The HKUST GREAT Smart Cities Institute (GSCI) plays the role of a broad platform in which large-scale projects and interdisciplinary collaborations can come together to advance the underlying science and technology for developing Hong Kong (and beyond) as a smart city. Pivoted around five ‘GREAT’ attributes of smart cities - Green, Resilient, Empowering, Adaptable and Transformative, the Institute also nurtures the next-generation of talent, formulates evidence-based policy recommendations and develops smart tools for infrastructure planning toward making cities smarter.

Key Research Areas

Fundamental Modeling and Infrastructure Systems
Transportation systems, building and infrastructure facilities, power systems, water resources, waste treatment, slopes and foundations, etc.
Urban Computing
Big data analytics, deep learning, climate modeling, behavioral and game theory, etc.
Data Capture Technologies
RFID, Internet of Things (IoT), wireless sensing, IoT security, etc.
Data Visualization, Management and Communication
BIM, GIS, VR/AR, building management system, data stream processing, data mining, and wireless communication.
Artificial Intelligence and Robotics
Autonomous vehicles, household robotics, image processing, and computer vision.
Sustainability and Implications on Public Policy
Green buildings, walkability, wellbeing, energy grid and energy efficient technologies, waste management planning, etc.

Key Research Projects

Strategies for Enhancing Walkability in Hong Kong via Smart Policies Prof Hong Lo
A High-performance Distributed Machine Learning Framework for Graph-based Streaming Data with Smart City Applications Prof Lei Chen
Automated BIM Generation Based on UAV and Indoor 3D Laser Scanning Technologies Prof Jack Cheng
Accelerating the Development of a Global Innovation and Technology Hub in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area: The Roles of Public Research Universities in Hong Kong Prof Xun Wu
Mechanisms of Metropolitan Multi-hazard Formation and Evolution under Extreme Rainstorms and Storm Surges Prof Limin Zhang
HKUST-DiDi Joint Research Laboratory Prof Hai Yang
Centre for Slope Safety Prof Charles Ng



GSCI is committed to nurturing the next generation of talent pool for smart city research and development through regular courses, executive education and technical seminars and conferences.

Three new UG courses have been developed in the recent past:

  • CIVL 4100H - Water, Energy and Climate Challenges in Smart Cities (by Prof Jiachuan Yang)
  • CIVL 4100J- Introduction to Smart City Economics (by Prof Sen Li)
  • CIVL 4100I- Introduction to Data Analytics for Smart Transportation Systems (by Prof Sis Jian)

GSCI is also forming a minor program on Smart Cities.

Partnered with Leadership & Public Policy (LAPP) Program (Executive Education), the GSCI offered 3 LAPP programs – each an intensive 2-3 day program in the past two years.

The GSCI also hosted GREAT Smart Cities Connect Conference 2019-The Greater Bay Area on 11-12 May 2019, and is organizing another conference on “Smart Infrastructure” in May 2021.

Executive Committee