Faculty Niche Research Area

About Smart Societies

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Our Faculty is the first in Hong Kong and China to launch an integrated programme of research and exchange on Smart Societies. Smart Societies are those where technology assists people to lead improved lives. We research the possible actions and consequences of smart societies. We share our original research online and through open lectures. Our approach is global and transdisciplinary. We collaborate internationally and draw the best practices from around the world. Our research is problem-driven and focuses on areas of key significance to China and Asia, creating new knowledge. The research of the Faculty explores the following three themes:


Environmental and Urban Systems

Including smart cities, smart energy, smart heritage, smart homes, resilient cities, global change and evolution and planetary urbanization

Populations and Well-being

Including active ageing, ethnic and racial studies, transnational networks, digital family hood, healthy living, digital divide and digital health care systems

Learning, Praxis and Governance

Including egovernance, smart schools, disintermediated education, citizen science and data analytics applications


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Director, Faculty Niche Research Area

Prof. Jean-Pierre CABESTAN, Chair Professor, Department of Government and International Studies

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Environmental and Urban Systems Theme Convenor     

Prof. Bernhart R. OWEN, Professor, Department of Geography

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Populations and Well-being Theme Convenor

Prof. Shirley HUNG, Professor and Head, Department of Social Work

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Learning, Praxis and Governance Theme Convenor

Prof. Vicky TAM, Professor and Associate Head, Department of Education Studies

Selected Projects



Urban environment, health and well-being in Hong Kong: accounting for the role of daily activity and time use patterns of different population groups

Led by Prof. Wang Donggen (Department of Geography)


Trust and the Smart City

Led by Prof. Alistair Cole  (Depratment of Government and International Studies)


Shaping Discrimination? Tracking Print Media and Social Media Portrayal of Mainlanders in Hong Kong since 1997

Led by Dr. Li Yao Tai (Department of Sociology)


Developing a Community Research Network : A Transdisciplinary Data Hub bridging Social, Community and Digital Infrastructures for Positive Human Development

Led by Prof. Shirley Hung (Department of Social Work)


The mediating effect of health literacy on the relationship between cognitive and physical functions and health-related quality of life among older adults: a mixed-method study

Led by Prof. Chow Bik Chu (Department of Sport, Physical Education and Health )      


The positive effects of online Mindfulness-based intervention for people with depression in Hong Kong

Led by Dr. Young Kim-wan, Daniel (Department of Social Work)