Spatially analyzing the inequity of the hong kong urban heat island by socio-demographic characteristics

Man Sing Wong, Fen Peng, Bin Zou, Wen Zhong Shi, Gaines J. Wilson

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Recent studies have suggested that some disadvantaged socio-demographic groups face serious environmental-related inequities in Hong Kong due to the rising ambient urban temperatures. Identifying heat-vulnerable groups and locating areas of Surface Urban Heat Island (SUHI) inequities is thus important for prioritizing interventions to mitigate death/illness rates from heat. This study addresses this problem by integrating methods of remote sensing retrieval, logistic regression modelling, and spatial autocorrelation. In this process, the SUHI effect was first estimated from the Land Surface Temperature (LST) derived from a Landsat image. With the scale assimilated to the SUHI and socio-demographic data, a logistic regression model was consequently adopted to ascertain their relationships based on Hong Kong Tertiary Planning Units (TPUs). Lastly, inequity "hotspots" were derived using spatial autocorrelation methods. Results show that disadvantaged socio-demographic groups were significantly more prone to be exposed to an intense SUHI effect: over half of 287 TPUs characterized by age groups of 60+ years, secondary and matriculation education attainment, widowed, divorced and separated, low and middle incomes, and certain occupation groups of workers, have significant Odds Ratios (ORs) larger than 1.2. It can be concluded that a clustering analysis stratified by age, income, educational attainment, marital status, and occupation is an effective way to detect the inequity hotspots of SUHI exposure. Additionally, inequities explored using income, marital status and occupation factors were more significant than the age and educational attainment in these areas. The derived maps and model can be further analyzed in urban/city planning, in order to mitigate the physical and social causes of the SUHI effect.
Original languageEnglish
Article number317
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 12 Mar 2016


  • Environmental inequity
  • Land surface temperature
  • Socio-demographic characteristic
  • Spatial autocorrelation
  • Urban heat island

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'Spatially analyzing the inequity of the hong kong urban heat island by socio-demographic characteristics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this