Urban heat island diagram
Microclimate concerns the climate at a local level. In the case of Kwai Chung, it is mainly constituted by urban morphology, building density, vegetation and ground cover.

1. Urban Heat island effect

Kwai Chung urban centre suffers from a serious urban heat island effect. According to the Hong Kong Urban Climatic Analysis map, Kwai Tsing town centre is level 6-7 out of 8 in terms of urban heat island intensity.1 This phenomenon is closely related to the high heat-related illness in the area.

A thermal map along Rambler's Channel

1.1 Ventilation corridor

Also it has weak wind permeability. Although there are breezeways along Kwai Tsing Road, Hing Fong Road and Kwai Chung Road, buildings in urban areas are taller and densely packed.2 Therefore, wind speed is lower and the heat produced within the urban areas are faster.

1.2 Social aspect

In terms of social aspect, social equity is closely related to the heat island effect and the site is gathered with elderly, low income people, and elementary occupations.3

1.3 Urban Morphology

Urban morphology is closely related to the urban heat island effect. While at the same time, there are building regulations, like PNAP APP-152, restricting and monitoring the energy performance/ efficiency of buildings to regulate the heat waste generated by buildings.4

1.4 Greenery

Fragmentation of greenery also constitutes a role in affecting the microclimate in Kwai Tsing. The level of fragmentation increases from the water channel to the inland area of Kwai Tsing.

2. Opportunities and constraints




Modification in street paving and building covers

Involves a range of stakeholders and different government departments


Engagement with the local disadvantaged group

low height land use to increase the wind permeability


Several low-wind permeability areas

Reassessment in building height

Improvement in microclimate in Kwai Tsing can improve the health conditions and social mobility of the people

Narrow streets and undesirable street conditions 

Measuring surface temperature through landsat 8 (band 10-11) images in GIS- differentiating the hot spots and cool spots at the urban area


Coastal resilience strategies

Sustainable guidelines

Recording the trend of heat-related illness at the area


Environmental landscaping



Shadowing effect done by the footbridges and undercroft


Meeting them and interviewing the conditions.

1 Ng, W. Y. Y., Xu, Y., Wang. W. and Zhou, W. (2016).
Urban heat islands in Hong Kong: statistical modeling and trend detection. Pringer Science+Business Media Dordrecht

2 Plannning Department. (2012). The Concept Plan for the Proposed Building Height Profile of Kwai Tsing.

3 Peng, F., Shi, W. Z., Wilson, G.J., Wong, M. S. and Zou, B. (2016). Spatially Analyzing the Inequity of the Hong Kong Urban Heat Island by Socio-Demographic Characteristics. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

4 Buidling Department. (2016). Building Separation Requirements. PNAP APP-152.