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 Hall and the developer company Peng Huoth Group. Locally established multipliers such as the European Chamber of Commerce or the Center for Khmer Studies 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

Representation of Build4People at Regional Workshop on Green Buildings, Phnom Penh

It was great to see so many partners of the Build4People project during the recent Regional Workshop on Green Buildings organised by the Cambodian Ministry of Environment, represented among others by Sokhai NOP, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

It was also the official launch of the Asia Low Carbon Buildings Transition (ALCBT) in Cambodia. This five-year regional initiative, implementing in Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam, which began in August 2023, is funded by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German’s Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMKW).

From side of Build4People presentations were given by Tep Makathy, GD of the Cambodian Institute for Urban Studies, Se Bunleng, and Makara Long.

It is highly appreciated that you provided visibility to our meaningful collaborative project.

It was also great, that the Build4People exhibition “Green Buildings and Sustainable Neighbourhoods” was shown during this event, thanks to the efforts of Tep Makathy and Sokhai NOP. As part of the exhibition also the sustainability criteria of DGNB German Sustainable Building Council were introduced:


Introduction about Build4People’s transformative approaches during the Smart Urban Areas Conference at Technical University of Dortmund

How to bridge the gap between knowledge and implementation to achieve transformative change and to make a real difference? This has become a key question of the Build4People consortium leader Dr. Michael Waibel.

That is why Michael was very glad to get invited to held a keynote presentation about “Transformation – Experiences from the Build4People project” at the Symposium of the Smart Urban Areas project led by Prof. Dr. Thinh Nguyen, with support from Tobias Kuester-Campioni, and Dr. Mathias Schaefer at the Technical University of Dortmund on 30 April 2024.

He made clear that from his experience transformation in the field of sustainable neighborhood development in the Global South requires social innovations rather than technological innovations. Such people-led integrated approaches should be process-orientated and involve a broad spectrum of stakeholders within various collaborative and communicate formats, among others.

It was also a great opportunity to listen to inspiring presentations and for networking.
#build4people; #BMBF_SURE_Regions; #SustainableUrbanTransformation

New Publication of Build4People Work Package #4 “Spatiotemporal Analysis of Land Surface Temperature in Response to Land Use and Land Cover Changes: A Remote Sensing Approach” at the journal “Remote Sensing”

Remote Sensing is an international, peer-reviewed, open-access journal about the science and application of remote sensing technology and is published semimonthly online by MDPI. The journal is indexed within Scopus, SCIE (Web of Science), Ei Compendex, PubAg, GeoRef, Astrophysics Data System, Inspec, dblp, and other databases. Journal Rank: (IF: 5.0) JCR – Q1 (Geosciences, Multidisciplinary) / CiteScore 7.9 – Q1 (General Earth and Planetary Sciences).

The study authored by Gulam Mohiuddin and Prof Dr Jan Peter Mund from Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development offers a comprehensive spatiotemporal exploration into how urbanization impacts land surface temperature (LST), focusing on the rapid urban development (Chbar Ampov District) around Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Utilizing Landsat imagery spanning from 2000 to 2021, the study has observed significant variability in LST driven by land use and cover changes alongside seasonal patterns.

Key findings include:

  • LST variations ranging from 20°C to 69°C, significantly influenced by seasonal changes and urban development.
  • Urban areas, notably those with reduced vegetation cover, exhibit elevated LST, contributing to the urban heat island effect.
  • A replicable model for analyzing LST changes, providing crucial insights for urban planning and sustainable development strategies.

The research emphasizes the urgent need for integrated planning approaches that consider the environmental impacts of urban expansion, aiming to mitigate the urban heat island effect through sustainable urban planning practices. This study not only advances our understanding of LST dynamics in rapidly urbanizing regions but also demonstrates the usefulness of remote sensing as a tool for urban environmental analysis. 

The publication can be accessed at:

Publication of Khmer language edition of the Build4People exhibition “Green Buildings and Sustainable Neighborhoods”

We are very happy to announce that the Khmer language edition of the Build4People exhibition 2024 has been finally published online:

Build4People Exhibition Poster #39 DGNB Description

Among others, it presents good practice examples of green buildings and sustainable neighborhoods from Asia. It has been curated by Build4People Work Package #3 “Sustainable Neighborhoods” led by Eble Messerschmidt Partner, namely Rolf Messerschmidt, Oliver Lambrecht, Núria Roig, Petra Messerschmidt, with logistic and consulting support from Build4People Work Package #7 “Coordination, Communication, Dissemination” leader Michael Waibel.

The Build4People Exhibition is part of the Build4People Campaign to raise awareness of sustainability and to achieve transformative change in Cambodia’s urban sector.

On this occasion, we would like to warmly thank Prof Tep Makathy and his team from the Cambodian Institute for Urban Studies (CIUS) for carefully managing the related translation work. Furthermore, we would like to express our gratitude to our colleagues from Royal University of Phnom Penh, namely Chhinh Nyda, Se Bunleng, Sothun Nop, and Sok Serey for their language revisions. All of your valuable and meaningful support is very much appreciated!

#build4people #BMBF_SUREregions #eblemesserschmidtpartner