The First Asian Energy Conference and a series of energy events (2-5 November 2015)
During the week of November 2-5th, 2015, the Asian Energy Studies Centre (AESC), together with the Department of Geography, organised a series of energy-related events at Hong Kong Baptist University. These events strengthened AESC’s global research network, brought the latest research insights and solutions in moving towards a sustainable energy future for Hong Kong and Asia. These events have also strengthened the role of AESC as an increasingly recognised hub for sustainable energy studies on the Asian region.
The first event, The First Asian Energy Conference: Smart Grids, Sustainability Transition, and Innovation in Governance took place on November 2nd. The Conference aimed to provide a forum for academics to share new policy and governance practices of smart grid development from Asian perspectives. Keynote speakers included Prof. Rikiya Abe from The University of Tokyo and Dr. Alice Siu from the Center for Deliberative Democracy at Stanford University. Other speakers included scholars and practitioners from North America, Europe, and other parts of Asia, including Hong Kong. About 50 people from utility companies, businesses, academia, NGOs, consulates, consultants, and HKBU and other local universities participated in various sessions at the Conference.
This Conference was sponsored by Hong Kong Baptist University, and the Faculty of Social Sciences and Department of Geography at Hong Kong Baptist University. Supporting Organisations included the Kadoorie Institute at The University of Hong Kong, and the Center for Deliberative Democracy at Stanford University.
Speakers and members of the organizing committee of The First Asian Energy Conference, as well as other scholars, gathered for the Post-Conference Internal Research Meeting on November 3rd to discuss areas of collaboration and develop potential research plans.
During the Energy Research Seminar Series: Seminars No. 1-3 from November 3rd to 5th, Speakers from the US, South Korea, and the Netherlands presented on various energy topics, ranging from wind energy and nuclear power, to domestic energy consumption.
The aim of the seminar series was to facilitate discussion and the exchange of ideas among different stakeholders to promote a sustainable energy future in Hong Kong. These global experiences were valuable because they provided further insights on how Hong Kong could move forward from the perspectives of grid operations, municipal energy policies, and households. Supporting Organisations of this seminar series included Civic Exchange, Friends of the Earth (HK), and World Wildlife Fund (HK).
To learn more about AESC, please visit http://aesc.hkbu.edu.hk/.
Workshop on Health, Wellbeing and Geography (19 May 2015)
The Workshop on Health, Wellbeing and Geography was jointly organised by the Centre for China Urban and Regional Studies and Centre for Geo-Computation Studies on 19 May 2015. The purpose of the Workshop was to share and exchange latest researches on human wellbeing from the perspective of geography and evaluate the potential of wellbeing metrics to evaluate targeted policies. It attracted approximately 30 participants.
Prof. Adrian J. Bailey, Dean of Faculty of Social Sciences, opened the Workshop by giving a welcome address. Five papers were presented at the Workshop. Speakers included Dr. Dajun Dai, Department of Geosciences and Dr. Ruiyan Luo, School of Public Health, Georgia State University; Dr. Poh Chin Lai, University of Hong Kong; Dr. Judy Yuen-man Siu, David C. Lam Institute for East-West Studies, HKBU; Prof. Wang Donggen and Prof. Zhou Qiming, Department of Geography, HKBU. Topics discussed covered urban disparities in social determinants of health, technological and methodological approaches, case study of Ebola virus disease among African residents in Hong Kong, urban life satisfaction in Beijing and hydrologic remote sensing and modeling.
The Workshop provided discussions among researchers from diverse fields with different backgrounds, and an opportunity for scholars to move forward wellbeing measures in benefiting social policy making and deepen the understanding of geographic perspective in subjective wellbeing and public health. The Workshop received good responses from the speakers and participants.
The Workshop on “Social Justice and the City” (4-6 December 2013)
Hong Kong is an ideal place for any meaningful exchanges on social justice and the city, academically and practically alike. Social Justice is one of the societal keywords these days. It was noted the other day by the Hong Kong Government that there are 1.31 million people who are below the official poverty line. Even 0.54 million who are economically active are officially poor. What does it imply for a society that is one of the wealthiest places in the world? Social injustice bounds in Hong Kong society, accentuating the income gap, aggravating the already worse working and living conditions of the grassroots and depriving the old of a basic safety net. All these social facts have encouraged more serious reflection on the prevailing development model and, concomitantly, the possible alternatives. This Workshop, held between 4th and 6th December 2013, and organised by the Department of Geography and co-sponsored by the Faculty of Social Sciences, has attracted participants from across the world to address social justice issues. Besides Hong Kong, there were papers on cities in South Africa, Ghana, India, Vietnam, China, South Korea, Japan, USA, England, Germany and Finland. This worldly discussion has made a modest contribution to the social justice debate.
Forum on Urban China Research “Urban China Research is Dead, Long Live Urban China Research” (19 November 2013)
Paralleling to the mushrooming of cities and towns in China in the past thirty years is the flourishing of urban China research. Research on Chinese cities has broadened and deepened to such extent that there are articles on every aspect of urbanisation and its material form published in major English journals and monographs. This one-day forum, organised by the Department of Geography and David C. Lam Institute for East-West Studies, co-sponsored by the China Studies Programme and the Faculty of Social Sciences, gathered together 4 geographers to speak on some aspects of this literature on the 19th November, 2013. It was basically divided into 2 parts. The first consisted of two papers addressing the issue from the spatial perspective. Both argued that the literature has neglected space in the understanding and proposed ways to improve. They were Professor Carolyn Cartier from China Research Centre, University of Technology, Sydney, on “Urban China and the ‘Loss of Space’ in Research Design”, and Professor Tang Wing Shing from Department of Geography on “Urban China Research: From De- to Re-spatialisation”. The second part touched on two issues that the literature has not properly addressed. While Professor Kam Wing Chan from Department of Geography, University of Washington, Seattle, reminded us to unveil the dual society and its spatial implications by his paper on “Not So Obvious: China’s Special Dual Structure”, Professor Li Si Ming, from Department of Geography and LEWI, focused on residential mobility with the title of “Residential Mobility in Chinese Cities: A Relatively Neglected Topic in Urban China Research”. The forum has attracted a sizeable audience to participate in the fruitful discussion.
Workshop on “Better Nuclear Decision-making in Hong Kong: through Improving Public Engagement and Building Trust” (3 July 2013)
The Workshop on “Better Nuclear Decision-making in Hong Kong: through Improving Public Engagement and Building Trust” was hosted by the Geography Department on 3 July 2013 at the HKBU in collaboration with the Kadoorie Institute (HKU), Governance in Asia Research Centre (CityU), Program Governance and Globalization (Tsinghua University), and Hong Kong Energy Studies Centre (HKBU). Coordinator of this workshop was Dr. Daphne Mah and her research team.
The keynote speaker was Dr. Alice Siu, Associate Director, Center for Deliberative Democracy of Stanford University, U.S. More than 50 stakeholders attended the workshop, shared views and facilitated productive discussions on nuclear decision-making in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Geography Day (24 November, 2012)
The Department of Geography of the Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) and the Hong Kong Geographical Association (HKGA) organized the Hong Kong Geography Day 2012, at the Academic and Administrative Building, HKBU, on Saturday 24 November 2012. The Geography Day is a biennial event, and is the most important event of the geography education and research community in Hong Kong. The Geography Day has two functions. First, it is a forum where Geography scholars, academics and post-graduate students can discuss their latest research. As such, over 60 geography professors and graduate students from the Hong Kong Baptist University, the University of Hong Kong, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Sun Yat-sen University, and the South China Normal University participated in the event. A total of 39 professors and students presented their research. This year, we were fortunate to have Mr. Jimmy Leung, Director of the Planning, HKSAR Planning Department, delivering the keynote speech. The second objective of the Geography Day is to extend geography education among Secondary School students. More than 400 Secondary School teachers and students participated in the event, and different functions were organized for them, including a talk on sustainable cities by Prof. Chi Chung Lam, Mr. Kim Wai Ip, Mr. Ming Hui Sze, Mr. Kam Fai Wong, and Mr. Kam Chuen Yeung, a workshop on Computer Apps for Secondary School teachers by Prof. Matthew Pang of CUHK, and a field trip to Shau Tau Kok, organized by the Caritas Chan Chun Ha Field Studies Centre. In addition, 13 different non-government organizations, government departments, academic units, professional associations and student associations exhibited their work.
International Conference on Spatial and Social Transformation in Urban China (13-14 December 2012)
The International Conference on Spatial and Social Transformation in Urban China held on 13 and 14 December 2012 attracted more than 200 participants from Hong Kong as well as the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Greece, Korea, Taiwan and Mainland China. A total of 160 papers were presented at the conference.
Officiating at the opening ceremony were Professor Anthony Cheung, Secretary for Transport and Housing, Hong Kong SAR Government; Professor Rick Wong, Vice-President (Research and Development); and Professor Adrian Bailey, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences.
In his address, Professor Cheung talked about Hong Kong’s connectivity and housing challenges. He introduced Hong Kong¡¦s transport policy in the past few decades as well as its future development, covering land transport (roads, tunnels and railways), global connectivity via aviation and the maritime shipping and trading industry. Professor Cheung said Hong Kong has one of the most successful public housing models. He said the Government is formulating a long-term housing strategy and that public housing is expected to play a more important role than before. Professor Cheung said Hong Kong has a strong tradition of overcoming difficulties by working out innovative and pragmatic solutions and that this spirit would drive Hong Kong forward.
Keynote speeches were delivered following the opening ceremony. Professor Deborah Davis, Professor of Sociology at Yale University, spoke on “Institutional and Theoretical Challenges to Understanding Urban China” and Professor Ning Yuemin, Professor of the School of Resources and Environmental Sciences at East China Normal University, spoke on “The Role of Large City Clusters in Regional Development”.
The conference was jointly organised by HKBU’s Centre for China Urban and Regional Studies (CURS), the Department of Geography, and the David C. Lam Institute for East-West Studies (LEWI), as well as the Centre for Urban Studies and Urban Planning of The University of Hong Kong, and the Urban China Research Network of Brown University and the University at Albany, SUNY, USA. It was the second academic activity under the “Global Social Sciences: Hong Kong Initiative” project of the Faculty of Social Sciences.
The conference aimed to bring international scholars together to share current knowledge to promote and support study, practice, teaching and research. It was also a good opportunity for scholars to interact and share their research findings and experience in the areas of China¡¦s urban development, spatial transformation and urbanisation.
International Workshop on Ecosystem Monitoring and Management (21-22 December 2012)
The International Workshop on Ecosystem Monitoring and Management (EMM 2012) was held at 21-22 December 2012, Hong Kong Baptist University. It was an academic event co-organized by the Centre for Geo-computation Studies (CGS) and Department of Geography of Hong Kong Baptist University and Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences. The Workshop was also supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology (SIAT), Chinese Academy of Sciences.
The EMM 2012 is an important meeting for researchers who are actively engaged in ecosystem management, ecological and environmental survey and natural resource inventory. The aim of the workshop is to provide a platform for scholar exchange among international academics, researchers and research students in the fields of ecosystem, environment and geo-spatial information sciences. The workshop was especially exceptional by the participation of scholars and researchers from Central Asian nations, where recent environmental change has stimulated many collaborative actions by international communities. It is believed that a better understanding of ecosystem feedbacks in response to human impacts is of major importance for environmentally sound ecosystem management. The Central Asian region provides a unique study case in dealing with such problems that demonstrates the value of multi-disciplinary approaches involving geography, ecology, environmental and geo-spatial information sciences.
Prof Albert Chan, the President and Vice-Chancellor of Hong Kong Baptist University delivered a welcome address at the opening ceremony. Prof Xi Chen, the Director of Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, on behalf of the organizing committee, also delivered an opening address, to welcome all participants of the Workshop.
Prof. Bojie Fu, an Academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences and Professor of Research Centre for Eco-environmental Sciences of China delivered a keynote speech “The change of ecosystem services and ecosystem management in the Loess Plateau of China”, in which he presented an overview of the current advances in research on ecosystem monitoring and management. Prof. Larry Li, Professor of Mathematical and Theoretical Ecology and Director of the CAU-UCR International Centre for Ecology and Sustainability at University of California-Riverside, USA, delivered a keynote presentation ¡§Nonlinear, multi-scale responses and consequences of drylands to stresses and disturbances¡¨ to outline a development of the state-of-the-art research methodologies. The keynote papers were well-received at the Workshop and stimulated further discussions and initiatives.
EMM 2012 was participated by over 50 scholars and research students from universities and research institutes around the world. Twelve research papers were presented in two technical sessions, and 9 short reports were presented in a ‘director panel discussion’ session by the directors of research institutes from four Central Asian nations. As a result of stimulating and fruitful discussion and scholar exchange, a Memorandum of Consensus were signed by the directors of 10 research institutes from China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
The Workshop was featured with a field trip to Mai Po Nature Reserve. During the half-day trip, the Workshop participants had made close observation and investigation on the wetland ecosystem and its management practices. The field trip were guided by experts and specialists from WWF and HKBU, provided an excellent opportunity to the Workshop participants for the better understanding about the ecosystem of mangrove, secondary forest, and Hong Kong common bird and tree species.
International Symposium on Remote Sensing and GIS Methods for Change Detection and Spatio-temporal Modelling (CDSM 2011) (14-16 December, 2011)
The International Symposium on Remote Sensing and GIS Methods for Change Detection and Spatio-temporal Modelling (CDSM 2011) was held during 14-16 December 2011 at the Hong Kong Baptist University. It was an official academic event of the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS) and was jointly organized by ISPRS Working Group VII/5 “Methods for change detection and process modelling”; the Department of Geography and the Centre for Geo-computation Studies (CGS), Hong Kong Baptist University; the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-informatics, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University; and the Institute of Space and Earth Information Science, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
The aim of the symposium was to enhance international collaboration and scholar exchange in the field of remote sensing change detection and spatio-temporal modelling. The focus also extended to the study of geo-process modelling using long-term remotely sensed and geographical data. The meeting intended to promote and encourage collaborative efforts for the development of new technology for processing multi-temporal imagery, detecting changing environment and objects, and modelling long-term geo-processes.
It was an honour to have Prof. Rick Wong, the Vice-president (Research & Development) of the Hong Kong Baptist University; Prof. Georg Bareth, the Co-chair of ISPRS Working GROUP VII/5; and Prof. Xiao-li Ding, the Head of Department of Land Surveying and Geo-informatics, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University addressing the welcome speech at the opening ceremony.
Four distinguished speakers were invited to give keynote speeches. They were Prof. Deren Li from Wuhan University, China; Prof. Matthew Hansen from the University of Maryland, USA; Prof. Gunter Menz from University of Bonn, Germany; and Prof. Peng Gong from the University of California at Berkeley, USA. Their keynote speeches were well-received at the symposium and stimulated a lot of discussion..
The CDSM 2011 has attracted about 100 participants from 12 countries/regions. Altogether, 32 papers were presented in the two-day symposium, representing 10 countries. Papers presented at the symposium will later be selected for publication in a special issue of the International Journal of Image Data and Fusion (Taylor & Francis).
The symposium ended with a field trip to Mai Po Nature Reserve and Tai Po Kau Special Area. There were 19 participants from China, France and Vietnam who enjoyed a wonderful tour at Mai Po Nature Reserve and Tai Po Kau Special Area, in which they learned a lot more about mangrove ecosystem, secondary forest, and Hong Kong common bird and tree species.
Seminar on “Hong Kong Energy Statistics” (28 October, 2011)
On 28 October 2011, Hong Kong Energy Studies Centre held a seminar on “Hong Kong Energy Statistics“. The speaker was Mr. M.S. Kam, a senior engineer from the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) from the Government of Hong Kong SAR. The seminar was well attended by students who engaged in an enthusiastic and stimulating discussion during the question-and-answer session.
Seminar on “Climate Change and Electricity Generation” (6 July, 2012)
Hong Kong Energy Studies Centre, Departments of Economics, Geography and Physics of HKBU, together with Hong Kong Association for Energy Economics (HKAEE), jointly organized a half-day seminar on “Climate Change and Electricity Generation” on 6 July 2012 at Hong Kong Baptist University
Prof. Larry Chow was the chairman of the seminar. Prof. Adrian Bailey, Dean of Social Sciences, delivered the opening speech. Three speakers included: 1) Prof. Adonis Yatchew, Editor-in-Chief of The Energy Journal and Professor of Economics, University of Toronto, Canada; 2) Prof. Hoesung Lee, Professor, Graduate School of Energy and Environment, Korea University, and Vice Chair of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of UN; and 3) Mr. C.C. Ngan, Director of CLP Research Institute. A panel discussion was held after their presentations.
The Seminar attracted an audience of about 90 people, including engineers, senior executives and other professionals of local energy firms, academics and students, researchers from political parties and environmental groups, who engaged in an enthusiastic and inspiring discussion during the Q&A and panel discussion sessions.
Workshop on “Historical GIS: Dialogue Between Geographers and Historians” (22 March, 2012)
This workshop was organized by the Centre for China Urban and Regional Studies (CURS), jointly with the Department of Geography, the Department of History, the Centre for Geo-computation Studies and the David C. Lam Institute for East-West Studies (LEWI) of the HKBU. It was held at HKBU on 22 March 2012 and targeted those interested in historical GIS. Five speakers were invited to give talks. They included Prof. Zhou Qiming, Director of the Centre for Geo-computation Studies, Department of Geography, HKBU; Prof. Lee Kam-keung from Department of History, HKBU; Prof. So Kee-kong Billy from Division of Humanities, HKUST, Dr. Tam Ka Chai from Department of History, HKBU, and Dr. Zhang Peiyao from Institute of Space and Earth Information Science, CUHK. Prof. Adrian Bailey, the Dean of Faculty of Social Science (HKBU), also gave an opening remark at the workshop. The five speakers presented and shared their research with more than 40 teaching faculty members and students from the HKBU, HKU and CUHK. In an exciting discussion between geographers and historians, the audiences found plenty of illumination and a good deal of enlightenment with each study presented, which made for a significant academic exchange.
International Workshop on Urban Utopianism (12-14 May, 2011)
The International Workshop on Urban Utopianism was held at the Hong Kong Baptist University from 12 to 14 May 2011. The Workshop was organized by the HKBU Department of Geography, and with the Urban Research Plaza at Osaka City University, Japan, as the co-organiser.
This international workshop invited speakers across the world. It provided detailed cases of experiment and argues conceptually different ways to imagine a different city. Sessions cover the different roles of art, urban, community, science, media, in mobilising and defending utopian thinking, countering hegemonic spaces and ideologies, as well as redefining urban questions and politics. Alternative practices were presented, including housing for the homeless, everyday life, and other social spaces. For Henri Lefebvre, the world space has been colonised by commodity capitalism and state management and planning. Yet, out of the isotopias in urban space, there are heterotopias developed out of contradictions. This is where our utopia, the differential space, is developed.
There conference programme comprised 16 sessions, 30 papers and a field trip to Sham Shui Po. Around 70 participants attended the conference, including research students and scholars from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mainland China, Japan, Korea, India, Abu Dhabi, Turkey, Germany, Finland, Switzerland, U.S. and U.K.
Fourth Asian Energy Conference on “Electricity Sector and Renewable Energy cum Hong Kong Energy Policy” (3 December, 2010)
The Department continues to strengthen its international academic links by organizing international conferences and workshops, often in conjunction with the Centre for China Urban and Regional Studies (CURS) and the Asian Energy Studies Centre (AESC) (formerly the Hong Kong Energy Studies Centre) (HKESC). Some of the recent activities included the International Conference on Globalization, the State, and Urban Transformation in China, the International Conference on Energy Market Reform, the Workshop on Spatial Analysis and Decision Making, the Workshop on Transportation Survey Methods, and the Conference on the Colonial Governmentality and the Production of Space in Hong Kong. These conferences and workshops were very successful and helped the Department in pursuing international linkages.
International Conference on China Urban Development (7-8 December, 2010)
To unravel the enigma behind China’s ultra-rapid urbanization, the Centre of Urban Studies and Urban Planning (CUSUP) of the University of Hong Kong and the Centre for China Urban and Regional Studies (CURS) of Hong Kong Baptist University joined forces to hold the”International Conference on China Urban Development”on 7 and 8 December 2010. The main venue was at the University of Hong Kong, with the conference dinner on 8 December held at the Hong Kong Baptist University. The Conference also served to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the CUSUP and the 10th Anniversary of the CURS.
Co-chairing the Conference Organizing Committee were Prof. Anthony Yeh of CUSUP and Prof. Li Si-ming of CURS. Other members of the Organizing Committee included Prof. Roger Chan of CUSUP, Prof. Wang Donggen of CURS, Prof. George Lin of the Department of Geography at the University of Hong Kong, and Prof. Shen Jianfa of the Department of Geography and Resource Management at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Exemplifying the spirit of inter-institutional collaboration, Prof. Tsui Lap-chee, Vice Chancellor of HKU, and Prof. Albert Chan, President and Vice Chancellor of HKBU, gave their respective welcome addresses in the opening ceremony. Underscoring the importance of China¡¦s urban development, Mrs. Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, Secretary for Development of the Hong Kong SAR Government, also delivered her opening address.
Three keynote speeches were delivered at the Conference. Dr. Qiu Baoxing, Vice-Minister, Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, the People’s Republic of China, gave the first keynote on “New Trends of Urban Development and Planning in China”. Prof. Zou Deci, Academician, Chinese Academy of Engineering; and Senior Consultant, China Academy of Urban Planning and Design, gave the second keynote address on “An Overview of Urban Development in China”. The third keynote, given by Prof. John Logan, Director of the Spatial Structures in the Social Sciences, Department of Sociology, Brown University, USA, was titled “The Essence of Chinese Urbanism: A Macro-historical Interpretation”.
More than 150 paper presenters and other participants from Hong Kong, mainland China, Taiwan, USA, UK, France, Australia, and many other countries contributed to the Conference’s 25 paper sessions. In addition to the three keynote speakers, attending the Conference included other leading figures in China Urban Studies, such as Prof. Wu Fulong from the United Kingdom; Professors Cui Gonghao, Gu Chaolin, Ning Yuemin and Du Debin from the Mainland; Professors Laurence J. C. Ma, Jack Williams and Cindy C. Fan from the United States; and Prof. Carolyn Cartier from Australia. Of note was the presence of a large number of young researchers, which demonstrated the vitality of China Urban Studies as a field of study.
A total of 78 papers were presented, covering various aspects of China’s urban transformation. The Organizing Committee is currently actively examining the possibility of publishing selected papers from the Conference as theme issues in refereed journals.
Two conference dinners were held. The first one, held at Jumbo Kingdom Restaurant, was hosted by CUSUP. The second dinner, which also served as the Closing Ceremony of the Conference as well as a dinner to celebrate the 10thAnniversary of CURS, was held at Renfrew Seafood Restaurant at Hong Kong Baptist University on 8 December 2010.
The outreach of the Conference stretched far beyond academia. In addition to having leading government officials from the Central People’s Government of China and from the Hong Kong SAR Government delivering keynote speeches and opening addresses, delegates from the Planning Department and the Central Policy Unit of the Hong Kong SAR Government also attended the Conference.
Two post-conference field excursions were held. The CUSUP organized a local one-day tour to visit the Hong Kong Urban Renewal Authority and the Hong Kong Planning and Infrastructure Exhibition Gallery to learn more about urban renewal and the planning process in Hong Kong. The CURS held a two-day fieldtrip to Guangzhou to see how the latter has attempted to reposition itself as a world city. Delegates visited the new Guangzhou Opera House and the Central Axis at the Zhujiang New Town, the Guangzhou Toyota Motor Co. Ltd. and an urban village in Tianhe. In addition, delegates had a ride of the Guangzhou-Wuhan High-speed Railway.
Seminar on “Writing and Publishing in Geography, Urban Studies and Contemporary China” (4 March, 2010)
This seminar was a joint venture of the Centre for China Urban and Regional Studies (CURS) and the Department of Geography, HKBU, together with the Department of Geography and Resource Management at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. This seminar was held at HKBU on 4 March 2010 and targeted those interested in writing high-quality papers and publishing their research works. All four speakers are members of the Editorial Board of various international publications. They included Prof. Elvin Wyly, Co-editor of Urban Geography, and member of the Editorial Board, GeoJournal, Housing Policy Debate, City, Geography Compass, and Urban Affairs Review; Prof. Jianfa Shen, Executive Member of the Editorial Board, China Review; Prof. Tang Wing Shing, Department of Geography, HKBU, and East Asia Editor and member of the Editorial Board, Human Geography: A New Radical Journal; and Prof. Li Si Ming, Director of CURS, and member of the Editorial Board of China Reviewand Journal of Geographical Science, and member of the International Advisory Board,Housing Studies. The speakers presented their ideas and shared their skills to more than 40 teaching faculty members and students from the HKBU, the University of Hong Kong and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. The audiences all found the seminar and the discussion very useful and inspiring.
The 14th Hong Kong Society for Transportation Studies (HKSTS) International Conference (10-12 December, 2009)
The 14th HKSTS International Conference was held from 10th to 12th December 2009 at the InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong. The Conference was jointly organized by the Department of Geography and the Centre for China Urban and Regional Studies, HKBU; in cooperation with the Hong Kong Society for Transportation Studies. Prof. Donggen Wang and Prof. Li Si Ming were the co-chairmen of the organizing committee with members from five local universities. The Conference was sponsored by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in Hong Kong; the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers; the Hong Kong Geographical Association; and the Eastern Asia Society for Transport Studies. The theme of the Conference was “Transportation and Geography“, and was aimed at drawing the attention of scholars, practitioners and policy makers to the interdependencies between transportation and territorial developments. The Conference was a great success, attracting more than 150 participants from around 30 countries, including mainland China, the United States, the Netherlands, Denmark, India, Spain, Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong. A total of 110 papers were presented at the conference, covering topics on transportation and geography, air transportation, network analysis, public transportation, activity-travel demand modelling, logistics and freight transportation, etc. Prof. Tang Tao, Associate Vice-President of the University, delivered a welcome address at the conference. Mrs. Ava Ng Tse, Director of the Planning Department, Hong Kong SAR Government; and Prof. Harry Timmermans, Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands, were the keynote speakers. Five internationally renowned scholars: Prof. Kevin O’Connor, Drs. Anthony Chen, H.P. Lo, Francisco Martnez and Junyi Zhang, were invited speakers at the plenary sessions. Two volumes of proceedings were published.
Forum on “The New Territories under Transformation” (18 July, 2009)
Dr. Tang Wing Shing organised a forum entitled “The New Territories under Transformation” in the afternoon of 18 July 2009, with the objective of addressing development issues in the New Territories from the perspectives of planning and administration, environmental politics, sectoral development, and social movement.
The New Territories has just become the new urban frontier. Instead of being the periphery, it is now the hinterland for the strategic integration of Hong Kong with the Mainland. There emerges a whole new set of social, planning and environmental issues, including the construction of the Hongkong-Shenzhen-Guangzhou Express Rail Link, the opening up of the restricted zones, the construction of a new border-crossing counter and the development of ecologically sensitive areas. Besides, old issues such as land monopoly, new town development and small-house policy have become much more complicated development concerns
To meet with these objectives, Dr. Tang, the Chairman of the Forum, invited Mr. Jimmy Leung of the Planning Department, HKSAR Government, to speak on “The Future Development Directions of the New Territories”; Dr. Hung Wing Tat of the Conservancy Association to address “The Success and Failure of the Conservation Policy in the New Territories”; Dr. Chan Man Hung of the China Business Centre of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University to argue “Urban Integration and Local Community Development: Contradictions in Unity” and Mr. Chu Hoi Dick of the Support Group to the Choi Yuen Village to speculate on “The Expected Spatial Justice Movement in the New Territories”. Well attended by around 100 participants, the Forum had heated discussion on the development issues in the New Territories.
International Workshop on “Urban Redevelopment in East Asian Cities: A People’s Approach” (7-9 May, 2009)
The Department organised, with additional funding from the Research Committee, an international workshop entitled “Urban Redevelopment in East Asian Cities: A People¡¦s Approach”, on 7-9 May 2009 at Hong Kong Baptist University.
Urban redevelopment activities are currently widespread in most cities in East Asia. It is, however, commonplace that this development process has led to the displacement of population, demolition of older buildings, some with high historical values, and the obliteration of more tranquil and lively neighbourhoods to yield vacant land for redevelopment. In general, the public, and the poor in particular, have been worst hit by redevelopment.
This Workshop broadly applied a framework that invokes Henri Lefebvre, Antonio Gramsci, Michel Foucault, David Harvey and John Allens to comprehend how urban hegemony is achieved in urban redevelopment projects and assess the possibility of counter-hegemonic construction. This is a novel framework that has not been tested in the rest of the world. Empirically, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore, Taipei and Seoul were included as case studies for elaboration. These are cases that delineate the rights and obligations of urban residents by the town planning system, land administration system and welfare system, that elaborate the spatial stories of the people in urban redevelopment projects and that document cases of resistance to urban redevelopment by the people. Some of these cases reported grassroots activities, a rare, but invaluable feature of the academic conference.
There were altogether 8 panels, 13 papers and a one-day field trip in the programme. At the end of the Workshop, it was concluded that given the cruel reality, there are still alternatives for people. In other words, spaces of hope are forthcoming. Given its significance, the Workshop, which was advertised in Ming Pao Daily, was well attended by around 80 participants, both local and overseas (e.g. US, Finland, South Korea, Taiwan), even though it was mildly disturbed by an outbreak of H1N1 Influenza in early May (as a result, 4 papers pulled out at the last minute).
International Conference on “China Energy” (Third Asian Energy Conference) (4 September, 2008)
Sixteen prominent energy specialists from Hong Kong, Canada, Japan, Taiwan, Mainland China, Australia and Belgium presented papers at the Third Asia Energy Conference held at HKBU on 4 September 2008. The Conference, with a focus on China energy, was organized by the Hong Kong Energy Studies Centre (HKESC) and co-organised by the Geography Department, HKBU. The papers of the Conference addressed four areas: (1) energy efficiency and conservation; (2) new technology and energy; (3) gas and oil; and (4) energy policies. The papers of another three non-attending authors were also tabled at the Conference. Prof. Ng Ching-fai, President and Vice-Chancellor of HKBU, was invited to deliver the opening speech at the Conference.
The Conference attracted an audience of about 60 people, including government officials from the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department and the Environmental Protection Department, senior executives and representatives of local energy firms, academics from local tertiary institutions and students, who engaged in enthusiastic and inspiring discussion during the question-and-answer session.
Following the Conference, the editorial committee, chaired by Dr. C.K. Woo, Senior Partner of Energy and Environmental Economics, Inc., California and comprising Prof. Larry Chow, Prof. Anthony D. Owen and Prof. W. David Walls, selected 11 papers on 5 September 2008 for a special issue of Energy Policy dedicated to the Conference.