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Guibo Sun

Assistant Professor |


"My research interest lies in causal inference in urban interventions’ social and health effects. My ongoing research revolves around three main themes: urban redevelopment and social and health impacts of older people; new metro, active travel and wider health effects; street and public space interventions linked with long-term changes. The three research themes cover different types of large-scale interventions in the cities (e.g., complex interventions, short-term actions)."

Current Research

Guibo's research uses natural experiments to study the causal effects of large-scale urban interventions like new metro lines and urban renewal. His work establishes data and methods, providing causal evidence on the impacts of transport infrastructure and neighborhood changes. Results contribute to healthy, sustainable cities.

His impactful research has won several awards, including the 2023 Lincoln Institute Fellowship and the 2021/2019 UK RTPI Research Awards. He received HKU's 2021 Research Output and 2022 Teaching Awards for innovative pedagogy.

He is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Transport & Health (Elsevier). He served as a technical committee member for the Buildings Department from 2017 to 2023, assisting with revisions to the Design Manual for Hong Kong. Furthermore, Guibo and colleagues developed the first open-access comprehensive 3D pedestrian network database for a major city, mapping walkways throughout Hong Kong.

Selected Publications

Sun, G. and Du, Y. (2023) New metro and subjective wellbeing among older people: A natural experiment in Hong Kong. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 1-15.

Sun, G., Choe, E. and Webster, C. (2023) Natural experiments in healthy cities research: How can urban planning and design knowledge reinforce the causal inference? Town Planning Review, 1-22. (Featured Article)

Choe, E., He, D. and Sun, G. (2023) Trading-off transit and non-transit physical activity among older people: Evidence from longitudinal accelerometer data of a natural experiment study. Journal of Urban Health. 

Du, Y., Sun, G., Choe, E. and Kwan, M. (2022) Mediation effects of social isolation on pathways connecting public transport use with subjective wellbeing among older people. Journal of Transport & Health. 

He, D., Sun, G., De Vos, J. and Webster, C. (2022) The effects of metro interventions on physical activity and walking among older adults: A natural experiment in Hong Kong. Health & Place. 

Zhao, J., Sun, G. and Webster, C. (2022) Does China-Pakistan Economic Corridor improve connectivity in Pakistan? A protocol assessing the planned transport network infrastructure. Journal of Transport Geography, 100: 103327.

Sun, G., Du, Y., Ni, M., Zhao, J. and Webster, C. (2021) Metro and elderly health in Hong Kong: Protocol for a natural experiment study in a high-density city. BMJ Open. 

Zhao, J., Sun, G. and Webster, C. (2021) Walkability Scoring: Why and how does a 3D pedestrian network matter?Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science, 1-20. 

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