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 WP3 “Sustainable Neighbourhoods” Science Workshop

On 29 June 2021, the WP3 “Sustainable Neighbourhoods” Science Workshop took place. It was attended by representatives from Eble Messerschmidt Partner (EMP), the leader of the Build4People Work Package #3 “Sustainable Neighbourhoods” in collaboration with Andreas von Zadow from von Zadow International, representatives from the School of Architecture and Urban Planning at the Paññāsāstra of Cambodia (SAUP-PUC), representatives from Phnom Penh Capital Administration, and other Build4People team members. As key speakers attended a leading representative from the German Green Building Council (DGNB), Europe’s largest network to promote sustainable buildings and sustainable neighbourhoods, and the leading representative from the project Sustainable Mobility Metropolitan Regions (SMMR II).

The main aim of this event was to introduce and to discuss the WP3 research plan, respective milestones and related activities during the Build4People RD phase together with the local research and implementation partners, as well as further and potential collaboration with DGNB and SMMR II.

The first keynote presentation was given by Dr. Stephan Anders from the German Green Building Council (DGNB). He introduced the assessment system of DGNB and presented some good practice examples of sustainable neighbourhood development, e.g. the Stuttgart Neckarbogen project as well as other international certification projects where a country adaptation to the DGNB rating system has been carried out.

Another keynote presentation was given by Mr. Joachim Bergerhoff. He introduced the sustainable mobility approach of the SMMR II project which is being implemented in several ASEAN countries. Furthermore he presented idea for future studies and activities to promote sustainable mobility in the Chbar Ampov District of Phnom Penh.

Another presentation was given by the Build4People local coordinator Dr Susanne Bodach who reflected on the impacts of the COVID19 pandemic in the building sector of Phnom Penh and related restrictions and measures that are being taken by the government.

In regard of future WP3 activities Mr. Andreas von Zadow presented his ideas to set-up a stakeholder management structure to prepare for the upcoming Build4People Ecocity Transition Lab series.

During the subsequent discussion, it was made clear that despite there is a lack of legal regulations and standards in the Cambodian building sector, applying criteria still makes sense, even it does not finally lead to a certification. Furthermore, possible strategies to involve other actors such as the private sector were discussed, and finally the mutual continuous collaboration was expressed by all participants.

An extensive documentation of the WP3 “Sustainable Neighbourhoods” Science Workshop will soon be published at the event section of this website.

Build4People at the Annual Conference 2021 of the Southeast Asia Working Group in the German Geographical Society

Build4People team members presented about their project during the virtual annual conference of the Southeast Asia Working Group in the German Geographical Society (DGfG) on 25 June 2021.

Dr Michael Waibel as overall Build4People coordinator, Dr Anke Blöbaum as leader of WP1 “Behaviour Change” and Prof Dr Jan Peter Mund as leader of WP4 “Urban Green” presented together about the general Build4People research approach which was exemplified more in-depth by means of the concept of urban quality of life and by means of the concept of urban green infrastructure.

The subsequent discussion was about questions of public participation and the characteristics of the case study site of the Build4People Ecocity Transition Lab selected by the Phnom Penh Capital Administration.

Fruitful Exchange during WP1 “Behaviour Change” Science Workshop

On 23 June 2021, the WP1 “Behaviour Change” Science Workshop took place. The main aim of this event was to introduce and to discuss the WP1 research plan and related activities and milestones during Build4People RD phase. This included an extensive introduction of the theoretical research approaches of WP1 to the local research partners. Furthermore, it was jointly discussed how capacity development activities in the field of environmental psychology can be implemented in the most suitable way.

Link to Report of Build4People WP#1 Science Workshop (pdf-file)

Successful Build4People Strategic Publication Planning Workshop, 10 June 2021

On 10 June 2021, the Build4People Strategic Publication Planning Workshop took place. Participants were the German and the Cambodian research team members.

This main objective of this event was to discuss and to develop a smart and coherent joint medium and long-term Build4People publication strategy thereby aiming to increase the overall scientific impact of the Build4People project. Another aim was to synchronize the overall Build4People publication strategy with the qualification aims of the emerging scholars of the Build4People team.

In the course of the workshop the publication strategy of each scientific work package and potential journals with high impact factors got introduced. Among others, there were intense discussions about the scientific recognition of some open access journals, versus more established academic journals with often restricted access from publishers of the Global North.

It was also highlighted that a transparent publication approach should be pursued by all Build4People team members which includes inviting the others to share their ideas and creativity, so no one feels excluded. This procedure was also regarded as essential to reflect the multi- and trans-disciplinary approach of the Build4People project.

In conclusion, it can be said that such a workshop was regarded as a very important tool to achieve a better joint understanding about Build4People’s publication strategy within the whole Build4People team.