Research for a sustainable Cambodia: the Build4People Project

The Build4People project aims to research and promote the use of sustainable buildings and sustainable urbanization in Phnom Penh. Therefore 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.

Work Packages

Work Packages

The work package teams cooperate together, share their findings and develop joint deliverables as part of action research processes. Tools and products systematically build upon each other. Learning curves and feedback loops are incorporated into the project design.

Latest News

Stay up-to-date with our latest activities

Successful Build4People Status Conference 2021

On 21 January 2021, the Build4People Status Conference took place in the presence of H.E. Mr. Nuon Pharat, Vice Governor of Phnom Penh Capital Administration, Vannak Seng, General Director of Phnom Penh Capital Administration, Mr. Christian Berger, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in the Royal Kingdom of Cambodia, Dr Heike Bauer, DLR, representative of the German funding agency, Sokhai Nop, General Secretariat of National Council for Sustainable Development, Dr Vanny Sok, Vice-Rector of Royal University of Phnom Penh and many other stakeholders in the field of sustainable urbanization. All in all, the online event was attended by about 100 participants.

The main main of the Build4People Status Conference was to present the research results at the end of the 18-month Definition Phase and to discuss the envisaged activities of the upcoming Research & Development Phase with our partners and further colleagues.

Agenda of the Build4People Status Conference

The success of this event particularly showed in the active participation and intensive discussion in the inter-active break-out sessions led by the research associates of the Build4People project and the panel discussion, moderated by Dr Tep Makathy, Director of Cambodian Institute of Urban Studies (CIUS). CIUS is the main project management of the Build4People project.

The Build4People team would like to sincerely thank all participants for their committed engagement and is very much looking forward to the future collaboration.

Download all slides shown during the B4P Status conference (pdf-file, 4.5 MB)

A detailed documentation of this event will soon be published at the event section of the Build4People homepage.

H.E. Mr. Nuon Pharat, Vice Governor of Phnom Penh Capital Administration
Mr. Christian Berger, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Cambodia
Panel discussion moderated by Dr Tep Makathy, Director of CIUS
Anke Blöbaum, leader of WP1 “Behavior Change”, during her presentation
Presentation of WP3 “Sustainable Neigbhourhoods” by Rolf Messerschmidt
Presentation of WP6 “Sustainable Urban Transformation” by Ravi Jayaweera
Presentation of WP7 “Coordination, Communication, Dissemination” activities by Dr Michael Waibel
Impression from break-out session #2 “Implementation of sustainability on building and neighbourhood level”

Build4People Meeting with leading representative of Phnom Penh Capital Administration

On 05 January 2021, a hybrid meeting took place with Vannak Seng, General Secretary of Phnom Penh Capital Administration (PPCA), Build4People’s key implementation partner, Dr Tep Makathy, General Director of the Cambodian Institute of Urban Studies (CIUS), Build4People’s main local project management partner, Dr Susanne Bodach, Build4People’s local project management assistant, Dr Michael Waibel, B4P representative (online) and Work Package #3 “Sustainable Neighbourhoods” representative Rolf Messerschmidt (online) to discuss further steps in regard of how to proceed with the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) soon to be signed between Build4People and the PPCA, the Status conference of the Build4People project (scheduled for 21 January 2021) and the upcoming Research and Development phase.

Build4People Season’s Greetings

Hereby, the whole Build4People team would like to wish all of you Merry Christmas 2020 and a happy and successful New Year 2021.

The last year was full of unexpected challenges and put a lot of constraints on our daily work. Nevertheless, we have been able to organise successful events such as the Build4People Ecocity Transition Lab in cooperation with Phnom Penh Capital Administration or the opening of the 1st edition of the Build4People exhibition “Green Buildings and Sustainable Neighbourhoods”. Furthermore, our research proposal in regard of the upcoming four-year Research and Development phase has been positively reviewed which is a great overall achievement.

Let’s all hope that the new year 2021 will bring back the opportunity to meet you again face-to-face, to catch up and to continue our joint fruitful collaboration.

Thanks so much all of you for your dedicated support which is highly appreciated.

With warmest wishes, stay healthy!

Michael Waibel (on behalf of the Build4People team)

First meeting of all projects funded as part of the BMBF research initiative SURE (Sustainable Development of Urban Regions)

On 18 December 2020, a first online meeting was held with representatives from all 10 projects funded as part of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research’s initiative Sustainable Development of Urban Regions, acronym: SURE. 8 projects are located in the Southeast Asian region, among them the Build4People project and 2 projects are located in China.

The SURE-meeting was moderated by a so-called accompanying project consisting of representatives from HafenCity University Hamburg (local coordinator: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jörg Rainer Noennig) and Technical University of Applied Sciences Lübeck (local coordinator: Prof. Ing. Frank Schwartze). Among others, the accompanying project shall support the 10 SURE projects in trans-disciplinary synergies, impact management as well as in further outreach and networking activities.

In the course of Build4People’s RD phase, representatives of the accompanying project will also take the opportunity to pay visits to the local project site.

Screenshot of the participants of the first meeting of all funded SURE-projects