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Mandatory CPD Event - BEAM Plus Neighbourhood: Incorporating nature in design - Biophilia - Its principles and applications

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This event is organised by Hong Kong Green Building Council Limited (HKGBC).


Session 1: Making Hong Kong A Biophilic City (with reference to BEAM Plus Neighbourhood)

‘Biophilia’ is a term being used increasingly by urban planners. What does Biophilia mean? What is a Biophilic City? Is becoming one a valid objective for Hong Kong and if so how do we achieve that?  Answers to these questions will be explored.  In addition an introduction and brief explanation of the BEAM Plus Neighbourhood sustainability assessment tool will be provided, identifying links with the biophilia concept.

Speaker: Alexander (Sandy) M Duggie.
                BSc(Hons), BPhil, FHKILA, RLA, CMLI, HKIEIA, HKIUD, BEAM Pro (NB, EB, ND)

                Managing Director – Urbis Limited

Sandy is a Registered Landscape Architect, a Fellow of the Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects and the Managing Director of Urbis Limited, a Hong Kong based multi-award winning design consultancy established in 1977, and providing services in masterplanning, urban design, town planning, landscape design, golf course design and environmental impact analysis.  He has lived in Hong Kong and worked for Urbis since 1985, during which time he has contributed to several major territorial and strategic planning studies for the Hong Kong Government, and designed a very large range of private and public sector projects from small private gardens to large scale public infrastructure works.   Designed projects include public parks, open spaces and streetscapes, schools, hospitals, hotels, residential, commercial and mixed use developments and golf courses.  Since 1977 Urbis has undertaken over 2,000 projects throughout the Asia Pacific region, South Asia and the Middle East and has won over 120 awards and competition designs both locally and internationally.  Many of these award-winning projects Sandy has worked on, designed and / or directed personally.  He is particularly concerned with the promotion of sustainable design and designing the public realm to meet the needs of modern society.  He is also a Director of the BEAM Society Limited, a Member of the HKGBC Green Building Faculty and currently sits on the HKGBC Green Labelling Committee.

Session 2: Urban farming: Transforming our cities, one rooftop at a time

Urban farming is a powerful tool to transform our cities in significant ways. From making our food system more sustainable, to turning underused spaces like rooftops into green and productive landscapes or engaging the community, amongst others. During this talk, Pol will go over some of the key benefits urban farming can bring to a city like Hong Kong from an environmental, social, economic and health perspectives. Pol will illustrate the potential of urban farming through real case studies from both Rooftop Republic's work and abroad. The talk will also highlight the main areas where urban farming can be relevant and bear credits for the BEAM Plus Neighbourhood accreditation.

Speaker: Pol Fàbrega, Co-founder of Rooftop Republic

Pol Fàbrega is the co-founder of Rooftop Republic, a social enterprise dedicated to promote urban farming. Rooftop Republic’s vision is to revolutionise the food system and transform the relationship people have with their food. Our innovative approach and end-to-end services - from design, installation to maintenance and community engagement - aims to incorporate urban farms into city-dwellers’ lifestyles and make it commonplace.

Within the first two years of operations, Rooftop Republic has transformed over 23,000 square feet of underused space into 30 urban farms across Hong Kong and China and has organised more than 230 events around organic farming and sustainable living.

Originally from Barcelona, Pol started his career in the non-profit sector working on a wide range of issues, from human trafficking to education to human rights. In 2012, he relocated to Hong Kong where he has been pioneering the urban farming movement to help transform the way we grow, consume and think about food.


Session 3: Mindfulness and Well-being in urban environment

As we spend most of the time indoors or semi-outdoor environment, one needs to take urban environment into account when one contemplates about the issue of health and well-being.  Well-being is a broad term encompassing mindfulness, health and connections between people.  Indeed, lots of research points to the relationship between urban environment and psychological health, of which spaciousness, openness, nature are some of the factors in play. 

Drawing on the experience from a mindfulness or yoga perspective, there are different elements in a space which may impact on or interact with one’s experience.  Illustrated with examples, the talk will share the elements of a therapeutic, calm and serene space.  The talk would explore how different design criteria address diverse needs for connection and solitude, as well as possible interventions to transform the space.

Speaker: Maggie Lin,
                Yoga teacher, sensory experience curator, urbanist, inspired by mindfulness
                behind Maggie Lin - Yoga, Sensory & Wellness 

                Cofounder of nose hk and The Pocket Parks Collective

Inspired to introduce well-being creatively in the urban/ cultural space, Maggie creates sensory experiences. She cofounded a city perfumery nose hk, on smell and emotions, inspired by Hong Kong’s history as an incence producer. She teaches yoga and shares the jewels of mindfulness.  She is a certified yoga teacher (YTT200) and trained at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre in the UK and Hong Kong Center For Mindfulness.  Her sensitivity to the urbanscape draws from her work at The Pocket Parks Collective, using art and urban interventions to humanize the city.


Session 4: Getting to know the birds in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a city of rich biodiversity, yet the general public tends to think of nature as a distant concept. Contrary to most conventional thoughts, many birds adopt the bustling urban environment and become our neighbour living with us everyday.

HK Neighbirdhood started the bird watching tours in different communities in 2016 with the support of Jockey Club’s Make a Difference School Accumulator Scheme.  By sharing the message of “Bird as neighbour” to participants, HK Neighbirdhood used street tours and art education to raise awareness towards bio-life’s issues in our city.  The talk will cover how to design suitable workshops and tours to cater different groups of general public, and how do the tours enhance knowledge and awareness of nature in the urban environment.

Speaker: Pamela Cheung Wing Yue, Founder of HK Neighbirdhood

Cheung received a BA (Hons) Art and Design in Education at School of Design, Hong Kong Polytechnic University. She has deep concern for natural environment conservation and sustainable community topics through art education. Her works include Ma Shi Po Village Eco Map, and HK Neighbirdhood, among others.


Event Details


8 August 2017 (Tuesday)


7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
(Registration with refreshment starts at 6:30 pm)


Theatre 3, 1/F, HKPC Building,
78 Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong

CPD Credits: 2.5-hour Mandatory CPD

$500 - HKGBC Members
$750 - Non-HKGBC Members

Priorities will be given to HKGBC Members.
Payment should be made before the start of the event. You are NOT allowed to admit to the event if your payment has NOT been made upon the start of the event.



Time Event
6:30 pm Registration with refreshment
7:00 pm - 7:45 pm Session 1: Making Hong Kong A Biophilic City (with reference to BEAM Plus Neighbourhood)
7:45 pm - 8:15 pm Session 2: Urban farming: Transforming our cities, one rooftop at a time
8:15 pm - 8:45 pm Session 3: Mindfulness and Well-being in urban environment
8:45 pm - 9:15 pm Session 4: Getting to know the birds in Hong Kong
9:15 pm - 9:30 pm Discussion and Q&A session