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

Successful WP4 “Urban Green” Science Workshop

On 14 October 2021, the WP4 “Urban Green Instrastructures” Science Workshop took place. It was organised by the WP4 team of Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development, Prof Dr Jan-Peter Mund and Mohiuddin Gulam, with support from their local collaboration partners from the Faculty of Land Management and Land Administration (FLMLA) of the Royal University of Agriculture (RUA) located in Phnom Penh, among others, the faculty dean Dr. Sanara Hor and Mr. Eun Sambath.

It got attended by the director of the Cambodian Institute of Urban Studies (CIUS), Dr. Tep Makathy, and by other Build4People team members from WP1 “Behaviour Change”, WP2 “Sustainable Building”, WP5 “Urban Climate”, WP6 “Sustainable Urban Transformation” and WP7 “Coordination, Outreach and Transdisciplinary Integration”.

The main aim of this event was to introduce and to discuss the WP4 research plan, respective milestones and related activities during the Build4People RD phase together with the local research and implementation partners.

Download Agenda of the WP4 “Urban Green” Science Workshop (pdf-file – 691 KB)

Finally, the organizing team would like to express its sincere gratitude to all of the participants who actively engaged into inspiring and fruitful discussions during the whole course of the successful WP4 Science Workshop.

Participation of Build4People Work Package #1 in the International Conference on Environmental Psychology in Syracuse, Sicily, Italy

The International Conference on Environmental Psychology (ICEP) is a biannual conference that brings together scientist in the field of Environmental Psychology during a four-day conference. This year, the ICEP took place from October 5-8 2021 in Syracuse, on Sicily, Italy, and welcomed about 250 scholars from multiple countries.

Anke Blöbaum giving a presentation about one of her research projects dealing with energy saving behaviours in German households.

All Build4People members of Work Package #1 Behaviour Change – the WP leaders Anke Blöbaum and Ellen Matthies, and the research associate Annalena Becker – participated in this conference. They were able to discuss their own research with the scientific community and gain new insights from other research projects and scholars from different universities and interdisciplinary projects.

Annalena Becker moderated the session and presented research questions and results of the Build4People project.

Annalena Becker hosted the session “The importance of nature in urban settings” with other scholars where she also presented results of the Build4People Definition Phase. In collaboration with Amelie McKenna (former research associate of WP#4 Urban Green), Ravi Jayaweera (WP#6 Sustainable Urban Transformation), and Anke Blöbaum, Annalena Becker introduced the research questions and first results on the role of urban green and walkability for the quality of life in Phnom Penh within her presentation. Thereby drawing on data from the first household survey conducted with 510 citizens in Phnom Penh in early 2021, Annalena reflected results that show the possible influence of urban green spaces for the well-being of citizens in relation to their socioeconomic situation, the context of walkability in Phnom Penh and how citizens might be encouraged to spend time in urban green spaces and walk within their urban environment.

Presentation of the Build4People research within the session “The importance of nature in urban settings”

The discussion within the session inspired possible further examinations and the integration of more aspects in regard of Urban Quality of Life in Phnom Penh. Scholars from another project, that targets similar urban development goals in Singapore, suggested to include concepts of urban heat and urban heat stress in the considerations about walkability and motivation for walking, as well as urban blue spaces.

The four-day conference was an enriching experience for the environmental psychologists of WP#1. Multiple interesting discussions, newly established networks and inspiring talks about urban design and human-environment interactions bring more ideas and theoretical concepts to the research activities of WP#1 within the Build4People project.

Successful Build4People Research Conference

On 28 September 2021, the Build4People Research Conference took place reaching out to a wide public.

At first, the recent signing of a MoU between Phnom Penh Capital Administration (PPCA) and Build4People got appreciated through welcome addresses of HE, the Vice-Governor of PPCA, Nuon Pharat, of the German Ambassador in the Royal Kingdom of Cambodia, Christian Berger, of the representative of the funding agency, Dr. Heike Bauer and of the Build4People representative, Dr. Michael Waibel.

HE, Vice-Governor of Phnom Penh Capital Administration, Nuon Pharat

Afterwards, the envisaged joint activities in the joint PCCA-Build4People cooperation got introduced by Rolf Messerschmidt, CEO of Eble Messerschmidt Partner and Build4People Work Package Leader “Sustainable Neighbourhoods” together with Dr. Tep Makathy, Director of the Cambodian Institute of Urban Studies, which is the main project management partner of Build4People.

Rolf Messerschmidt, Build4People Work Package Leader “Sustainable Neighbourhoods introduces about joint activities of PPCA-Build4People cooperation

In the second part of the conference methodological approaches within the Build4People project got discussed. In the beginning, Dr. Michael Waibel and Dr. Anke Blöbaum explained about the concept of urban quality of life which serves as integrating link of the whole Build4People project.

Dr. Anke Blöbaum, leader of Build4People WP#1 “Behaviour Change” discussing theoretical concepts behind urban quality of life

Then, three parallel breakout sessions took place which focussed on different methodological approaches to implement citizen science approaches, to combine urban climate planning with questions of thermal comfort and last but not least to bring together the spatial dimension of sustainable neighbourhood development with the policy dimension of sustainable urban transformation.

Introduction of Session about Citizen Science Approaches by Annalena Becker, Research Associate of Build4People WP#1 “Behaviour Change”
Impression from session about neighbourhood development in the context of sustainable urban transformation

All in all, it was a great event which showed a strong commitment of local stakeholders.

More detailed information on Build4People Research Conference can be found at the event section of Build4People website.

EuroCham Cambodia organizes joint webinar with Build4People

On 22 September 2021, the European Chamber of Commerce of Cambodia did organize a joint webinar with Build4People as co-partner. The webinar title was “Green Building Certification as Driver for a Sustainable Transition of the Real Estate Sector”.

Thereby, the focus was on how to raise construction quality through green building certification, an update on what quantifies a healthy & green building and the regional progress of building and neighborhood certification with case studies from Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and China.

Topics covered included: Introduction of sustainability approaches of Build4People project; German Sustainable Building Certification applied in the Asia Region; Regional progress of Certified Green Buildings and Quality Aspects; and Benefits of Certification of Sustainable neighborhoods based on the Introduction of Case Studies.

Excerpt from presentation of Dr. Dirk SCHWEDE, Leader WP “Sustainable Building” of Build4People Project
Excerpt from presentation of Mr. Rolf MESSERSCHMIDT, Leader WP “Sustainable Neighbourhoods” of Build4People Project
Excerpt from presentation of Dr. Stephan ANDERS, German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB)

The webinar session was concluded by a panel discussion comprised of industry experts focusing on the benefits of green buildings for Cambodia’s real estate sector. It also showcased in-country initiatives, such as the Cambodia Green Building Council and upcoming innovative building projects that focus on eco-friendly construction for a more sustainable working and healthy living environment.

All in all, it can be said, that the EuroCham did a great job in organizing this event which was only the first of an envisaged series to disseminate the sustainability approaches of the Build4People project mainly to the corporate sector in Cambodia.