Code : 2021053
Event Name : Rethinking the City: Social Sustainability and Urban Commons
CPD Code : Formal Events
Speaker : Prof Ling Kar-Kan, SBS
PRC Registered Urban Planner Qualification
Director Jockey Club Design Institute for Social Innovation
Professor of Practice (Planning). PolyU
Adjunct Professor, HKU & CUHK
Associate Fellow, University College of Estate Management
Prof K. K. Ling is the Adjunct Professor of the University of Hong Kong and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Professor of Practice (Planning) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He is also the Associate Fellow of the University College of Estate Management, UK.
He is now the Director of Jockey Club Design Institute for Social Innovation of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He also serves the community as the Vice Chairman of the Hong Kong Housing Society, Director of the Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited and Chairman of its Entrepreneurship Committee, and the Chairman of the Country and Marine Parks Board.
He was the Director of Planning of HKSAR Government and President of the Hong Kong Institute of Planners.

Dr. Norah Wang
Dr. Wang’s research focuses on governance and social value creation. IMPACT ANALYTICS (IA) is a think-and-do tank that she set up, in November, 2020, to build social impact management capacities among professionals, managers and investors, to build social impact ecosystems and to conduct research on social innovations that address wicked problems. IA is a member of Social Value International. Dr. Wang has led several big projects including the construction of a CEO competency model for NGO leaders in Hong Kong, ISO26000-based CSR assessment in collaboration with the Hong Kong Council of Social Service, and the performance monitoring system of social services in Hong Kong (funded by the Policy Innovation and Co-ordination Office). Norah is a consultant at the Hong Kong Institute of Social Impact Analysts (HKI-SIA). Together, they conducted social return on investment (SROI) studies on the Aging-in-Place programme by the Hong Kong Housing Society and the potential impact of a Central Benefits System for the Hong Kong government.
Dr. Wang was a research assistant professor at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University until June, 2020. Prior to that, she did two post-docs with the University of Hong Kong, one with the Dept. of Politics and Public Administration and the other one is with Dept. of Social Work and Social Administration. And she has a Ph.D. in behavioral economics and organizational behavior. Norah now is also an associate of the Centre for Social Innovation under the Cambridge Judge Business School.
Event Date : 2021-03-26
Event Time : 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Registration Closing Date : 2021-03-25
CPD Hour(s) : 1.5
Venue : By online media - ZOOM
Division : PDD
Organizer : Planning & Development Division
Fee : HK$ 150 for probationer and student member, HK$ 180 for full-member and associate member; HK$ 200 for non-member (free for the first 50 Student Members)**
Priority : HKIS members (First-come-first-served)
Language : Cantonese supplemented by English
Details :

Social sustainability has become a new area of concern for urban planners and real estate developers. For pioneering urbanist Ebenezer Howard (1965 [1898]), city land had value not because of the intrinsic worth of the buildings and soil, but because of the density of people and activities that took place there. Urban value was predicated on location, an inherently relational phenomenon. The more people that lived in a place and the more they did there; the higher the value of the place.  That leads to the question, “How to enhance social sustainability of a city like Hong Kong in view of its unique urban renewal and development challenges?”  However, there is a lack of discussions in Hong Kong on guidelines and standards that can guide social sustainability practices. This seminar is intended to contribute to the discussions in this regard.   

This seminar is intended to contribute to the discussions in this regard. The seminar will start with Prof. KK Ling (10 mins) giving a short overview of current urban planning trends in Hong Kong, which covers:  a) the function of urban planning in the context of Hong Kong as pledged in the preamble of the Town Planning Ordinance; b) the sustainable development approach now embedded in the public policy making as a result of the advocacy in the study of “Sustainable Development for the 21st Century” (SUSDEV 21) completed by the Planning Department in 1999;

and c) a very brief highlight of the practice of social impact assessment in some recent major planning and development feasibility studies and URA projects.

Dr. Norah Wang will then lead a discussion (30mins) as to a blind spot in current functionalist and regulatory approach to sustainability management vis-à-vis social sustainability. She then will bring in the topic of urban commons with real local and international examples. Howard’s theory of value as mentioned above, Kornberger and Borch (2015) argue, is a theory of the urban commons.

It will be followed by a discussion led by Norah (30mins) on the importance and implications of integrating social impact assessment frameworks—an increasingly seen practice—in the management of urban renewal and development projects.  Last but not least, SROI methods will be briefly introduced to the participants.

The seminar will end with a Panel Discussion (20 mins) led by Sr Edmond Yew regarding urban planning and sustainability management.

Remarks :

** Student members please fill in the standard registration form and send to [email protected] The standard registration form is available at

The event will be conducted online via ZOOM. Successful registrants will be notified separately via email with the web link in due course to the online event.

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Payment : HKD 180