Research for Better Quality of Urban Life: the Build4People Project

The Build4People project aims to research and promote the use of sustainable buildings and sustainable urbanization through re-configuring the urban transformation pathway of Phnom Penh. Thereby, it focuses on people’s aspirations and their behaviour. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Project Objectives

Our project promotes sustainable buildings and sustainable urban development from a people-centred perspective. We aim at lowered greenhouse gas, pollutant emissions, a better indoor environment, an increase of urban green, a healthier urban climate. Read more.

Project Originality

The trans-disciplinary Build4People project connects scientific-conceptional and analytical aspects. The superior normative bracket is always the urban quality of life. We align people’s needs and aspirations with tools to benefit their living. Read more.

Project Relevance

Cambodia’s traditional architecture took climate conditions into account. Today dynamic economic growth affects the way buildings are built and operated which is not energy-efficient nor tropical climate adapted. Reasons enough for B4P. Read more.

Project Set-up

10 partners across continents join forces to implement 7 work packages: from Behaviour Change, Sustainable Buildings and Neighbourhoods, to Urban Green, Urban Climate to Sustainable Urban Transformation and Coordination. Read more.

Project Approach

The Build4People project considers sustainable, people-centred urban development as a crosscutting task. A genuinely people-centred planning system can neither be expected to “evolve by itself” nor is it feasible through legal regulations only. Our diverse team includes Cambodian and German partners which cooperate on a trans-disciplinary basis. Together they will develop innovative concepts aimed at urban sustainability that are based on scientific and regional expertise. The integrating link of our scientific-conceptional, analytical and normative dimension is the urban quality of life, which we consider to be the general foundation for our people-driven approach. The research consortium will carry out field research together with the most renowned local universities. Based on these insights, context-specific interventions will be implemented together with a number of core actors most important of all the Phnom Penh Capital Administration. Locally established multipliers such as the European Chamber of Commerce or the Cambodia Architect & Decor fair will support the dissemination of our approaches.

A strong partnership to deliver research results

Academic Quality
We gathered a team with a proven record of academic excellence, extensive regional expertise and solid project experience.

Transdisciplinary Approach
We draw from expertise and methods from Human Geography, Architecture, Urban Planning, Enviromental Psychology, Civil Engineering, Remote Sensing, Geoinformatics and Climate Research.

Cross-border cooperation
German Universities and private sector actors collaborate with Cambodia partners from the academic arena, the municial setting and responsible ministrial offices.

Latest News

Stay up-to-date with our latest activities

BuildPeople Presentation at the 11th International Forum on Green Technology and Management (IFGTM 2021), Can Tho, Vietnam

On 26 November 2021, the Build4People representative, Dr. Michael Waibel, Hamburg University introduced about the approaches of the Build4People project at the 11th International Forum on Green Technology and Management (IFGTM 2021), Can Tho, Vietnam.

His presentation was based on an accepted conference abstract with following authors of the Build4People team: Waibel M, Blöbaum, A, Matthies E, Schwede D, Messerschmidt R, Mund J-P, Katzschner L, Jayaweera R, Becker A, Karagianni C, Lambrecht O, Rivera M, Roig N, Gulam M, Hahne J, Kupski S.; corresponding author: Dr Michael Waibel, Hamburg University,

Successful 2nd Build4People Curriculum Development Summit with representatives of the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning at Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia

On 25 November 2021, the 2nd Build4People Curriculum Development Summit took place with many inspiring discussions. Counterpart of the Build4People team were representatives of the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning at Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia (FAUP-PUC).

A particular focus of the Build4People project is to support the development of a new multi-disciplinary master course with the working title “Sustainable Urban Transformation Planning” at FAUP-PUC, led by the faculty dean Prof Dr Tep Makathy.

We do this because we perceive an urgent need for innovative approaches in the field of urban planning in Cambodia shifting away from traditional design-led approaches towards the promotion of interaction and engagement between academia & practitioners in a fruitful way, and the increased involvement of urban citizens and of the business sphere into planning issues.

In this way, such a new master course shall reflect planning as a tool of communication / moderation / mediation / public participation. In the case of Cambodia this would definitely mean a paradigm shift of the existing planning culture.

The master course on “Planning for Sustainable Urban Transformation” shall incorporate Build4People’s specific multi-disciplinary, cross-cutting, people-led approach. It will further serve as integrating tool of all disciplines involved and is expected to secure lasting impact, even after the project funding will have ended. 

During the 2nd Build4People Curriculum Development Summit, Build4People members introduced potential inputs to such a master course whereas Prof Dr Tep Makathy discussed how to formally proceed in regard of the new master course development.

Vivid discussions following each input which illustrated the high motivation of all the participants. It was agreed, that in January 2021, already, there will be an interactive workshop to harmonize the content of the new master course units and the overall syllabus.

Finally, we would like to mention that, of course, other Build4People curriculum development meetings will be scheduled with our other university partners from RUPP, ITC or RUA soon, as well.

Inspiring exchange of Build4People team with Cambodian Development Resource Institute to develop a “green, smart and inclusive campus”

On 12 November 2021, several Build4People team members had a fruitful exchange with leading representatives of the Cambodian Development Resource Institute (CDRI), a prominent and independent policy research institute in Cambodia.

The main aim of this meeting was to discuss how the Build4People with its multi-disciplinary expertise can support CDRI to develop a new smart, green and inclusive campus. 

According to CDRI, the overarching goal for this new campus is to create an inspiring and attractive environment for Cambodia’s leading researchers and scientists. Further objectives are to provide state-of-the art and technologically advance facilities for researchers, emerging young scientists, and local research communities as well as to promote inclusivity of CDRI campus to wider community, collaborators and public benefits, including families and children to the facility’s open and green field as well as library and gallery. 

In the context of a potential support of Build4People to CDRI, the most relevant objective is to create a green and low-carbon facilities that is environmentally friendly and responsive to changing climate and serves as a role model of sustainable campus in Cambodia. 

During the meeting first operational steps to achieve this were intensively discussed among others the establishment of a permanent online project cooperation platform or of a workshop to prepare and to guide architecture and urban planning students towards the development of first comprehensive designs. It was also discussed to share a collection of good practice examples of similar campuses worldwide. 

All in all, it was an inspiring meeting in a very friendly atmosphere which left the participants strongly motivated to further engage with this exciting new green campus project.

Participation of Build4People team members at the 57th ISOCARP World Planning Congress

On 28 October 2021, the accompanying project of the research programme “SURE: Sustainable Development of Urban Regions” funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) organised a special session with the title “Sustainable Development of Urban Regions” at the 57th ISOCARP World Planning Congress.

The Build4People project was represented by Anke Blöbaum, team leader of WP#1 “Behaviour Change” and by Michael Waibel, the overall Build4People consortium leader.