CCCH9033 China: Culture, State and Society
Sustainable Urban Development and Hong Kong

This course is under the thematic cluster(s) of:

  • Sustaining Cities, Cultures, and the Earth (SCCE)
  • The Human Life Span (HL)

Course Description

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were set up by the United Nations in 2015 to “achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.” In response to the SDGs, this  course explores how Hong Kong responds and reacts to various issues related to sustainable urban living.  As a global city with unique cultural, historical, economic and political setups, sustainability is a pressing concern and holds the key to the long-term urban development of Hong Kong.  The emphasis of the course is on understanding sustainable urban development in the context of a high-density, market-oriented Asian world city.

Urban sustainability is more than an environmental concept: It also includes the ethical utilization of resources, geographical equity, both inter- and intra-generational equity; as well as touching upon such social, economic and political issues, accommodating multi-cultural and diversified aspirations, ensuring public engagement and nurturing public participation and partnership in the development process.  The course offers a regional and comparative perspective to the understanding of the challenges that Hong Kong faces in maintaining her competitive role in the Greater Bay Area and the world.

[There will be a compulsory field trip in the semester.]

Course Learning Outcomes

On completing the course, students will be able to:

  1. Explain urban sustainability challenges at the global level and examine responses in Hong Kong.
  2. Use various sources of information to assess Hong Kong’s performance in terms of tackling various global issues.
  3. Apply knowledge generated in the cases of Hong Kong to understand and examine sustainable urban development issues in Chinese cities.
  4. Demonstrate a reflective response to global sustainability challenges in the context of Hong Kong and an awareness of the implications of such responses on the challenges China is facing in post-Covid-19 era.

Offer Semester and Day of Teaching

First semester (Wed)

Study Load

Activities Number of hours
Lectures 20
Tutorials 10
Fieldwork / Visits 15
Reading / Self-study 45
Video 5
Assessment: In-class assessments 15
Assessment: Presentation (incl preparation) 40
Total: 150

Assessment: 100% coursework

Assessment Tasks Weighting
Class participation 10
Individual oral presentation on selected reading 10
Reflection writing 30
In-class quizzes 10
Group project 40

Required Reading

Required reading for tutorial sessions:

  • Chiu, S., & Lui, T. -L. (2009). Hong Kong: Becoming a Chinese Global City. London: Routledge. [pp. 152-162]
  • Chu, C. (2007). Heritage of disappearance? Shekkipmei and collective memory(s) in post-handover Hong Kong. Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review, 18(2), 43-55.
  • Ku, A. S., & Tsui, C. H. -C. (2009). The ‘Global City’ as a Cultural Project. In Hong Kong. HKU Press: Hong Kong. [pp. 354-365]
  • Li, L.- H., Wong, S. K. K., & Cheung, K. S. (2016). Land supply and housing prices in Hong Kong: The political economy of urban land policy. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 34(5), 981–998.
  • McFarlane, C. (2021). Repopulating density: COVID-19 and the politics of urban value. Urban Studies, 0(0). From
  • Tracey, A., Trumbull, K., & Loh, C. (2007). The Impact of Climate Change in Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta. China perspectives, 2007(69), 18-29.
  • UN.ESCAP. (2020). The future of Asian & Pacific cities: transformative pathways towards sustainable urban development in the post COVID-19 era. From: [pp. 8-50]
  • UNESCO & World Bank. (2021). Cities, Culture, Creativity: Leveraging Culture and Creativity for Sustainable Urban Development and Inclusive Growth. UNESCO: Paris and World Bank: Washington, DC. [pp. 12-21, 88-96]
  • Xia, C., Yeh, A. G. -O., & Zhang, A. Q. (2020). Analyzing spatial relationships between urban land use intensity and urban vitality at street block level: A case study of five Chinese megacities. Landscape and Urban Planning, 193, 103669.

Course Co-ordinator and Teacher(s)

Course Co-ordinator Contact
Dr C.P. Connolly
Department of Urban Planning and Design, Faculty of Architecture
Tel: 3917 4895
Teacher(s) Contact
Dr C.P. Connolly
Department of Urban Planning and Design, Faculty of Architecture
Tel: 3917 4895