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HKBU Pioneers a HK$4 million-interdisciplinary Study on the Role of Big Data Analytics in Promoting Smart Low-carbon Cities


An international, multi-disciplinary research team led by the Department of Geography at HKBU is spearheading a novel study to find out how households can make a collective impact, as communities, in decarbonising cities.  Drawing on expertise from three departments (Geography, Computer Science and Physics) across the Faculty of Social Sciences, Faculty of Science, and Academy of Visual Arts, the team will test how energy behavioural change of 600 sampled households in four communities in Hong Kong can be catalysed by the combined use of app-based big data analytics and innovative engagement strategies. The study aims to develop and test a model of “Smart Low-carbon Community” for enabling behavioural change among residential electricity consumers.


The project, titled “Exploring the role of big data analytics in promoting smart low-carbon cities: A human-centered, community-based, and deep engagement approach in Hong Kong”, will be delivered by an interdisciplinary research consortium involving 17 co-investigators/collaborators in nine renowned research institutions in Hong Kong and overseas research institutions including Stanford, Kyoto University, and Seoul National University. Nine collaborating organisations from the business, school and societal sectors are also engaging with the project. Based on a long-standing research network hosted by HKBU’s Asian Energy Studies Centre, this interdisciplinary project will combine expertise in data science, climatology, energy modelling, blockchain, GIS, energy resource assessment, energy policies, participatory art and deliberative polling to address a complex problem using a systemic approach. 


“This project will advance the research frontier of human-centered approaches to using big data analytics to promote urban low-carbon transitions through and with communities," remarked Dr Daphne Mah, Director, Asian Energy Studies Centre and Associate Professor, Department of Geography, HKBU. “We will generate new standards for benchmarking the new social dynamics in urban low-carbon transitions and develop new public engagement strategies.”


The study recently received funding of nearly HK$4 million by the Research Grants Council’s Research Impact Fund in recognition of its great volume of collaborative research beyond academia, as well as the expectation of a positive impact that will deliver benefits to the wider community.