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Urban Sustainability Transitions in Phnom Penh: Insights from the Build4People Project

This webinar was recorded on December 15, 2021


Michael Waibel, Ravi Jayaweera, and Mansi Jain from Build4People will introduce sustainable urban transformation approaches and present a summary of their study on sustainability transition pathways for the building and urban development sector in Phnom Penh. Cities are responsible for most of the world’s resource consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. This makes cities and their built environment crucial for combating climate change. Since construction and urban development projects have long-term effects by locking-in resources, practices, and capital for decades, rapidly growing cities such as Phnom Penh are of particular interest. Their projected urban growth and building demands offer a window of opportunity for a transition to long-term urban sustainability. With every conventionally constructed building, this window is, however, closing. Actionable knowledge to support an urban transformation is thus urgently needed. To address these issues, the panel will introduce approaches from the field of sustainability transitions research and share insights from their study. This includes an analysis of change inhibiting and change enabling factors and possible transition strategies for Phnom Penh and its building and urban development sector.


Michael Waibel, PhD (University of Göttingen)

Michael is Senior Researcher, Lecturer, and Project Manager at Hamburg University. Currently, he is Consortium Leader of the research project Build4People, based in Cambodia, and sub-project leader of the CAMaRSEC project in Vietnam. Both projects broadly deal with the promotion of integrated urban development and are funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). He holds a Ph.D. in Human Geography and an MA in geography and National Economy with key competencies in urbanism, housing, and urban governance. He benefits from about 25 years of international experience in academic work, consultancy work and capacity development in Asia.

Ravi Jayaweera, M.A. (Humboldt University Berlin)

Ravi is Research Associate in the Build4People Project (Work Package “Sustainable Urban Transformation”). He holds an MA in Urban Geography from the Humboldt University Berlin and a BA in Human Geography from the Goethe University Frankfurt. Prior to this position, Ravi worked at a German policy think tank and consulted for German cities and states on urban and spatial policies. During his studies, Ravi has supported the work of a number of international development initiatives in cities of the Global South, including GIZ, KFW, and UN-Habitat.

Mansi Jain, PhD (Utrecht University

Mansi is a postdoctoral researcher at Utrecht University, Netherlands in the research hubs “Transforming Cities” and “Data and Knowledge Hub -Healthy Urban Living” where she conducts trans-disciplinary research with urban stakeholders. She develops approaches to assess urban transformative change within neighborhood developments. Her focus is on infrastructure transformations and healthy urban living. In her doctoral research Mansi developed an assessment framework to evaluate zero energy building transitions in India and Singapore. Prior to moving to academia, Mansi had accumulated several years of advocacy and consultancy experience in Asia working on building energy efficiency, smart cities, and greenhouse gas emissions accounting. She has worked on several projects commissioned by UNDP, UNIDO, UN Women, and USAID. 

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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