Build4People: Enhancing Urban of Life through Sustainable Urban Transformation in Cambodia

How can sustainable urban development be promoted, and the quality of life increased in an emerging country like Cambodia using a people-centered approach? This is investigated by the multidisciplinary collaborative project “Build4People”.

The overall goal of the Build4People project is to achieve a transformative shift in the current development path of the city of Phnom Penh towards more sustainability and a higher quality of life. To this end, the building sector will be the starting point for research.
It has recently become more and more apparent that sustainable urban transformation is by no means just a technological challenge, but above all also a social, cultural, economic and political challenge. At the same time, it is becoming increasingly clear that science can only work out implementation-oriented solutions for sustainable urban development together in a dialogue with urban society.

Based on this transdisciplinary understanding of the problem, the Build4People project tries to integrate various disciplines such as environmental psychology, civil engineering, urban planning, architecture, urban climatology, remote sensing and human geography in a cross-cutting manner using common participatory formats such as urban living labs or incubators for sustainable business models with local stakeholders from politics, business and civil society to jointly develop practical knowledge and interventions, which should ultimately lead to the implementation of inclusive sustainable urban development processes.
The common link of the scientific-conceptual, analytical and normative research is the urban quality of life. This is seen as the general basis of the people-centered approach. The urban quality of life will be conceptualized, empirically analyzed and then also modeled in various steps. Ultimately, the goal is to gradually merge the sphere of the more subjectively perceived quality of life of the urban citizens with objectively measurable criteria of urban sustainability.


Project lead:    

Dr. Michael Waibel
Institut für Geographie
Bundesstr. 55 (Geomatikum)
20146 Hamburg

Tel.: +49 40 42 838 50 30


Project partners:

  • INKEK GmbH
  • Eble Messerschmidt und Partner Architekten
  • Hochschule für Nachhaltige Entwicklung Eberswalde
  • Uni Stuttgart
  • Uni Magdeburg
  • Pannasastra University of Cambodia
  • Royal University of Agriculture
  • Cambodian Institute for Urban Studies
  • Phnom Penh Capital Administration
  • Royal University of Phnom Penh
  • Institute of Technology of Cambodia

Project website Build4People

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