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

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

Publication of video clip documenting the Build4People Ecocity Transition Lab 2024

We are happy to announce a video clip summary of a milestone of the Build4People project, the ”Ecocity Transition Lab 2024” (ECTL). It has been the fourth and final of our living lab series conducted in regard of Phnom Penh’s sub- and periurban Chbar Ambov District. The whole ECTL week was filled with expert-led presentations, engaging discussions with policymakers, e.g. from Phnom Penh Capital Hall, Cambodia leading developer company, the OCIC Group, and hands-on workshops involving more than 70 students from five local universities, the Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP), the Royal University of Agriculture (RUA), Cambodia, the Institute of Technology of Cambodia (ITC), Norton University Cambodia and from Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning of Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia (FAUP-PUC). 

This year, the Build4People Ecocity Transition Lab focused on Norea City, a prime urban location at Phnom Penh’s emerging waterfront which has the potential to develop into a show case of world class urban development. 

Furthermore, the SMMR-project initiated a PopUp Kiosk at Norea City to grasp the opinions of the urban dwellers. This innovative participatory approach managed by Impact Hub Phnom Penh and supported by Build4People was another milestone in the context of the Ecocity Transition Lab 2024.

All in all, the Build4People project regards the Ecocity Transition Lab as a multiple-stakeholder dialogue and as a joint learning system to jointly elaborate alternative visions to make Norea City more sustainable and to generally make Phnom Penh a more livable place. 

From the point of view of Build4People such an innovative approach and such an alliance between the corporate sector and the academia is strongly needed to achieve transformative change towards more sustainable urban development in Cambodia. In this context, Build4People deeply acknowledges the role of OCIC Group as spearhead of this and highly appreciates the supportive role of Phnom Penh City Hall.

🔜 Together with other stakeholders such as the SMMR project team Build4People will develop comprehensive ”localised” criteria and guidelines for sustainable neighbourhood development   in Phnom Penh.

#build4people #BMBF_SUREregions #phnompenh #kohnorea #noreacity #ocic #sustainableurbantransformation #sustainableneighbourhooddevelopment #sustainablebuilding #tod #transitorienteddevelopment#sustainablemobility #publicparticipation #livinglab  

Publication of video clip documenting the Build4People WP1-WP6 Science Workshop at Royal University of Phnom Penh

The Build4People team is happy to announce the recent publication of a video clip documenting the Build4People WP1-WP6 Science Workshop at Royal University of Phnom Penh on 28 February 2028.

The key objective of this workshop was to introduce and to discuss with local stakeholders two interconnected milestones, the “Build4People Awareness Campaign” and the “Build4People Exhibition” with the title “Cambodia’s Green Pioneers”. Both envisaged activities are considered as important participatory interventions to contribute to a change of mindset of Cambodia’s urban population, to enhance their self-efficacy, and to lead to more urban sustainability based on more environmentally friendly behaviour.

The Build4People exhibition (due to publication in November 2024), for example, intends to increase the public visibility of a diverse set of sustainability pioneers aiming to inspire the urban population to replicate their sustainable lifestyles. As a basis for both interventions serves the process of community based social marketing, a sound scientific approach when it comes to foster sustainable behavior.  implementation plan of the two above interconnected milestones.

The WP1-WP6 Science Workshop gathered a broad public of multi-stakeholders from academia, civil society, public administration, and the corporate sector, within and beyond the scope of the German government funded Build4People Project. At the beginning, there was a concise theoretical introduction to community based social marketing by Dr Anke Blöbaum, providing insights into awareness campaigning and the significance of role models in the field of sustainable urban transformation. This was followed by two parallel sessions to generally collect basic ideas how to implement such a campaign in urban Cambodia and to discuss how to identify adequate role models in Cambodia and how to define specific selection criteria. A second round of discussion focused on more practical questions of implementation, e.g. in regard of the content of the posters in terms of interview information on the role model, graphic design, or concrete dissemination of the campaign. A last session of the workshop focused on the joint preparation of a PR video clip to kick-off the Build4People Awareness Campaign and the call for Green Pioneers.

Finally, the organising team was particularly interested in gaining dedicated supporters of the Build4People Awareness Campaign and Build4People Exhibition “Cambodia’s Green Pioneers” to empower the Royal Kingdom of Cambodia on its meaningful pathway towards more sustainability.