially escalate. The conference was divided into two segments: the evidences and science of heat stresses, and the actions and practices in the mitigation and adaptation of heat stresses. A cross section of speakers from the Environment Bureau, Hong Kong Observatory, Department of Health, Development Bureau, leading academia and corporations were invited to contribute to an interdisciplinary discourse on the different facets of the environmental issue. The participants were highly engaged in both the lectures and the Q&A sessions, emerging from the conference as better-informed citizens.

Climathon is an initiative established by the Climate Knowledge Innovation Communities (KIC) of the Europe Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT), an independent body of the EU set up in 2008. It brings people who have the passion and ability to ideate, collaborate and solve climate challenges and drive collective climate actions.

The year 2016 marked the first time that Climathon was staged in Hong Kong. The Division of Environment of IPO at HKUST would continue to work with the Climathon initiative in the coming year to mobilize and contribute local innovative solutions to the climate change and sustainability problem.



 Welcome Remarks
 Prof. Alexis Lau, HKUST [video]


 Keynote: Extreme Heat, Extreme Density 
 Ms. Christine Loh, Environment Bureau, HKSAR Government [video]


 Group Photo

Morning Session : Urbanization and Heat Stresses, Evidences and Sciences


 Hong Kong in a Warming World
 Mr. H Y Mok, Hong Kong Observatory [video]


 Thermal Environment in Hong Kong - A Cool Island and Delaying Thermal Noon
 Prof. Yuguo Li, HKU [video]


 High Density Living 
 Prof. Edward Ng, CUHK [video]


 Global Warming and Rising Heat Stress: A Threat to Human Adaptability 
 Dr. Eun Soon Im, HKUST [video]


 Panel Discussion 
 Moderated by Prof. Alexis Lau, HKUST [video]


 Lunch Break

 Afternoon Session : Local Heat Stresses Mitigation & Adaptation


 Urban Forestry and Place Ecology 
 Ms. Deborah Kuh, Development Bureau, HKSAR Government [video]


 Geospatial Technology for Earth Observation: Studies of Urban Heat Island Effect and Vegetation Mapping in Hong Kong
 Mr. Sawaid Abbas, PolyU [video]


 Climate Change & Health 
 Dr. Paul Kwok-ming Poon, Department of Health, HKSAR Government [video]


 CLP's all-round Preparedness against the Impact of Adverse Weather 
 Mr. C.Y. Cheng, CLP [video]


 Handling the Heat... Climate Change Responses in the Construction Sector
 Ms. Emma Harvey, Gammon Construction Ltd. [video]


 Panel Discussion and Final Remarks
 Moderated by Prof. Alexis Lau, HKUST [video]


 Climathon Conference Ends


Mr. Sawaid Abbas is a Post-Doc Fellow from the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-informatics at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong. He is member of Remote Sensing Research Group (RSRG) at the department and working with Dr. Man Sing Wong, Charles and Prof. (Retd) Janet Nichol Elizabeth. Mr Abbas has worked as a remote sensing analyst at World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in Pakistan from 2008 to 2011, and visiting faculty member at University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan in 2009 - 2011. Mr Abbas has been awarded with PhD fellowship by the Research Grant Council of Hong Kong. During his PhD he has been working on Remote Sensing of forest succession in Hong Kong's Country Parks. His research interests include Landscape Ecology, Climate Change and Remote Sensing.


Mr. C.Y. Cheng started his career with CLP Power as a Graduate Trainee. He is currently the Acting Deputy Director Safety, Health, Environment and Quality of Power Systems Business Group, CLP Power (CLPP). His prime responsibility is to oversee and coordinate the overall enhancement of SHEQ performance as well as maintaining positive SHEQ culture in Power Systems Business Group. He also undertakes the role of Centre of Excellence on safety, occupational health and quality programs across the Company. Before his current position, CY held a number of engineering and managerial positions in various departments of CLPP, including engineering design, construction, maintenance and operations of transmission and distribution systems, overseeing CLPP's motor fleet ranging from general vehicles, electric vehicles to heavy trailers, and management of manpower workforces and high value contracts. He holds both MSc in Electrical Engineering and MBA, and is a Chartered Electrical Engineer and the Corporate Member of IET and HKIE.


Ms. Emma Harvey is Group Sustainability and CSR Manager for Gammon Construction Limited. She joined Gammon in 2015 and is responsible for advising on project-specific environmental issues as well as driving sustainability initiatives and innovation across the Gammon group. Emma has over 20 years' experience in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Ho Chi Minh City. Her background covers environmental consulting, multi-disciplinary project management, value and construction risk management facilitation, sustainable urban design, and business development. Emma has a keen interest in climate change and is an active member of the Business Environment Council's Climate Change Business Forum Advisory Group.


Dr. Eun-Soon Im now serves as an Assistant Professor in the Division of Environment and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Before her current position, she had worked as a research scientist at the National Institute of Meteorological Research (Korea), International Centre for Theoretical Physics (Italy), and Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (Singapore). She specializes in the development and improvement of the Regional Climate Model (RCM), and has studied regional climate changes over various regions worldwide. The main goal of her research is to advance understanding of the potential changes in regional climate due to anthropogenic forcings (e.g. greenhouse gas emission, land-use change) and to produce high-quality climate information for comprehensive impact assessment, especially in the regions characterized by complex physiographical features.


Ms. Deborah Kuh is an internationally awarded designer with over fifteen years' experience across a range of developments in Australia and the Middle East. She specialises in inter and trans-disciplinary urban design, master planning, architecture, landscape architecture, interpretation and furniture design projects. Her works are noted for its connectivity, tactility and a humble respect to the diversity of the human condition. She has taught design studios in these disciplines at The University of Western Australia (UWA), Curtin University of Technology, and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT). She also provided an annual lecture for the Constructed Ecology unit at The University of Melbourne. Since taking up her post, Deborah has been exploring a range of policy opportunities to augment a more liveable city. Key themes include: Landscape resilience and adaptation, Place Ecology through Progressive Development, Biodiversity in the City, Blue + Green Infrastructure Networks, Urban Forestry.


Prof. Yuguo Li is Head of Department of Mechanical Engineering of The University of Hong Kong. His main research is on built environment engineering (indoor air quality, city climate, and environment studies of infection). He led the development of 2009 WHO guidelines on natural ventilation. He is President of Academy of Fellows of International Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate (ISIAQ), and has served as an Associate Editor of Indoor Air since 2007. He received John Rydberg Gold Medal from SCANVAC in 2014, an Honorary Doctor Degree from Aalborg University, Denmark in 2015, and the Inoue Memorial Award of SHASE, Japan in 2016.


Ms. Christine Loh was the Chief Executive Officer of the non-profit public policy think tank Civic Exchange prior to joining the HKSAR Government in September 2012. Prior to founding Civic Exchange in 2000, Ms Loh had spent nearly a decade as a politician and member of the Legislative Council (1992-97 and 1998-2000). Before joining the Legislative Council, Ms Loh held senior regional positions in commodities trading, as well as in project negotiation. Having been very active in public affairs since 1980, she had founded or served on boards of a wide range of non-governmental organisations in Hong Kong and overseas concerning a variety of issues including environmental protection, urban planning and design, and equal opportunity. Ms Loh is a lawyer by training.


Mr. H Y Mok, Senior Scientific Officer of the Hong Kong Observatory, is now the office-in-charge of the Geophysics, Time and Marine Meteorological Services Division. His career at the Hong Kong Observatory since 1983 has given him exposure to a broad range of applied meteorology, climatology, physical oceanography, radiation and geophysical science. He has conducted a series of studies on climatology with special attention to urban heat island effect, long term trend of extreme weather events, impact of climate change to human health and sea level projection.


Prof. Edward Ng is an architect and Yao Ling Sun Professor of Architecture in the School of Architecture of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). He specializes in Green Building, Environmental and Sustainable Design, and Urban Climatology for City Planning. Professor Ng is also the Director of the Master of Science of Sustainable and Environmental Design Program. As an environmental consultant to the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Professor Ng developed the performance-based daylight design practice note, the Air Ventilation Assessment Technical Guidelines and the Urban Climatic Maps for City Planning. He is now working with the governments and agencies in Singapore and Macau, as well as a number of Chinese cities, on Urban Climatic Maps. Professor Ng has published over 400 papers and 3 books. He has twice received the International Award from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).


Dr. Paul Poon is a Senior Medical & Health Officer of the Department of Health. He obtained his medical degree from the Chinese University of Hong Kong before becoming a specialist in Public Health Medicine. He is a fellow of the Hong Kong College of Community Medicine and the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine. Dr. Poon has been working in the field of Public Health since 2008. Currently, Dr. Poon is working in the Environmental Health & Toxicology Section of the Centre for Health Protection and his work involves combating environmental challenges, including climate change, on the health of our community.


Prof. Alexis Lau is currently Director of the Atmospheric Research Center, and Associate Director of the Institute for the Environment. His research specializes in Air Quality (AQ), Weather and Climate, and his techniques include analysis of large-scale geophysical datasets, numerical models, and in-situ and satellite remote sensing. His is very active in research. Internationally, he is member of the Scientific Advisory Group of the World Health Organization Panel on the development of a Global Platform on Air Quality and Health, and an expert member of the Environmental Sustainable Transport Program of the United Nations (UN) Center for Regional Development, and has lectured for the UN on AQ management in a number of developing countries.


10:30am - 16:30pm
Clear Water Bay, Kowloon
HKUST Division of Environment
Institute for the Environment
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