CHAU Kwai Cheong 鄒桂昌

Research Projects

  • Community Perception of Landscapes : Investigating Structures and Functions
  • MARAFA Lawal Mohammed, CHAU Kwai Cheong, FUNG Tung
    7 January 2007

    Community perceptions of landscapes have metamorphosed from simply viewing them as appearances of land with natural and cultural values to seeing them as tangible units with structure and functions. This view gives character to a place and thus characterizes the way the public and decision-makers react to such places. Where landscapes are open and prone to various impacts of development, there are consequences of land use changes that can affect the perceived structure and function of such landscapes. As most decisions on landscapes will be based to some extent on their structure or function, this study intend to 1) investigate the multi-functional aspects of landscapes; 2) will seek to understand their values and functions in a human-environment interface; and 3) will integrate such data and results for visualization and consequently explore the land use change through participatory system using geographical tools. In order to achieve the objectives enumerated and the integration of results, the study will focus on the landscapes in the selected country parks of the New Territories in Hong Kong. The New Territories is an attractive area that is generating attention to policy makers and general public as it is slated for further development. As this study unfolds, it helps reseachers, planners and decision makers in identifying the need for integration, and the relationships that are centred around human-environment interface. The research will hopefully pave the way for producing an earmarked research grant application. (SS06707)

  • From Mass Tourism to Ecotourism: Re-Engineering the Hong Kong Country Park System
  • MARAFA Lawal Mohammed, CHAU Kwai Cheong
    1 March 2005
    CUHK Research Committee Funding (Direct Grants)

    Ecotourism is becoming more and more popular especially where there is abundant pristine natural environment. These, natural environment, particularly national and country parks, are at risk of losing their naturalness that attracts ecotourists in the first place. The more people get involved in ecotourism activities, the greater the risk posed to the natural environment. In Hong Kong, the Country parks constitute the main natural environment that is protected and operates with specific objectives of conservation, education and recreation. Meeting these objectives and the fact that ecotourism is becoming popular in these parks poses fundamental conflicts in management objectives.

    This research will study how this conflict can be managed, how issues and or problems could be addressed so that the country parks will provide for and accommodate the growing trend of ecotourism. To this end, the study will investigate and develop a potential index that can be used for the measurement of ecotourism development potential in the country parks. This index will be complemented with the development of indicators for the sustainability of ecotourism activities. The study will further attempt to find out the basic ingredients of ecotourism that can be locally adaptable. Finally, the research will develop a framework that will promote and provide a symbiotic relationship between the country park and ecotourism activities.

    Based on this, the work will seek to integrate ecological, economic and social aspects of ecotourism within the country park system. This will form a platform that will re-engineer the country parks while at the same time saving them from the adverse effects of mass tourism. (SS04645)

  • Study on a Sustainable Urban Development at Yau Tong, Victoria Harbour
  • CHAU Kwai Cheong, LAI Pong Wai, LEE Wai Ying Joanna, LEUNG Wai Han Maggi, SHEN Jianfa, YAU Tik Shan
    1 December 2004
    Main Wealth Development Limited

    Project Objectives
    Overall Objectives:

    - To conduct a sustainability study in order to make the Yau Tong Bay Development into a model for sustainability.

    Specific objectives:

    - To review the EIA report of the proposed reclamation and Yau Tong Bay Development in the light of sustainability concept

    - To develop sustainability framework and action plan for construction and operation phases of the proposed reclamation and development

    - To performance independent checking/audit of implementation of the sustainability action plan

    - To recommend any additional works for attaining the goal to making Yau Tong Bay Development a model for sustainability


    - Workshop Plan: We will prepare a workshop plan in liaison with the Client, including venue, programme, logistic arrangement, list of intended participants and key issues to be addressed. Briefing notes and presentations will be prepared by the Consortium and/or their consultants

    - Stakeholders Workshop: We will host the workshop at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and facilitate discussions and consensus building

    - Summary Report of Workshop Findings: We will prepare and circulate the finalized summary report to all workshop participants

    - Sustainability Framework: This will include the sustainability themes identified and agreed by the multi-stakeholders, the sustainability checklists for project implementation and the goals, actions and targets identified during the development of the sustainability themes.

    - Sustainability Action Plans for Project Implementation: Sustainability action plans for the implementation work packages during various phases such as reclamation, land remediation and development will be developed. The timing of this deliverable however is subject to the decision on the project implementation and hence cannot be determined at this stage

    - Independent checking reports: We will report on the success/failure of implementation of the action plan and recommend remediation if necessary. The submission schedule will be determined when the construction and operation programmes are better known. (SS04844)

  • Tsuen Wan District Council Tourism Study
  • CHAU Kwai Cheong, LAI Pong Wai, LEE Wai Ying Joanna, YAU Tik Shan
    1 January 2005
    Tsuen Wan District Council

    1. Study Objectives

    As a result of the shift of manufacturing industries to the Pearl River Delta north of the HKSAR border, Tsuen Wan District has become more a commercial and residential area in the past decade. The Tsuen Wan District has excellent transport link to the urban centers in Kowloon and Hong Kong, as well as the International Airport. At the same time, the District has a rich cultural heritage and with the backdrop of the Tai Mo Shan Country Park, valuable scenic and ecological assets. The Tsuen Wan District Council has been working to develop tourism within the District, making best use of its cultural and natural heritages. The proximity of the District to the Disneyland International Theme Park in Lantau Island, together with the infrastructural linkage of the theme park to Tsuen Wan, offer excellent opportunities for new tourism based development in the District.

    The objectives of the study include: (a) To review the existing urban, commercial, cultural and natural assets in Tsuen Wan

    (b) To prepare an outline strategy to make best use of these assets, with enhancement as necessary, in order to capture the opportunities offered by the Disneyland International Theme Park

    (c) To help shape a sustainable tourism development plan for the Tsuen Wan District

    2. Time frame of Study

    This study will take approximately 3 months to complete. We understand that the Tusen Wan District Council wishes to complete the study before end of 10 March 2005. We would endeavor to complete the outline strategy to meet the expected schedule

    3. Deliverable

    A Study Report written in English and Chinese will be submitted before 10 March 2005. The report will include an update of the Comprehensive Tourism Development Plan for Tsuen Wan, complete with planning goals, tourism resource analysis and an outline strategic implementation plan, will be submit at the end of the study. Development priorities will be set by incorporating the important concept of sustainability. One hard copy, together with the soft copy of the report will be submitted. Printing of the report will be undertaken by the Tsuen Wan District Council. (SS04361)

  • Understanding the Tunes of Nature - A Study of the Soundscape of Hong Kong Countryside
  • LAM Kin Che, MARAFA Lawal Mohammed, CHAU Kwai Cheong
    1 January 2006
    Research Grants Council (Earmarked Grants)

    Natural sounds are integral components of the countryside bestowing special meanings to the place and the people. Preservation and restoration of diminishing natural soundscapes has become the foremost challenge in the protection of our natural heritage. This is the first systematic study of the soundscape of Hong Kong.s countryside with the aim to increase our understanding of natural sounds as a resource. It attempts to answer the following questions: (1) How does soundscape contribute to the value of a landscape? (2) What do visitors prefer? (3) Are natural soundscapes in Hong Kong being undermined and threatened? Where and how? (4) How can the natural soundscapes be planned and managed?

    This research will select a number of countryside sonic types in the countryside of Hong Kong and characterize them through field acoustic measurements and .sound walks. by trained personnel, supplemented by in-depth interview with park visitors and controlled experiments in a virtual reality laboratory. The primary objective is to identify the key sound components that constitute a .good. soundscape, ascertain their acoustic profiles and unravel the special meanings attached to these sounds by visitors. Man-made sounds intruding into the countryside will be identified, categorized and assessed. Acoustic design and management guidelines that can enhance human satisfaction with the natural environment will be explored and formulated. (CU05629)

  • The Use of Native Vegetation Community as Potential Tourist Resources and Cultural Heritage in the Fringes of Hong Kong Cityscape
  • MARAFA Lawal Mohammed, CHAU Kwai Cheong, FUNG Tung
    1 November 2000
    CUHK Research Committee Funding (Direct Grants)

    There is a great potential to promote and develop the eco-tourism potential of Hong Kong. About 70% of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is underdeveloped countryside land (Jim and Wong 1996). 41% of the total area of the region is already designated as country parks or areas dedicated to Sites of Special Scientific Interest. In an effort to further enhance the concepts of education, conservation and recreation, the Agriculture Fisheries and Conservation Department has identified 14 sites with potential to be designated as country parks (Planning, Environment and Lands Branch, 1993b). These will further enhance conservation of the countryside ecosystem and boost the resources for outdoor recreation and local tourism.

    Within the existing underdeveloped countrysides of Hong Kong, there exist crescents of native woodlands (Feng Shui) located at the periphery of many native villages particularly in the NT. Most of these areas, either within or outside the country parks, are areas of outstanding natural beauty, or sites of cultural, historical and scientific interset (Planning, Environment and Lands Branch, 1993a). These native villages and the feng shui vegetation that surrounds them date back to 100-200 years old. These natural resources and relics of cultural heritage are therefore valuable to the community as they provide good resources for environmental and ethical education while simultaneously promoting the virtues of conservation.

    This study will attempt to identify, classify and categorize the settlements crescented by the feng shui woods and the resources that will provide visual and aesthetic interest commonly found in these valuable cultural heritage that has a long history of environmental conservation ethics.

    Their understanding and effective categorization, will help to intensify interest in them and promote outdoor recreation and eco-tourism as a result of which will further elucidate the potentials of a more comprehensive and multidisciplinary research. (SS00883)

  • Virtual Interactive Student-Oriented Learning Environment (VISOLE)---Extending the Frontier of WEB-Based Learning
  • LEE Fong Lok, LEE Ho Man Jimmy (Dept of Computer Science and Engineering), LEUNG Yee (Dept of Geography & Resource Management), CHAU Kwai Cheong (Dept of Geography & Resource Management)
    1 December 2002
    Research Grants Council (Earmarked Grants)

    WEB-based teaching is one of the new directions for education. The approach aims at using the WEB, being a networked, anytime, interactive, high-capacity and content-rich environment, to enhance and facilitate independent learning and teacher-student communication.

    This goal has only been partially fulfilled since existing WEB-based teaching systems use the WEB more as a publishing medium, without utilizing the available immense computing power. In this project, we propose the Virtual Interactive Student-Oriented Learning Environment (VISOLE) approach to WEB-based teaching and learning. The aim of the VISOLE project is to study how the full functionality of the WEB can be exploited to help students learn from (near) real-life experiences and from social construction of knowledge. Students will learn directly from the immersion experience. Teachers, closely monitoring the progress of the development of the virtual world, can extract useful scenarios for classroom discussions.

    Briefly speaking, VISOLE encompasses the creation of a virtual interactive world modeled upon a set of selected and related subject areas on the WEB, and allows students to participate as "citizens" who take part in shaping the development of this virtual world. By involving in the VISOLE environment, students learn to analyse problem situations, devise problem solving strategies, solve problems and evaluate consequences. All these are considered high-order abilities required in this new era.

    We propose to construct a virtual environment based on the subjects of geography and urban planning using the VISOLE approach. The environment will be tested among schools in Hong Kong and possibly other regions. Results of the evaluation can be used to direct WEB-based research activities in the future. (CU02200)

  • Can We Make Slopes Greener? A Critical Evaluation of Slope Bioengineering Measures In Hong Kong
  • NG Sai Leung, CHAU Kwai Cheong, MARAFA Lawal Mohammed
    1 January 2006
    Research Grants Council (Earmarked Grants)

    The hilly topography makes slopes an integral component of the urban cityscape in Hong Kong. In the old days, safety was the key factor under consideration but environmental aesthetics and ecological values were usually neglected. In recent years, slope safety and environmental concerns have received equal emphasis from the government. While shotcrete is still the main structure of the slope, it is overlaid with a thin layer of soil or raw straws to support the growth of vegetation. To date, about 400 slopes have been constructed or renovated involving the use of this slope design. However, there has been no research undertaken to evaluate their performance, apart from a few descriptive studies on vegetation cover and survival rate. This project aims at critically investigating the performance and sustainability of green slopes from a multi-disciplinary perspective. The objectives are threefold: (1) to review the performance of the existing slope greening techniques in terms of vegetation growth and public perception; (2) to identify the key ecological and environmental factors governing the success of slope bioengineering; and (3) to propose and evaluate the use of digested sludge as a soil-amendment material in slope greening works. The results and findings of the proposed study should greatly contribute to a better living environment in Hong Kong. (CU05634)

Research Publications

  • "Characteristics of and Human Preference for the Countryside Soundscapes of Hong Kong." (co-authored with Lam Kin Che; Keung M. Y.; and Marafa Lawal Mohammed) Paper presented in the INTER-NOISE 2006 Conference, Hawai, Honolulu, 3 Dec 2006

  • "Characterizing Natural Soundscapes and Understanding Human Response to Human-caused Noise in a Hong Kong Country Park." (co-authored with Lam Kin Che and CHAN Pak Kin), Paper presented in 153rd Meeting of Acoustical Society of America, USA, June 2007.

  • "Characterizing Natural Soundscapes and Understanding Human Response to Human-caused Noise in a Hong Kong Country Park." (co-authored with Lam Kin Che; Marafa Lawal Mohammed and Chan Pak Kin) Paper presented in the 153rd Meeting Acoustical Society of America, Salt Lake City, Utah, 27 Dec 2007

  • Dongjiang water--a competitive resource between Hong Kong and the neighbouring regions (co-authored with Chen Yongqin, David, and Chen Junhe), Hong Kong: Chinese University of Hong Kong, 1997
    (CUHK Library Call No: UL Oversize HC470.3 .X527 1997 v.11)

  • "Ecotourism and Nature-based Recreation in the Protected Areas of Hong Kong: the Case of Hoi Ha Wan." (co-authored with Marafa Lawal Mohammed) The IUCN/WCPA EA 5th Conference on Protected Areas of East Asia 16, Hong Kong SAR, June 2005

  • "Ecotourism Prospects in the Urban Environment: The Case of Hong Kong." (co-authored with Marafa Lawal Mohammed) Paper presented in the IGU Conference Queensland University of Technology, 3 July 2006

  • "Nitrogen Mineralization in Soils along a Vegetation Chronosequence in Hong Kong." (co-authored with Marafa Lawal Mohammed) Paper presented in the Second International Conference on Soil Quality Evolution Mechanism and Sustainable Use of Soil Resources: Soil Quality, Environment & Sustainable Agriculture in Tropical & Subtropical Regions, Yingtan, China, Sept 2003

  • "Nitrogen Mineralization in Soils along a Vegetation Chronosequence in Hong Kong." (co-authored with Marafa Lawal Mohammed) Pedosphere (Beijing, China: Science Press) vol.15 no.2 (2005), pp.181-188
    (CUHK Library Call No: electronic resource ISSN: 1002-0160)

  • "Perceived Benefits of Hiking as an Outdoor Recreation Activity in Hong Kong." (co-authored with Marafa Lawal Mohammed and Ho Y. T.) Leisure (Belo Horizonte) vol.10 no.2 (Aug 2007)
    (CUHK Library Call No: CC GV76.E5 L43 2007)

  • "Physical and Chemical Characteristics of Bottom Soil and Overlying Water in Commercial Fishponds of Hong Kong." (co-authored with Lai Yuk Fo) Paper presented in the 7th SEAGA-KKU International Geography Conference, organized by Southeast Asian Geography Association and Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand, 29 Nov 2004.

  • "Planter Soils in Hong Kong: II. Fluxes of Nitrogen and Phosphorus." (co-authored with Chan Wai Yi and Lawal Mohammed Marafa) Arboricultural Journal (UK: AB Academic Publishers) vol.24 no.2&3 (Nov 2000), pp.189-208
    (CUHK Library Call No: UL Thesis SB472.7 .C43 1997)

  • "Recruitment of Native Species by Lophostemon Conferus Plantations in Hong Kong." (co-authored with Kong Hoi Yeung and Marafa Lawal Mohammed) Paper presented in the IGU Conference, 7 July 2006

  • "Physical and Chemical Characteristics of Bottom Soil and Overlying Water in Commercial Fishponds of Hong Kong." (co-authored with Lai Yuk Fo) Change and Development in Southeast Asia in an Era of Globalisation, ed. by Goh, K.C. & Sekson, Y. pp.340-356. Singapore: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2006.
    (CUHK Library Call No: UL HT384.A785 C493 2006)

  • "Sustainable Forestry in Hong Kong: Catalytic Effects of Acacia Plantations on the Invasion of Native Species." (co-authored with Au Pui Sze) Resource Management, Urbanization and Governance in Hong Kong and the Zhujiang Delta, ed. by Kwan-yiu Wong and Jianfa Shen. pp.133-152. Hong Kong SAR: The Chinese University Press, Aug 2002.
    (CUHK Library Call No: UL HK Studies HC470.3.Z9 E57 2002; CC Reserve 4 hours HC470.3.Z9 E57 2002)

  • "The Relevance of Soil Impact Assessment in Ecological Impact Assessment: A Case Study of the Towngas Pipeline Project in Hong Kong". (co-authored with Yuen Siu Man) Conference on Reshaping Environmental Assessment Tools for Sustainability, organized by Centre for Environmental Policy and Resource Management, The Chinese University of Hong Kong and College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Nankai University. pp.129-142. Hong Kong SAR, Dec 2002.

  • Understanding and Preventing Landslides in Hong Kong. (Complete with CD-ROM and Textbooks). (Teaching Kit for Secondary Schools) (co-authored with To Ka Yan and Yeung Siu Hong) Hong Kong: Civil Engineering Department, Government of the HKSAR, 2000.
    (CUHK Library Call No: UL Kit QE599.H6 R456 2000)

  • "Urban Ecotourism: Embracing or Overstretching the Concept - The Case of Hong Kong." (co-authored with Leung Yu Fai and Marafa Lawal Mohammed) Paper presented in the IUCN/WCPA EA 5th Conference on Protected Areas of East Asia, Hong Kong SAR, June 2005

  • 《認識及預防山泥傾瀉敎材套 套式敎材》 [Teaching kit on understanding and preventing landslides in Hong Kong] 與杜嘉恩, 楊兆康製作、敎材設計,香港:土木工程署土力工程處,2000
    (CUHK Library Call No: UL Kit QE599.H6 R456 2000)

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