Dr Samuel Chen; Associate Professor of Practice (Urban Heritage and Sustainability) at the University of Hong Kong
Judith Sykes; Senior Director, Expedition Engineering and Useful Projects Limited
The inexorable pace of urbanisation throughout the world since at least the 18th century is a topic of interest and concern to businessmen, politicians, professionals and academics alike. In recent years, the acceleration and increasing importance of urban design in the developing world and its relationship to the challenges of climate change, innovation, and public and corporate finance have made objective and holistic discussion more urgent than ever.
During this webinar, the discussion centred around the importance of viewing urban design through the lens of sustainability. Recounting the history of Hong Kong’s urbanisation, Dr Samuel Chen, Associate Professor of Practice at the University of Hong Kong, spoke about how the high density and verticality of Hong Kong’s urban design came about through many phases of changes and how it could serve as a model for other cities. He also talked about the need to learn from historical urban models and innovative approaches to address challenges such as water scarcity and the circular economy. Judith Sykes, Senior Director at Expedition Engineering and Useful Projects Limited, mapped out the current state of progress of global urban sustainability using Doughnut economics and several important indicators to help stakeholders understand the sustainability gap and how we can rethink our approach to urbanisation by seeking out ways to create more green spaces.
Speaker presentations highlighted the importance of understanding the social and political contexts in which urban development takes place and emphasized the need for interdisciplinary collaboration to achieve sustainable outcomes. Lessons from historical urban models were discussed, as were innovative approaches to addressing challenges such as water scarcity and the circular economy. The speakers stressed the importance of effective communication between stakeholders and the need for a shared language to facilitate consensus-building.
Overall, the webinar provided valuable insights into urban design and sustainability and highlighted the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration, effective communication, and understanding the social and political context in which urban development takes place.
Watch the highlights of the recording on YouTube using the link at the top of the page.
Andrew Wells; Secretary-General, Commonwealth Chamber of Commerce Hong Kong