12 December 2016

World Urban Database Launched at CUHK



The World Urban Database and Access Port Tools (WUDAPT), a community-driven data collection initiative that draws upon the considerable network of urban climate scientists around the world, was recently launched at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK).  The international open database will aid researchers in obtaining information for their studies on climate and weather modeling, energy balance, housing supply planning and sustainable urban development. 

Since the WUDAPT initiative started in 2011, the Institute of Environment, Energy and Sustainability (IEES) and the Institute of Future Cities (IOFC) of CUHK have been actively involved in the preparation work.  The team led by Prof. Edward Ng, Yao Ling-sun Professor of Architecture and Associate Director of IOFC, as well as Prof. Ren Chao, Associate Professor at the School of Architecture of CUHK, are core members of the working group.

The WUDAPT aims to improve the acquisition, storage and dissemination of urban morphological data. The open database decomposes cities into neighbourhoods and maps their forms and uses with simple but standardized classifications to obtain a visual overview of climate sensitive areas. Eighty-six cities globally, including 45 in China and cities along the One Belt One Road initiative, have been mapped through WUDAPT so far.

The database can be used by researchers, architects and urban planners to conduct studies on the improvement of designs and plans for a better urban environment through easily accessed data.  Research results stemming from the database applications can help address issues of air pollution, carbon dioxide emission, public health, ecology, energy cost, urban planning, and climate and weather.

‘This is the first time a complete database has been established for the study and promotion of sustainable development.  It answers the calls for better planning of housing supply, balanced development, smart cities and cleaner environment in both Hong Kong and mainland China.,’ said Professor Ng.

The launching ceremony of WUDAPT and a workshop, co-organized by CUHK, University College Dublin, the University of North Carolina and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, were held on CUHK campus.  Apart from Professor Ng and Professor Ren, the ceremony was attended by Ms Christine Loh, Acting Secretary for the Environment of the HKSAR Government; Prof. Leung Yee, Director, Institute of Future Cities, CUHK; Prof. Gabriel Lau, Director of IEES, CUHK; Prof. Gerald Mills of University College Dublin; Prof. Alexander Baklanov of the World Meteorological Organization; Dr Martino Pesaresi of Group on Earth Observations (GEO). Scholars and leading professionals in the field gathered together at the two-day workshop to exchange their latest studies, ideas and applications developed for the initiative.

The launching ceremony of WUDAPT is held at CUHK.
The launching ceremony of WUDAPT is held at CUHK.

The WUDAPT map of Hong Kong
The WUDAPT map of Hong Kong