Science Workshop of Build4People Work Package “Urban Green Infrastructures” at campus of Royal University of Agriculture

On 29 September 2023, the Build4People Work Package “Urban Green Infrastructures” organized a Science Workshop at the campus of the Royal University of Agriculture in Phnom Penh.

This event aimed to discuss the impact and significance of urban green spaces, especially in Phnom Penh, and explore their potential as assets for elevating the quality of life. With distinguished speakers from Cambodia and Germany, the workshop promises a combination of theoretical discussions, practical updates, and innovative technological interventions. Furthermore, the announcement of new academic programs in Regional and Urban Planning underlines the commitment to fostering future leaders in this domain. Through rigorous discussions, poster presentations, and an interactive panel, the workshop contributed to sustainable urban planning strategies that prioritize green infrastructures and the well-being of urban residents in Phnom Penh.

The workshop started with the welcome speech by the H.E Ngo Bunthan, Rector of the Royal Agricultural University (RUA). He welcomed all the guests from both Cambodia and Germany. He specifically mentioned the collaboration between Build4People Project and RUA how it not only brought fruitful research results but also contributed to the development of the newly found master’s and PhD program on Regional and Urban Planning.

The welcome remarks followed by Dr Verena Hebbecker, Deputy Head of Division 723 „Global Change, Climate Research“ at the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Coordinator of the Funding Priority SURE – Sustainable Development of Urban Regions. Dr. Hebbecker pointed out the funding support from the BMBF under the SURE umbrella in the region and highlighted the Build4People as one of the flagship projects in the region.

After this, the Build4People consortium leader Dr Michael Waibel presented the general approaches of the Build4People project. Dr Waibel highlighted how the project is contributing to the sustainable urban transformation in Phnom Penh.

Dr Sanara Hor, Dean of Faculty of Land Management and Land Administration (FLMLA) in RUA, made the official announcement of the new Master’s and PhD Programs in Regional and Urban Planning. He acknowledged and thanked the Build4People Project to contribute to this success among others.

Following this, the Build4People Work Package #4 “Urban Grean Infrastructure” leader Professor Dr Jan-Peter Mund provided an update on Update on the ongoing activities of WP4. He mentioned the key research findings so far including the key publications and conference presentations. He highlighted the tool for monitoring land surface temperature (LST) in Phnom Penh, which will be part of the upcoming B4P Transformation Toolbox.

Dr Mund concluded his presentation by discussing the Further Work and Outlook of the WP4 and once again congratulating RUA for their successful launch of the new Master’s and PhD Programs in Regional and Urban Planning.

B4P Work Package “Behaviour Change” Leader Dr Anke Blöbaum presented about the Citizen Science App Development for UQoL in Phnom Penh which is a cooperation between WP1 and WP4. She highlighted how the proposed App can collect citizen’s perception on UQoL from a urban green infrastructure perspective and how it will be useful for the decision-making and urban planning.

B4P WP4 Research Associate Gulam Mohiuddin then presented on the thermal footprint of the urban green infrastructure in Phnom Penh. As a case study he presented the immediate findings from a green space using the analysis of a thermal UAV images.

The workshop had a panel discussion with Dr Pok Sopheak from RUA; Piseth Keth from Urban Lab Cambodia; Ms Christina Karagianni from B4P WP2 Research Associate and the discussion was moderated by Dr Sanara Hor, RUA). The panellists highlighted results from their studies and experiences regarding the urban green infrastructure and its implications in Phnom Penh.

The audience also joined the vibrant discussion asking different questions and sharing their experiences.

Furthermore, the Science Workshop also had a poster session including the posters from Build4People and student’s work from the RUA. The participants and guests had an interactive discussion about the posters during the session.

Professor Dr Jan-Peter Mund provide the reflection from the workshop and he emphasized the importance of such discussions regarding urban green infrastructure in Phnom Penh which is crucial to a sustainable neighbourhood at the city level.

The closing remarks was provided by HE SAR SOVANN (Secretary of State at Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, Cambodia). He thanked all the guests and participants to attend the event and have such a useful discussion. He mentioned how RUA as a research partner is contributing to the Build4People project and how the project is contributing to the sustainable development of Phnom Penh. He emphasized the involvement of young students and researchers on this topic which will have a noticeable effect on the overall urban green infrastructure of Phnom Penh.

To conclude, the workshop has put focus on the topic of urban green infrastructure to Phnom Penh and it was perceived as a very well organised opportunity to exchange about recent research findings. The interactive discussions generated new ideas for activities that will contribute to continuously deteriorating urban green in Phnom Penh.