Today we are told that more than 50% of the global population live in urban areas. If we keep on with this growth rate, by 2050, 70% of the world’s population will be urbanized. Sure enough, urban development presents numerous challenges to society. Yet at the same time, this gives rise to opportunities for people to reflect on effective natural resource management (land, water and air resources) that can sustain the growth of future cities.

bannerAn Urban World, UNICEF

As one of the top 10 densely populated cities on the globe, Hong Kong comes under the spotlight when we discuss key challenges of urbanization. Mr. Matthew Pryor (Head of the Division of Landscape Architecture) from HKU was invited to contribute a set of online learning resources to Universitas 21 (U21)’s Shared Online Course titled “Planetary Urbanization: Global Challenges in a Changing World.” Primarily led by University College Dublin, this 5-week course focuses on identifying challenges that planetary urbanisation presents for the growing number of cities around the world.

banner List of Countries by Population Density, Statistics Times

In collaboration with TELI, Mr. Pryor delivered insightful topics that cover the past and present form of Hong Kong’s built environment and its relation to public health issues for Module 4. With his deep reservoir of knowledge on the history and society of Hong Kong, Mr. Pryor articulates how this highly dense city still achieved a healthy city status. Combining his narration with images and footages that show the community’s ‘real side,’ the videos are eloquent of the impact that urban living has on our well-being.


*Registration for this course is open to U21 students only. As HKU is a partner institution of the U21 Network, HKU students may register at for the next run of the course (early 2017).