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

VOD News publishes an insightful article about the approach of the recent Build4People Sustainable Building Arena (SBA)

On 13 June 2022, VOD News published an insightful article about the rationale behind and the approach of the Build4People Sustainable Building Arena (SBA) at Impact Hub Phnom Penh in March 2022.

The SBA is a Build4People activity led by Work Package #6 “Sustainable Urban Transformation” with support from Work Package #2 “Sustainable Building”.

The Build4People team is very grateful to the author Ses Aronsakda from Future Forum, who took actively part in the SBA.

Successful installation of Build4People automatic weather station at the compound of Borey Peng Huoth, Chbar Ambov District, Phnom Penh

On 07 June 2022, the Build4People Work Package #5 team “Urban Climate” from Royal University of Phnom Penh, Bunleng Se and colleagues successfully installed an automatic weather station at the compound of Borey Peng Huoth, Chbar Ambov District, Phnom Penh.

This weather station will contribute to develop an urban climate map for Phnom Penh which will be hopefully the basis for detailed urban planning guidelines, e.g. to pay better regard to urban ventilation corridors to avoid urban heat islands.

Finally, it has to be highlighted that the installation of the weather station at this borey at Chbar Ambox district is the first concrete step of joint cooperation between the Build4People project and the Borey Peng Huoth developer company which Build4People regards as a key stakeholder of promoting more sustainable urban development in Phnom Penh.

Build4People consortium leader provides input to urban design class at Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning of Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia

On 30 May 2022, Dr. Tep Makathy, Dean of Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning at Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia, organised the kick-off event of an urban design class as his school stretching from 30 May to 03 June 2022. This event was meant as a follow-up activity of the Build4People Ecocity Transition Lab series which took place at Phnom Penh City Hall in March 2022. 

In the context of the urban design class, Dr. Michael Waibel, Build4People consortium leader, got invited to give a presentation on the general approaches of the Ecocity Transition Lab. Among others, he made clear that such a living lab involves a shift of urban planning from pure design-led approaches towards integrated urban development more understood as a process and as a trans-disciplinary dialogue involving multiple stakeholders.

After his presentation, Dr. Michael Waibel and Prof. Dr. Tep Makathy handed over certificates to appreciate those students who had actively supported the Build4People Ecocity Transition Lab 2022 at Phnom Penh City Hall in March 2022.

Presentation of study from Build4People at the Living Planet Symposium, Bonn, Germany, 23-27 May 2022

Gulam Mohiuddin, Research Associate from Build4People Work Package 4 Urban Green Infrastructure at Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development has attended the recent Living Planet Symposium in Bonn, Germany, from 23-27 May 2022. This event of the largest global gathering of scientists and researchers on earth observation. The symposium was organized by European Space Agency (ESA) and included more than 240 scientific sessions (5-6 presentations per session) on Earth Observation. The event was attended by a few thousands of scientists and researchers from all over the world. 

Gulam Mohiuddin presented the findings of a recent study titled “Cooling Effect of Urban Green Infrastructure in Urban Areas: A Study using Land Surface Temperature” through a poster presentation. The study was conducted by Mr. Mohiuddin and Build4People Work Package 4 leader Prof. Dr. Jan-Peter Mund. Build4People Project was represented in this global event by this presentation where the study showed that there is indication of cooling effect from the urban green infrastructure in terms of land surface temperature at the Build4People Project area of Phnom Penh municipality. The poster can be accessed and shared from: