Full-time Academic Staff: Teaching Staff

Professor P C Lai (Head)

賴寶珍 教授 (系主任)


Room 10.05

391 72830


BES, MA, PhD (Waterloo)




PC Lai is Professor in the Department and Honorary Deputy Director of the Geographical/Land Information System Research Centre. She was Associate Dean of Faculty of Arts (1998-2003). Prior to joining the University, she was affiliated with Department of Geodetic Science and Surveying of the Ohio State University (1989-92) and Department of Geography of the University of Maryland at College Park (1983-89). Dr. Lai specializes in digital/geographic information systems and environmental health. She has served as a technical consultant to various public/government agencies in United States, and more recently in Thailand and for the World Health Organization.

Research Interests
  • Geographic Information Systems
    (Including Public and Environmental Health Applications)

  • Cartographic Modelling and Spatial Analysis

  • Transportation Studies and Network Analysis


6 credits

Map Use, Reading and Interpretation

6 credits

Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

6 credits

Environmental GIS

selected Publications


  • Wong, P. P. Y., Lai, P. C., Allen, R., Cheng, W., Lee, M., Tsui, A., Tang, R., Thach, T. Q., Tian, L., Brauer, M. and Barratt, B. (2019) “Vertical Monitoring of Traffic-related Air Pollution (TRAP) in Urban Street Canyons of Hong Kong.” Science of the Total Environment 670: 696-703. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.03.224 (IF2018=5.589).

  • Zhang, C. J. P., Barnett, A., Johnston, J. M., Lai, P. C., Lee, R. S. Y., Sit, C. H. P. and Cerin, E. (2019) “Objectively-measured Neighbourhood Attributes as correlates and moderators of Quality of life in Older Adults with Different Living Arrangements: The ALECS cross-sectional study.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 16(5). DOI: 10.3390/ijerph16050876 (IF2018=2.468).

  • Cerin, E., Sit, C. H., Wong, S. H., Huang, Y. J., Gao, G. Y., Lai, P. C., Macfarlane, D. J. and Barnett, A. (2019) “Relative Contribution and Interactive Effects of Psychological, Social, and Environmental correlates of Physical Activity, Sedentary behaviour, and Dietary behaviors in Hong Kong Adolescents.” Hong Kong Medical Journal 25: 34-39. (IF2018=1.588).

  • Zhang, C., Barnett, A., Sit, C. H. P., Lai, P. C., Johnston, J.,  Lee, R. and Cerin, E. (2019) “To What Extent Does Physical Activity Explain the Associations between Neighborhood Environment and Depressive Symptoms in Older Adults Living in an Asian Metropolis?” Mental Health and Physical Activity 16: 96-104. DOI: 10.1016/j.mhpa.2018.11.005 (IF2018=1.797).

  • Lai, P. C., and Low, C. T. (2019) “Provision of Convenient Play Space in a Densely Populated City.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 16(4). DOI: 10.3390/ijerph16040651 (IF2018=2.468).

  • Sun, S., Tian, L. W., Cao, W., Lai, P. C., Wong, P. P. Y., Lee, R. S. Y., Mason, T. G., Krämer, A. and Wong, C. M. (2019) “Urban Climate Modified Short-term Association of Air Pollution with Pneumonia Mortality in Hong Kong.” Science of the Total Environment 646: 618-624. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.07.311 (IF2018=5.589).


  • Zhang, J. J., Wong, P. P. Y. and Lai, P. C. (2018) “A Geographic Analysis of Hosts' Irritation Levels towards Mainland Chinese Cross-border Day-trippers.” Tourism Management 68: 367-374. DOI: 10.1016/j.tourman.2018.03.011 (IF2018=6.012).

  • Yang, Y., Tang, R., Qiu, H., Lai, P. C., Wong, P., Thach, T. Q., Allen, R., Brauer, M., Tian, L., Barratt, B. (2018) “Long Term Exposure to Air Pollution and Mortality in an Elderly Cohort in Hong Kong.” Environment International 117: 99-106. DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2018.04.034 (IF2018=7.943).

  • Lai, P. C., Chen, S., Low, C. T., Cerin, E., Stimson, R. and Wong, P. P. Y. (2018) “Neighborhood Variation of Sustainable Urban Morphological Characteristics.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 15(3). DOI: 10.3390/ijerph15030465 (IF2018=2.468).

  • Low, C. T., Lai, P. C., Yeung, P. S. S., Siu, A. Y. C., Leung, K. T. Y. and Wong, P. P. Y. (2018) “Temperature and Age-gender Effects on Out-of-hospital Cardiac Arrest Cases.” Hong Kong Journal of Emergency Medicine 25(2): 83-90. DOI: 10.1177/1024907917751301 (IF2018=0.170).

  • Zhang, C. J. P., Barnett, A., Sit, C. H. P., Lai, P. C., Johnston, J. M., Lee, R. S. Y. and Cerin, E. (2018) “Cross-sectional Associations of Objectively-assessed Neighbourhood Attributes with Depressive Symptoms in Older Adults of an Ultra-dense Urban Environment: The Hong Kong ALECS Study.” BMJ Open 8:e020480. DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-020480 (IF2018=2.376).

  • Tang, R., Tian, L., Thach, T. Q., Tsui, T. H., Brauer, M., Lee, M., Allen, R., Yuchi, W., Lai, P. C., Wong, P. and Barratt, B. (2018) “Integrating Travel Behavior with Land Use Regression to Estimate Dynamic Air Pollution Exposure in Hong Kong.” Environment International 113: 100-108. DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2018.01.009 (IF2018=7.943).

  • Low, C. T., Stimson, R., Chen, S., Cerin, E., Wong, P. Y. and Lai, P. C. (2018) “Personal and Neighbourhood Indicators of Quality of Urban Life: A Case Study of Hong Kong.” Social Indicators Research 136(2): 751-773. DOI: 10.1007/s11205-017-1579-3 (IF2018=1.703).


  • Wong, H. T., Wang, J., Yin, Q., Chen, S. and Lai, P. C. (2017) “The Potential Benefits of Location Specific Biometeorological Indexes.” International Journal of Biometeorology 61(9): 1695-1698. DOI: 10.1007/s00484-017-1343-z (IF2018=2.377).

  • Lee, M., Brauer, M., Wong, P., Tang, R., Tsui, T. H., Choi, C., Cheng, W., Lai, P. C., Tian, L. W., Thach, T. Q., Allen, R. and Barratt, B. (2017) “Land Use Regression Modelling of Air Pollution in High Density High Rise Cities: A Case Study in Hong Kong.” Science of the Total Environment 592: 306-315. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.03.094 (IF2018=5.589).

  • Wong, H. T., Lai, P. C. and Chen, S. (2017) “Biometeorological Modelling and Forecasting of Monthly Ambulance Demand for Hong Kong.” Hong Kong Journal of Emergency Medicine 24(1): 3-11. DOI: 10.1177/102490791702400101 (IF2018=0.170).

  • Ge, E., Zhang, R., Li, D., Wei, X., Wang, X. and Lai, P. C. (2017) “Estimating Risks of Inapparent Avian Exposure for Human Infection: Avian Influenza Virus A (H7N9) in Zhejiang province, China.” Scientific Reports 7:40016. DOI: 10.1038/srep40016. (IF2018=4.011).


  • Cerin, E., Zhang, C. J. P., Barnett, A., Sit, C. P. H., Cheung, M. C. M., Johnston, J. M., Lai, P. C. and Lee, R. S. Y. (2016) “Associations of Objectively-assessed Neighborhood Characteristics with Older Adults’ Total Physical Activity and Sedentary Time in an Ultra-Dense Urban Environment: Findings from the ALECS Study.” Health & Place 42: 1-10. DOI: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2016.08.009 (IF2018=3.202).

  • Low, C. T., Lai, P. C., Li, H. D., Wong, P. Y., Chen, S. and Wong, W. C. (2016) “Neighbourhood Effects on Body Constitution - A Case Study of Hong Kong.” Social Science and Medicine 158: 61-74. DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2016.04.011 (IF2018=3.087).

  • Sallis, J. F., Cerin, E., Conway, T. L., Adams, M. A., Frank, L. D., Pratt, M., Salvo, D., Schipperijn, J., Smith, G., Cain, K. L., Davey, R., Kerr, J., Lai, P. C., Mitas, J., Reis, R., Sarmiento, O. L., Schofield, G., Troelsen, J., Van dyck, D., De Bourdeaudhuij, I. and Owen, N. (2016) “Physical Activity in Relation to Urban Environments in 14 cities Worldwide: a Cross-sectional Study.” The Lancet 387: 2207-2217. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(15)01284-2 (IF2018=59.102).

  • Lai, P. C., Choi, C. C. Y., Wong, P. Y., Thach, T. Q., Wong, M. S., Cheng, W., Krämer, A. and Wong, C. M. (2016) “Spatial Analytical Methods for Deriving a Historical Map of Physiological Equivalent Temperature of Hong Kong.” Building and Environment 99: 22-28. DOI: 10.1016/j.buildenv.2015.12.022 (IF2018=4.820).

  • Cerin, E., Sit, C. H. P., Zhang, C. J. P., Barnett, A., Cheung, M. M. C., Lai, P. C., Johnston, J. M. and Lee, R. S. Y. (2016) “Neighbourhood Environment, Physical Activity, Quality of Life and Depressive Symptoms in Hong Kong Older Adults: A Protocol for an Observational Study.” BMJ Open 6:e010384. DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-010384 (IF2018=2.376).

  • Wong, P. Y., Lai, P. C., Low, C. T., Chen, S. and Hart, M. (2016) “The Impact of Environmental and Human Factors on Urban Heat and Micro-climate Variability.” Building and Environment 95: 199-208. DOI: 10.1016/j.buildenv.2015.09.024 (IF2018=4.820).


  • Ge, E., Lai, P. C., Zhang, X., Yang, X., Lie, X., Wang, H. and Wei, X. (2015) “Regional Transport and its Association with Tuberculosis in the Shandong Province of China, 2009-2011.” Journal of Transport Geography 46: 232-243. DOI: 10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2015.06.021 (IF2018=3.560).

  • Lai, P. C., Chow, C. B., Wong, H. T., Kwong, K. H., Liu, S. H., Tong, W. K., Cheung, W. K., Wong, W. L. and Kwan, Y.W. (2015) “Effects of Geographic Scale on Population Factors in Acute Disease Diffusion Analysis.” Journal of Acute Disease 4(4): 287-291. DOI: 10.1016/j.joad.2015.06.006

  • Lai, P. C., Chow, C. B., Wong, H. T., Kwong, K. H., Kwan, Y. W., Liu, S. H., Tong, W. K., Cheung, W. K. and Wong, W. L. (2015) “An Early Warning System for Detecting H1N1 Disease Outbreak - A Spatio-temporal Approach.” International Journal of Geographical Information Science 29(7): 1251-1268. DOI: 10.1080/13658816.2015.1030671. (IF2018=3.545).

  • Thach, T. Q., Zheng, Q., Lai, P. C., Wong P. Y., Chau, Y. K., Jahn, H. J., Plass, D., Katzschner, L., Kraemer, A. and Wong, C. M. (2015) “Assessing Spatial Associations between Thermal Stress and Mortality in Hong Kong: A small-area Ecological Study.” Science of the Total Environment 502(1): 666-672. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.09.057 (IF2018=5.589).

  • Lai, P. C. and Wong, H. T. (2015) “Weather and Age-gender Effects on the Projection of Future Emergency Ambulance Demand in Hong Kong.” Asia-Pacific Journal of Public Health 27(2): NP2542-NP2554. DOI: 10.1177/1010539512460570 (IF2018=1.743).

Last Update: September 2019

Current Research Projects
  1. Integrating Spatio-Temporal Analysis and Molecular Epidemiology to Study the Transmission of Tuberculosis in China (Co-I with CUHK: Hong Kong GRF)

  2. The Geospatial Education Forum (GEF): Resolving the challenges of a New Geospatial Education Curriculum (Co-I with PolyU: Hong Kong GRF Teaching and Learning Related Initiatives) 

  3. Measuring and modelling Quality of Urban Life (QOUL) in Hong Kong – An Asian Perspective (PI: Hong Kong GRF)

  4. The Hong Kong D3D Study: A dynamic three-dimensional exposure model for Hong Kong (Co-I with King’s College London: US Health Effects Institute)

  5. A cohort study for effects of environmental thermal stress and air pollution on mortality for the older population in Hong Kong (Co-I: Hong Kong GRF) 

  6. Understanding the relative contribution and interactive effects of psychological, social and environmental correlates of physical activity, sedentary behaviours and dietary behaviours in Hong Kong adolescents (Co-I: Health and Medical Research Fund) 

  7. IPEN adolescent: International Study of Built Environments and Physical Activity (Co-I with San Diego State University: US National Institute of Health)

  8. Understanding the impact of the neighborhood environment on physical activity, quality of life and depressive symptoms in older adults (Co-I: Hong Kong GRF)

Recently Completed Projects


Home and neighbourhood environment: associations with children's physical activity and obesity-related dietary behaviours (Co-I with CUHK: Health and Health Services Research Fund)


Use of GIS in geocoding tuberculosis cases in Kowloon West (PI: Kwong Wah Hospital) 


Spatial analysis of fall incidents in Kowloon West (PI: Kwong Wah Hospital)


Forecasting daily ambulance demand using spatio-temporal models (PI: Hong Kong GRF)


Estimating demand for emergency ambulance services of Hong Kong in 2016-2036 (PI: Hui Oi-Chow Trust Fund) 


Geographic information systems for early detection of pandemic influenza outbreak in Hong Kong (PI: Research Fund for the Control of Infectious Diseases)


Climate change and environmental health – the impact of thermal stress on the mortality and morbidity in urban Hong Kong: Development of a coordinated methodology between multidisciplinary experts from Hong Kong and Germany (Co-I: Germany/Hong Kong Joint Research Scheme)


Mega-city energy efficiency and environment (Project team: UDF's Initiative for Clean Energy and Environment) 


Resource package on the use of geographic information system (GIS) in geography lessons (PI: Education Bureau) 


GIS and GPS training course for senior secondary geography teachers (PI: Education Bureau)


Development and validation of measures to study the relationships between the built environment and physical activity behaviour in Hong Kong residents (Co-I: Hong Kong GRF)


A distributed network for secondary school teachers with a pedagogic focus on geographic information system (GIS) and field studies (Co-I: IT in Education Partnership Incentive Scheme)


Spatio-temporal GIS analysis for environmental health (PI: Seed Funding Programme for Basic Research)


A survey of medical and environmental factors on elderly falls (PI: Kwong Wah Hospital)


Resource package on the use of geographic information system (GIS) for developing enquiry learning in geography (PI: Education Bureau)


Geospatial research and application frontiers in environmental and public health systems (PI: Professional Services Development Assistance Scheme)


Assessing service quality and satisfaction among diverse recreation visitors of the Pokfulam Country Park (PI: Hui Oi-Chow Trust Fund)


Footprints of poets of the Tang and Sung dynasties (PI: Louis Cha Fund – Chinese Studies)


Engaging geographic information systems in the development of three-dimensional models for environmental impact assessment (PI: Professional Services Development Assistance Scheme)


Integrating the teaching of transportation and geographic information systems in Hong Kong's tertiary education (Co-I: Teaching Development Grants)


Application of the geographic information system to the analysis of electoral and socio-economic data by districts (PI: Central Policy Unit)


A pilot study of the impact of air pollution on health outcomes in elderly Chinese: The Guangzhou cohort study (subcontracted by Community Medicine, HKU: Health Effects Institute)


A Public Web-GIS Platform for Analysing Visual and Environmental Impacts of Construction Projects in Hong Kong (PI: Environment and Conservation Fund)


A public consultation and web-based system for analysing visual and environmental impacts of reclamation works in the Victoria Harbour (PI: Hui Oi-Chow Trust Fund)

Community Services/Recognition

Articles for Industry Publications


ERC Environment, Space and Population Review Panel, European Research Council, Apr-Jun 2013.


Co-organiser of Health Symposium on Geography, GIScience, and Health: Spatial Frontiers of Health Research and Practice, 2013 AAG Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, California on 9-13 April 2013.


Programme Committee, The 4th Forum on Environmental Remote Sensing for Pearl River Delta Region, Chinese University of Hong Kong, 24-25 February 2012.


Local Organizing Committee, PRAGMA 20th Workshop cum HKU Centennial IT Conference on Grid Applications and Research Collaboration, 2-4 March 2011.


Review Panel (with Che, J. and Zhou, Q.), MSc Programme in Earth system Science, Chinese University of Hong Kong, December 2010 – May 2011.


Promoting Independent Enquiry Learning Skills in the New Senior Secondary Curriculum (NSS) through Satellite Remote Sensing and Geo-information Science, Steering Committee Member, Quality Education Fund and School Partnership RS & GIS Project, March – December 2010.


Best Student Research Awards, Adjudication Panel, organized by the Hong Kong Geographic Information Systems Association, March 2010.


ESRI Cup University Student Final Year Project Competition (2009-2010),Adjudication Panel, organized by ESRI China (HK), December 2009 – January 2010.


Featured in 長者跌倒黑點, (亞視) 2009年12月31日 星期四 20:00, Available:


Featured in 路上「零」意外之行人防跌篇, Mingpao Weekly 2009, 27 June, Issue 2120, Book B, p.70-73.


The Youth Learning Project on Pacific Economic Cooperation 2008/09,Adjudication Panel, jointly organized by the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups and Hong Kong Committee for Pacific Economic Cooperation, held at HKFYG Centre, Central, Hong Kong on 3 March 2009.


User-Centered and Usability-Centred Map Design for Navigation, Invited Speaker, ICA Workshop on Theories of Map Design in Digital Era, held at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in Hong Kong on 23-25 September 2010.


Application of GIS in the Spatial Distribution of SARS in Hong Kong, Invited Speaker, 6th Annual Scientific Meeting, Stanley Ho Centre for Emergency Infectious Disease, held at the Prince of Wales Hospital, 21 July 2009.


Geographic Information Systems Application in Public Health, Invited Speaker, Infectious Disease Conference 2009, Hong Kong, organized by the Hong Kong Hospital Authority of Infectious Disease Centre and Johns Hopkins University, held at the Princess Margaret Hospital, 20-22 February 2009.


Learning Geography with GIS, Keynote Speaker and Workshop Instructor, International Workshop on Geo-spatial Information Technology for Secondary School Education, organized by the Hong Kong Geographical Information Systems Association, 19-20 December 2008.


Geographic Inquiry Model and Resources for Lesson Design, Invited speaker for the Geographic Information System (GIS) Seminar cum IT in Education Partnership Incentive Scheme Briefing Session, held at the Hong Kong Scout Centre, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong on 10 May 2007.


GIS in Spatial Epidemiology, Short course on GIS for the Thailand Department of Health, held at the Field Epidemiology Training Program Centre in Bangkok on 22-26 January 2007.


Geospatial and Fluid Dynamics Modelling of Infectious Diseases, Short course on GIS for the Hong Kong Department of Health, held at the Centre for Health Protection on 18-20 January 2007.


Using GIS in Data Analysis and Management – A Case Study for Health Monitoring, Invited Speaker, GPS/LBS/GIS Seminar/Showcase, 01 September 2006, Office of the Government Chief Information Officer, Cyberport, Hong Kong.


OGC Standards and International Experience on the Sharing of GIS Data, Invited Speaker, Open Standard Mobile Map Application Development Seminar, 03 March 2006, Office of the Government Chief Information Officer, Cyberport, Hong Kong.


GIS in Health Data Analysis and Management, Invited Speaker, CyberiProA Expert Address Series – Geographic Information Systems as an Emerging Trend in Information Technology, 23 October 2004,  HKU SPACE Admiralty Learning Centre.