WP#3: Sustainable Neighbourhoods (សហគមន៏ដែលមានចីរភាព)

WP#3 in a Nutshell
The objective of WP#3 is to understand as comprehensively as possible the ecological, socio-cultural and institutional context for sustainable urban district planning in Cambodia.

Rationale & Background
There is a rapid and often unplanned urbanisation over the last twenty years in Cambodia. A doubling of urbanisation level is expected until 2030. This leads to an unbalanced population growth, particularly in Phnom Penh, which tripled in the past ten years reaching around 2.1 million inhabitants.
A significant improvement of living standards is expected for the next years, especially of the urban middle class. As a result there is a strong demand for urban renewal and new neighbourhoods with a large socio-cultural, economic and environmental impact. Thus, there is a need to better understand and analyse its causes, patterns and trends.
Based on this, sustainable neighbourhoods are considered as key elements for enhancing the quality of urban life in Phnom Penh and are crucial for climate protection, climate adaptation and resilience.

Theoretical Framework
The following framework projects will be used as background and a starting point:

  • The European framework for sustainable urban planning, an EU founded project Ecocity (30 partners, 8 European countries) (Messerschmidt et. al., 2002-2005).
  • The city coaching and process design methodology of the EU funded project SNOWBALL – Energy Smart Urban Design (Messerschmidt et. al., 2006-2008).
  • The assessment and rating system for Sustainable Urban Districts by the German Sustainable Building Council DGNB including a comprehensive set of criteria and indicators (DGNB, Messerschmidt et. al., from 2009 on).
  • Multi-layered neighbourhood development strategies as applied for the UMore Park in Minneapolis in cooperation with the University of Minneapolis.

Research Questions
Our WP investigates how sustainable neighbourhoods (design, construction, operation and management) can contribute to the urban quality of life with special regard to:

  • Addressing the cultural heritage of Cambodia, changing socio-cultural conditions and the need for an increased public space area with a high quality of sojourn and liveability for new and existing developments.
  • Climate protection by energy-efficient buildings, employing smart energy supply systems and using renewable energy sources on the neighbourhood level.
  • Climate adaptation by climate responsive urban design for buildings and open spaces supporting comfort and health.
  • Circular economy including sustainable resource management, material flows and water cycles in a blue-green infrastructure.

The knowledge transfer of European and international strategies will lead to innovative ways of neighbourhood development in Cambodia and Southeast Asia. 

It is expected that the research results contribute to:

  • Raising considerably value to design and to foster the sustainability performance
  • Assessment and audits for certification of sustainable neighbourhoods by DGNB or a Cambodian institution
  • New multi-layered and collaborative planning strategies for implementing sustainable neighbourhood development
  • Dissemination of results through presentations at conferences, scientific publications as well as contribution to the work of the international Green Building Council (GBC).
WP#3 Activities and Milestones during Year 1 of Build4People RD Phase
Multi-Layer Approach implemented by WP#3 in the course of the Build4People Ecocity Transition Lab Series

The joint research of WP#3 is done by Eble Messerschmidt & Partner (EMP) together with the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning at the Pannasastra University of Cambodia (FAUP-PUC).

Furthermore, WP#3 is the leading Work Package dealing with the Build4People implementation partner of the Phnom Penh Capital Administration (PPCA).

Download link to
WP#3 DEF Phase Research Poster



Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) 2019. Phnom Penh Sustainable City Plan 2018-2030.

Build4People RD Phase Milestone WP#3 R1: Updated bibliographic research and literature

• Eble Messerschmidt Partner • Architekten und Stadtplaner PartGmbB • Berliner Ring 47a • 72076 Tübingen • Germany
WP#3 Leader: Dipl-Ing. Rolf Messerschmidt (messerschmidt@eble-architektur.de)
WP#3 Research Associate: Oliver Lambrecht (lambrecht@eble-architektur.de)
WP#3 Research Associate: Nuria Roig (roig@eble-architektur.de)
WP#3 Research Associate: Marcelo Rivera Leyton (rivera@eble-architektur.de)