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Urban Climate in the Planning Process

This webinar video was recorded on April 21, 2022


Global climate change poses challenges for sustainable urban development, and it has a significant impact on urban climate, particularly with the growth of urban heat islands (UHI) and with decreased ventilation inside urban areas. Climate change-related city action and policy development in different Asian cities, including Phnom Penh, will be introduced. The intensity and rate of the UHI within Phnom Penh will be analyzed. Information and data on the nature, scale and distribution of potential urban risks in the urban climate of Asian cities will be introduced. Developing tools for analyzing urban climate and urban planning are needed for more sustainable urban development.

Phnom Penh was chosen as a case study for looking at urban climate, especially the UHI. The city morphology has become more impervious-surfaced and building-dominant, which increases the UHI-intensity and directly affects wind movement at the city scale. The central business districts (CBDs) of Phnom Penh in particular have reduced-urban ventilation as a result of their high building density. We found that the difference in the increased intensity and rate of UHI between CBDs and suburban areas in Phnom Penh were 1.3°C and 0.15% on average. The difference in wind velocity between CBDs and suburban areas was 1.9 m s−1 on average. This effect may be responsible for the lower UHI intensity in suburban areas compared to that in CBDs.


Dr. Lutz Katzschner is a meteorologist and Professor Emeritus of Environmental Meteorology at the University of Kassel (Germany) in the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning. He is currently working as the head of the Institute for Climate and Energy Strategies (INKEK).

His main science interests are in urban climatic mapping from meso- to microscales, their implementation in urban planning, and the impact of global climate change on cities. He is Chairman of the Guideline Committee in Urban Climate and Planning of the Verein Deutscher Ingenieure in Germany. He is presently carrying out projects on different aspects of global warming and their effects on urban climatology in different countries (Hong Kong; Singapore; Frankfurt and Kassel, Germany; as well as Belo Horizonte and Salvador Brazil). He also teaches several courses in Germany.

Dr. Chao Ren is Associate Professor in The Faculty of Architecture at The University of Hong Kong. She has lectured widely in leading institutions on topics of environmental design and urban climatic application. Her research interest is Sustainable Urban and Environmental Design and Urban Climatic Application in Urban Planning. She has published widely in highly-ranked journals and peer-reviewed conferences, focusing primarily on examining the relationship between urban climate and urban morphological characteristics, developing an urban climatic mapping system, and analyzing urbanization-induced human thermal comfort and public health risk impacts for high-density/compact cities. Dr. Ren has been involved in several governmental research projects in China (Hong Kong, Macau, Wuhan, Changchun and Beijing), Taiwan (Kaohsiung), The Netherlands (Arhem) and France (Toulouse) since 2006. She has been invited by international organizations including WMO, WHO and UNEP to develop urban climate-related guides, reports and training materials. She is an invited contributing author of IPCC AR6 (Chapter on Cities) and an invited member of the urban climate expert group by the WMO. She serves as an associate editor for Urban Climate (since 2018).

Mr. Bunleng Se is a lecturer and group leader of the Climate Change and Water Group in the Department of Geography and Land Management, Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP), since 2012. He is a CKS Dissertation Research Fellow and Ph.D. candidate at RUPP in the Khmer Studies Program. He is currently working on the research pattern of the Build4People project in the working package 5: Urban Climate. His main science interests focus on the influence of urban heat island intensity under urbanization and climate change on precipitation patterns and on the impacts of resultant urban flooding on socio-economic development in the urban setting.

Dr. Nyda Chhinh graduated from Flinders University, Australia with a major in Environmental Risk Management. His research interests include climate change adaptation, and agricultural and rural development. Currently, Nyda is conducting research projects on 1) Promotion of Social Entrepreneurship in Disaster Risk Reduction to Build Community Resilience & 2) Market Research in Agricultural Machineries, and Agricology.

Nyda is currently a lecturer and researcher of the Department of Economic Development (DED) in the Faculty of Development Studies, Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP). He is responsible for teaching Introduction to Statistics, Quantitative Research Methods, and Applied Research for DED. He also teaches Research Methodology for the Department of International Studies in RUPP.


Prof. Alan L. Kolata is currently the Bernard E. and Ellen C. Sunny Distinguished Service Professor of Anthropology at the University of Chicago. Prof. Kolata received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1978. Subsequently he was a Fellow at Dumbarton Oaks, before joining the Field Museum of Natural History and the University of Illinois at Chicago. He moved to the University of Chicago in 1987 where he has served as Professor and Chair in the Department of Anthropology, in the Committee on Southern Asian Studies and the Committee on Environment, Geography and Urbanization of which he is a member of the Executive Committee.
Prof. Kolata serves as Trustee, Senior Scholar, and Chair of the Program Committee of the Center for Khmer Studies. For the past two decades, he has conducted ongoing interdisciplinary research projects in Thailand and Cambodia. His most recent publication on Cambodia is a multi-authored article entitled “The Interrelated Impacts of Credit Access, Market Access and Forest Proximity on Livelihood Strategies in Cambodia” World Development, 2022 and now in press, with an abstract currently available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=3763128 . Additional manuscripts related to issues of rural to urban migration and its relationship with ongoing environmental transformation in the lower Mekong River basin are currently in review with anticipated publication dates later in the year.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the publications and through webinars are solely those of the authors or speakers. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of The Center for Khmer Studies, Inc. The designations employed in the publications and through the webinars, and the presentation of material therein, do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of The Center for Khmer Studies, Inc. as to the matters discussed therein. The responsibility for opinions expressed in the publications and webinars are solely those of the authors or speakers, and the publication does not constitute an endorsement by The Center for Khmer Studies, Inc. of the opinions, views or issues discussed therein.


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