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

Build4People presentation at sbe22 Berlin Conference “Built Environment within the Planetary Boundarires”, TU Berlin

On 22 September 2022, Ravi Jayaweera, research associate of the Build4People Work Package “Sustainable Urban Transformation” presented a joint paper at the sbe22 Berlin Conference “Built Environment within the Planetary Boundarires”, at Technical University of Berlin.

The paper introduces the Build4People Sustainable Building Arena (SBA), a transition governance approach that adapts Northern transition management approaches to the Cambodian context. It proposes the creation of informal institutions for change agents that are co-creative and safe spaces for change agents.

Members of the Build4People Work Package #2 “Sustainable Building” and of the Build4People Work Package #6 “Sustainable Urban Transformation”, among others Dr Sothun Nop from Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP), have jointly contributed to this significant achievement.

This is the bibliographic information on the conference paper:
Jayaweera, R., Nop, S., Karagianni, C., Waibel, M. and Schwede, D. (2022). Sustainable building arenas: Constructing a governance framework for a sustainability transition in Cambodia’s urban built environment. IOP Conf. Ser.: Earth Environ. Sci. 1078 012084.

Build4People Science Workshop of Work Package #2 Sustainable Building: “Energy-Efficient & Sustainable Building Design for a Tropical Climate”, 18 August 2022

On 18 August 2022, the WP#2 “Sustainable Building”  2nd  Science Workshop took place within the one day seminar on “Sustainable Development, Sustainable City, Smart City, Cambodia “ at the Institute of Technology of Cambodia (ITC), Phnom Penh.

The main aim of this workshop was to facilitate the exchange with local sustainability research projects and related experts and to present WP2’s research and the Build4People project to local Cambodian researchers and students of ITC. 

Multiple Cambodian and international researchers presented their work, amongst them the WP2’s Cambodian research partners Dr. Virak Han, Ms. TAING Kimnenh, Mr. LONG Makara and Ms. KETH Kannary.

Prof. Dr. Dirk Schwede and Christina Karagianni, members of the WP#2 team participated online and presented their research in Cambodia and in Vietnam. The presentations were followed by a Q&A session moderated by ITC.

The Build4People WP#2 team would like to kindly thank ITC for organising and including our research to such a meaningful event and to all of the presenters for sharing their research and insights from Cambodia.

WP#1 “Behaviour Change” Science Workshop

On 25 July 2022, the Build4People Work Package #1 “Behaviour Change” team met for a Science Workshop with the aim of discussing recent research activities and the outlook of further work and collaboration steps during the ongoing Research and Development Phase of the Build4People project. 

The group of environmental psychology at the Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg was represented by Prof. Dr. Ellen Matthies, Dr. Anke Blöbaum, Annalena Becker and Beatrice Guhl. From the side of Build4People’s Cambodian colleagues, Dr. Op Vanna and Dr. Sok Serey from the Royal University of Phnom Penh joined the meeting.

In the beginning, the new student assistant Beatrice Guhl, who joined the Build4People WP1 in June, was introduced to the colleagues of the Royal University of Phnom Penh. Dr. Anke Blöbaum continued reporting recent activities and news of the overall Build4People project and the envisaged research stay in Phnom Penh in October 2022.

Dr. Sok Serey shared insights of the application for a scientific competition hosted by a Japanese University that aims at funding research projects that target SDG11. He worked on the application with other Build4People colleagues at RUPP and related the scientific program to the Build4People project. Many interconnections between the different scientific projects at RUPP and Build4People, e.g., concerning the reduction of plastic consumption can be drawn and research findings and implications from a recent EU project on waste management have also been considered in this regard. This funding aims at technology and knowledge transfer that support sustainable solutions for urban and neighbourhood planning.

As a next input, Dr. Op Vanna presented the data collection and first analyses of a current study on Social Wellbeing and health-related topics in Cambodia. He reported insights about the measurements and sociodemographic aspects of the researched sample. 

In the following, Annalena Becker and Beatrice Guhl presented ongoing literature reviews and first methodological considerations for the upcoming online survey investigating pro-environmental behavior change potentials with the target group of New Consumers in Phnom Penh. For this, Beatrice Guhl gave an overview of research aspects that are considered for this group that is considered as the urban middle class, lifestyle related topics and cultural circumstances that need to be integrated within the research. 

The subsequent discussion was targeting the question how health-related topics can be interpreted and linked to similar aspects of the Build4People Urban Quality of Life research.

With the help of the visualization of an interactive online board, research designs and measurements that deal with the behavioral domains of waste management and energy consumption were presented and discussed more intensively.

As last input of the Science Workshop, Annalena Becker gave some insights into the Urban Quality of Life survey that was conducted in May 2022 in Phnom Penh and first analyses of the data. She presented the different research aims that are targeted by this study design by the environmental psychological research group of WP1 as well as by the transdisciplinary Build4People consortium. 

The measurement of the individual perception and evaluation of Urban Quality of Life will both be investigated from a sociopsychological perspective, as well as linked to the measurements and research questions that are conducted by other B4P work groups, e.g. the measurement of outdoor and indoor temperatures, and the consideration of specific spatial structures in the study site of Phnom Penh’s Chbar Ampov District.

All in all, it was a very fruitful meeting as part of the regular scientific exchange between the Build4People Work Package #1 “Behaviour Change” research partners in Germany and in Cambodia. 

We thank everyone for joining this interesting and insightful event, for their time and shared ideas, and we are looking forward to upcoming cooperative activities!

Publication of the CKS-Build4People webinar “Time for Change – The Role of Environmental Psychology in Promoting Sustainable Urban Environments” at the Build4People YouTube channel

We are very happy to announce the publication of the CKS-Build4People webinar “Time for Change – The Role of Environmental Psychology in Promoting Sustainable Urban Environments” which took place on 24 June 2022 with inspiring presentations at the Build4People youtube channel.

The whole Build4People team would like to express its sincere thanks to all of the staff of CKS for preparing and managing this event, most of all to its interim director Samedy Soung and to Dr. Try Thuon, who moderated the webinar in a very dedicated way.